The Swiss government is now recommending that citizens 65 years and older take a vitamin D supplement daily. The recommendation is included in a new health pamphlet published by the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), which recommends a daily supplemental vitamin D dose of 800 IU for this age group. The news was shared by the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA; London), whose recently initiated “Mind the Gap” education campaign focuses on spreading awareness of vitamin D deficiency.
The FSVO pamphlet explains to the public why supplementing with vitamin D is necessary. It highlights vitamin D’s benefits for bone and muscle health and for reducing falls and hip fractures, and it outlines additional benefits for dental health, the immune system, brain health, and heart health. It points out that obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin D from the diet alone, or from sunlight exposure, is difficult, noting that half of the Swiss population lacks adequate levels of vitamin D—and that aging slows the production of vitamin D through the skin.
On the news, Cynthia Rousselot, IADSA’s director of technical and regulatory affairs, commented in a press release, “We are pleased to see that Swiss government recognizes the importance of vitamin D and the role supplement can play in ensuring that people consume enough of this essential nutrient. IADSA will continue to engage with policy makers and other stakeholders worldwide to raise awareness of the role of supplementation in increasing levels of health and wellbeing.”