Vitamin D Intake in a Population-Based Sample of Young Polish Women, Its Major Sources and the Possibility of Meeting the Recommendations

Foods. 2020 Oct 17;9(10):1482. doi: 10.3390/foods9101482.


The recommendations of vitamin D intake are commonly not met, which results from the fact that fish, being its major sources, are commonly rarely consumed. Consequently, a reliable estimation of its habitual intake is also difficult, as its daily intake is highly variable. The aim of the study was to analyze vitamin D intake from food, its major sources and the possibility to meet its recommendations in a population-based sample of young Polish women. The study was conducted in a sample of Polish women aged 15-30 years, recruited in cooperation with local students' and youth organizations from all regions of Poland (convenience sampling with the snowball effect), while the stratified sampling procedure was applied with a random quota sampling for voivodeships (an administrative subdivision), to obtain an adequate distribution regarding the general population of young Polish women (n = 1,032). The vitamin D intake was assessed while using the validated Vitamin D Estimation Only-Food Frequency Questionnaire (VIDEO-FFQ) and was compared with the recommended 10 µg. The median vitamin D intake in the study group was 3.09 µg (0.00-24.52 µg) and in 95% of participants was lower than recommended, while the highest vitamin D intake was observed for the following sources: eggs (0.50 µg), meat and meat products (0.49 µg), herring, sardine and tuna products (0.41 µg) and dairy products (0.40 µg). The correlation between total vitamin D intake and its intake from its sources was strongest for eggs (p < 0.0001; R = 0.5989) and for herring, sardine and tuna products (p < 0.0001; R = 0.5314), while the correlation between total vitamin D intake and the number of servings was strongest for herring, sardine and tuna products (p < 0.0001; R = 0.5314). At the same time, while compared with other fish species, consuming herring was the strongest predictor of meeting the recommended vitamin D level of 10 µg (p = 0.0292; odds ratio (OR) = 1.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-3.52), but also of 5 µg (p < 0.0001; OR = 2.54; 95% CI 1.85-3.47). Therefore, taking into account the relatively low prices of herring, its high vitamin D content, as well as its influence on total vitamin D intake, it could be beneficial to recommend young women to increase herring intake in order to increase dietary vitamin D intake and to meet its recommendations.

Keywords: Poland; diet; fish; fish products; intake; sources; species; vitamin D; young women.