Sufficient intake of milk with vitamin D supplements and physical activity are significantly important for vitamin D levels in children, according to a new study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland.
According to the researchers, a sufficiently high vitamin D level is associated with better bone health and may also be related a lower risk of many chronic diseases.
The population-based study provides insights into the health and well-being of children and adolescents
The study, published online in British Journal of Nutrition, saw 512 children aged six to eight years participating in the baseline measurements in 2007-2009, constituting a representative sample of their age group.
The children whose blood samples were taken in the autumn had the highest vitamin D levels. In the northern latitudes, there is not enough exposure to the sun to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels in winter.
According to the study, more than 80 percent of the children had a lower intake of vitamin D from food and vitamin supplements than the recommended level.
The scientists recommended 2.5-3 glasses of dairy milk fortified with vitamin D per day and two-three servings of fish per week. The diet should also contain vegetable oil based spreads which are fortified with vitamin D along with sufficient outdoor exercise should be encouraged among children.