Vitamin D deficiency at the Arctic Circle – a study in food-allergic adolescents and controls




At the extremes of latitude, UVB intensity is insufficient for adequate vitamin D synthesis in winter. Fatty fish, vitamin D enriched milk, margarine and eggs are main dietary sources of vitamin D. Their elimination may increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency. The aim was to assess vitamin D status in food-allergic adolescents eliminating milk, egg and/or fish compared with adolescents on normal diets.


In winter, vitamin D intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire in 20 food-allergic adolescents and 42 controls in the population-based Obstructive Lung Disease In Northern Sweden (OLIN) cohort studies. Vitamin D supplementation was queried. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [S-25(OH)D] and S-parathormone (S-PTH) levels were determined.


Mean (SD) dietary vitamin D intake was 7.9 (3.6) μg/day in allergic adolescents and 7.8 (3.4) in controls (p > 0.05). Mean (SD) S-25(OH)D levels in supplement consumers were 44 (18) nmol/L compared with 35 (10) in non-consumers (p = 0.03). S-25(OH)D and S-PTH levels were similar in food-allergic adolescents and controls (p > 0.05). Eighty-two percentage had deficient S-25(OH)D levels <50 nmol/L, and none reached levels >75 nmol/L.


Vitamin D deficiency was as common in food-allergic adolescents as in controls although the vitamin D intake met national recommendations. Large-scale studies on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in this region are needed.