Intake of Fat-Soluble Vitamins in the Belgian Population: Adequacy and Contribution of Foods, Fortified Foods and Supplements

Nutrients. 2017 Aug 11;9(8):860. doi: 10.3390/nu9080860.


A key challenge of public health nutrition is to provide the majority of the population with a sufficient level of micronutrients while preventing high-consumers from exceeding the tolerable upper intake level. Data of the 2014 Belgian food consumption survey (n = 3200) were used to assess fat-soluble vitamin (vitamins A, D, E and K) intake from the consumption of foods, fortified foods and supplements. This study revealed inadequate intakes for vitamin A, from all sources, in the entire Belgian population and possible inadequacies for vitamin D. The prevalence of inadequate intake of vitamin A was lowest in children aged 3-6 (6-7%) and highest in adolescents (girls, 26%; boys, 34-37%). Except for women aged 60-64 years, more than 95% of the subjects had vitamin D intake from all sources below the adequate intake (AI) of 15 μg/day. The risk for inadequate intake of vitamins K and E was low (median > AI). Belgian fortification and supplementation practices are currently inadequate to eradicate suboptimal intakes of vitamins A and D, but increase median vitamin E intake close to the adequate intake. For vitamin A, a small proportion (1-4%) of young children were at risk of exceeding the upper intake level (UL), while for vitamin D, inclusion of supplements slightly increased the risk for excessive intakes (% > UL) in adult women and young children. The results may guide health authorities when developing population health interventions and regulations to ensure adequate intake of fat-soluble vitamins in Belgium.

Keywords: Belgian population; dietary intake; fat-soluble vitamins; fortified foods; micronutrient adequacy; supplements.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Belgium
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Female
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamins