Government health advisors believe that the British population must vastly increase their collective intake of Vitamin D in order to reduce the risk of bone disease.
Thus, Public Health England is urging people across the UK to consume more tuna, salmon and eggs, as well as stocking up on Vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin tablets may be particularly important during the autumn and winter, during which the population has less access to sun.
Public Health England has already been in consultation with the government on the matter, and has provided written evidence supporting it stance on the subject.
The healthcare body believes that average intake of the so-called sunshine vitamin should rise from three micrograms a day to 10 micrograms.
In particular, the rise in once rare conditions such as ricketts are considered particularly worrying, and it is believed that a seismic shift in diet is necessary in order to address the situation.
A major review conducted by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which was spread over a five-year period, concluded that the existing trends will get still worse if serious action is not taken on a nationwide basis.
Professor Hilary Powers, who led the SACN review, emphasised the importance of the government adopting the recommendations of the review in its public health policy.
“If the recommendations are followed this should reduce the risk of bone disease in the UK population. Until now it has been assumed that sunlight would provide the vitamin D needed by most of the population all the year round. We now know this is not true because about one in five people in the UK have a low blood level of vitamin D.”
During the report, credible evidence was uncovered that sufficient consumption of Vitamin D will reduce the risk of ricketts in children.
Research elsewhere has linked a lack of the vitamin to cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Dr Louis Levy, Public Health England’s head of nutrition science, reiterated the importance of monitoring Vitamin D levels in autumnal and winter weather conditions.
“A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer. However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it.”
Some analysts claim that Vitamin D not only helps in bone health but can also aid in heart, brain, and immune system function, even noting that lower levels can be associated with asthma.