Intake and contribution of food groups to vitamin D intake in a representative sample of adult Greek population

Nutrition. 2020 Apr;72:110641. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2019.110641. Epub 2019 Nov 15.


Objectives: Globally, vitamin D intake from food and supplements is low, consistent with the high prevalence of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. The aims of this study were to assess vitamin D intake and major relevant food contributors among Greek adults and to propose subsequent policies for intervention.

Methods: Vitamin D from diet and supplements was estimated in adults (≥19 y of age) from two 24-h recalls using the Automated Multiple-Pass Method (vitamin D from food intake) and a drug and supplement questionnaire (vitamin D supplements). Over- and underreporters were identified using the Goldberg cutoff. The final analysis included 2218 individuals. The National Research Council method was used to account for within- and between-person variation. Vitamin D food intake adequacy was estimated based on the estimated average requirement (EAR) of 10 mcg/d, set by the Institute of Medicine. Major foods contributing to intake were identified and the effect on meeting EAR, of a potential food fortification example was examined.

Results: Median vitamin D intake from food ranged from 1.16 to 1.72 and 1.01 to 1.26mcg/d in different age groups in men and women, respectively. Major food sources of vitamin D were fish (46%), meat (15%), and cereals (12%); however, >90% of the population in all age groups failed to meet the EAR, even when supplemental use was accounted for (~5% of the population consumed supplements).

Conclusion: Overall vitamin D intake is below the average requirements. Public health policies to increase the consumption of foods high in vitamin D or food fortification may significantly reduce the percentage of individuals who do not meet the recommendations.

Keywords: Greece; Vitamin D; adults; diet; fortification.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prevalence
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / analysis*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D