Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Megan Bunch

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D deficiency in the US is more prevalent than before estimated. Given the numerous roles vitamin D plays in the body, it is becoming apparent that the need for adequate intake is vital. It is generally accepted that adults require 1,000 IU per day.

Methods: Electronic searches were conducted using Google Scholar and Elsevier databases. Search terms included “vitamin D deficiency”, “vitamin D deficiency US”, and “vitamin D screening”. Databases were reviewed for prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the US.

Results: Populations at high risk for deficiency include the elderly, adolescents, people with darker skin, those who are obese, and those with limited sun exposure. Studies have shown that a deficiency cannot only lead to bone disease, but possibly cancer, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune diseases.

Conclusions: Due to the increasing prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the US, it is suggested that interventions be taken to increase intake among at-risk populations. Such interventions include increasing consumption of vitamin D rich foods, taking a vitamin D supplement, and/or increasing sun exposure to the extent needed for adequate vitamin D production.