Published: 06 January 2014

Surrey academics embark on groundbreaking European vitamin D study

Researchers from the Department of Nutritional Sciences are working on Europe’s largest ever investigation into vitamin D deficiency.

The four-year project, funded by €6m from the EU and led by University College Cork, will investigate the health impacts of vitamin D*, and aims to set European guidelines for vitamin D requirements for all age groups. It will also explore ways of boosting vitamin D levels through food, which could include fortification or changes to animal feed.

The study, called ODIN (Food-Based Solutions for Optimal Vitamin D Nutrition and Health through the Life Cycle), involves researchers from 31 institutions in 18 European countries and the United States.

At Surrey, which has been allocated around €0.5m funding, research will include a randomised control trial in 14 to 18-year-olds that will provide key data for setting dietary requirements for that age group.  Dr Laura Tripkovic, Dr Kath Hart and Professor Susan Lanham-New are on the ODIN Surrey team, and the project will also utilise the results of their pioneering research into the health benefits of different types of vitamin D

Professor Lanham-New, Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, said: “It is fantastic that the EU has committed funding to this project, which will come up with some very novel food-based solutions to preventing vitamin D deficiency in Europe.”

Read more about the ODIN project, and Surrey’s Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes Research Group.

*Vitamin D, which we mostly get from sunlight, has several important functions including regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body - nutrients needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. It also impacts on healthy growth and development, and successful ageing.



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