New reference values for vitamin D

Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;60(4):241-6. doi: 10.1159/000337547. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


In the recent past, many studies have been published on the association between vitamin D and bone health or the risk of various chronic diseases. Thus, the D-A-CH reference values [D-A-CH arises from the initial letters of the common country identification for the countries Germany (D), Austria (A) and Switzerland (CH)] for the intake of vitamin D have been revised based on a critical review by the German Nutrition Society. Both dietary intake and endogenous synthesis contribute to the body's vitamin D status. Since different factors modulate the extent of endogenous vitamin D formation, quantification is hardly possible. Therefore, the new reference values for vitamin D intake are specified for a situation in which endogenous synthesis is completely missing. Based on the findings of the critical review, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of 50 nmol/l or higher are considered an indicator of an optimal vitamin D status. When endogenous synthesis is missing, adequate vitamin D intake is estimated as 20 µg per day for children, adolescents and adults. Dietary vitamin D intake from habitual diet is not sufficient to achieve this value. This gap has to be covered by endogenous vitamin D synthesis and/or additional intake of vitamin D. It is clearly stated that the desired vitamin D supply can be achieved without using vitamin D supplements by frequent sun exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Intake
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status
  • Reference Values
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control
  • White People


  • Vitamin D