English Health Department Recommending Vitamin D on Labels
February 11, 2013 - News
LONDON—England isn't the sunniest place on the planet, and many UK residents are short on Vitamin D.

The Department of Health in England and the food supplement industry have agreed that certain messages may be used on product labels to encourage use of Vitamin D.

"A significant proportion of the UK population have low vitamin D status, which increases their risk of vitamin D deficiency," the health department explains in a statement describing the recommended wording on the labels. "This is a particular concern for pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, the elderly and people who have low or no exposure to the sun."

The recommended statements can be used on product labels, websites and other promotional materials. The health department is advising that infants and young children between the ages of six months and five years take a daily supplement of Vitamin D.

Supplements containing between 5 and 10 micrograms can carry the recommended statements, Dr. Alison Tedstone of the health department's Health & Wellbeing Division stated in a letter dated Feb. 5 delivered via email to interested parties.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food and supplements and is needed for health and to maintain strong bones, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, in the United States.

"Vitamin D is important to the body in many other ways as well," the Office of Dietary Supplements explains. "Muscles need it to move, for example, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses."

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