The British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) annual lecture has appealed for greater focus on vitamin D deficiency in younger healthy populations.
Professor Susan Lanham-New, Head of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Surrey, told an audience of over 100 that “there is a need to promote more awareness of vitamin D deficiency across the younger healthy populations within the UK”.
Delivering the BNF’s Annual Lecture 2019, Professor Lanham-New discussed new research led by Dr Saskia Wilson-Barnes, from the University of Surrey, which analyses the effects of vitamin D status on athletic performance in university-level athletes, and revealed that the results indicate that insufficient vitamin D negatively impacts predictors of jump height and aerobic fitness in these populations.
Professor Lanham-New explained: “There is a real need to promote more awareness of vitamin D deficiency across younger populations within the UK. It is established that vitamin D is beneficial for bone health and our studies demonstrate the importance of vitamin D for athletic performance within UK university students too. Good bone health ensures the consolidation of bone mass during adulthood and helps to prevent osteoporosis in later life – more attention needs to be placed on the importance of this.”
During the Lecture, Lanham-New also discussed new research which has been led by Dr Andrea Darling, also at the University of Surrey, using data from the UK Biobank and which has shown, for the first time, extensive vitamin D deficiency in over 8,000 South Asians living in the UK – the largest dataset available on vitamin D status in ethnic minority groups.