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Differences in the dietary requirement for vitamin D among Caucasian and East African women at Northern latitude

  • Kevin D. CashmanEmail author
  • Christian Ritz
  • Folasade A. Adebayo
  • Kirsten G. Dowling
  • Suvi T. Itkonen
  • Taina Öhman
  • Essi Skaffari
  • Elisa M. Saarnio
  • Mairead Kiely
  • Christel Lamberg-Allardt
Original Contribution

Abstract

Context

Current vitamin D recommendations have been established based on an assumption that there are no differences between Caucasian and other ethnic/racial groups in terms of vitamin D requirements. This assumption, largely made due to the absence of data, is a key knowledge gap identified by a number of authorities.

Objective

To test whether the distribution of dietary requirements for maintaining winter serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations ≥ 30 nmol/L (a priority threshold linked to vitamin D deficiency prevention) differ between Caucasian and Somali women living at northerly latitude.

Methods

We used data from a 5-month, winter-based, vitamin D3 dose-related randomized, placebo-controlled trial in Somali (n 47) and Causcian women (n 69), aged 21–64-year old, living in Southern Finland (60°N), to model the vitamin D intake–serum 25(OH)D dose–response relationship. Regression analyses were used to predict the vitamin D intake required to maintain 97.5% (as well as 50, 90, and 95%) of women in both ethnic groups above serum 25(OH)D thresholds of 30, 40 and 50 nmol/L.

Results

Using a model which adjusted for baseline 25(OH)D, age, and BMI, the estimated vitamin D intake that maintained serum 25(OH)D ≥ 30 nmol/L in 97.5% of Caucasian and Somali women was 8 and 18 µg/day, respectively. Ethnic differences were also evident at 40 and 50 nmol/L serum 25(OH)D thresholds.

Conclusion

The present study adds further evidence that ethnic differences in the dietary requirement for vitamin D do exist and that dose–response vitamin D intervention studies are required in at-risk target populations specified by ethnicity.

Keywords

Vitamin D requirements Ethnic-related differences Dietary reference values RCT 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank all volunteer subjects who participated in the intervention study. We are grateful to the researchers in the Maamu study for their advice on participants’ recruitment. We also thank technician Anu Heiman-Lindh for laboratory analyses at the University of Helsinki and Dr. George Hull at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research who helped with some of the serum 25(OH)D analyses. We acknowledge Oy Verman Ab, Kerava, Finland for providing supplements and placebo tablets.

Author contribution

CLA, MK, and KDC are Grant holders and designed the study. FAA, STI, and CLA were involved in the detailed design and coordination of the study. FAA, TÖ, ES, and EMS collected the data. KGD was responsible for the serum 25(OH)D analyses at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research, University College Cork, Ireland. KDC and CR performed the statistical analysis. KDC drafted the initial version of the manuscript and all co-authors reviewed, contributed to subsequent drafts and approved the final draft of the manuscript.

Funding

This work was carried out within the ODIN project (http://www.odin-vitamin D.eu), which was funded by the European Commission (Grant agreement 613977). The funder was not involved in the design, analysis or writing of this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors wish to confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication.

Supplementary material

394_2018_1775_MOESM1_ESM.docx (71 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 71 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin D. Cashman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christian Ritz
    • 3
  • Folasade A. Adebayo
    • 4
  • Kirsten G. Dowling
    • 1
  • Suvi T. Itkonen
    • 4
  • Taina Öhman
    • 4
  • Essi Skaffari
    • 4
  • Elisa M. Saarnio
    • 4
  • Mairead Kiely
    • 1
    • 5
  • Christel Lamberg-Allardt
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesCork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition ResearchCorkIreland
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark
  4. 4.Calcium Research Unit, Department of Food and NutritionUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research [INFANT]University College CorkCorkIreland

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