MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health
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Researchers working on Vitamin D
Leading a genetic research consortium
D-CarDia is a large-scale collaboration of over 20 epidemiological studies from around the world. The collaboration aims to establish the causal role of vitamin D on
cardiovascular disease and related traits using genetic proxy markers.
Traditionally vitamin D was considered essential for healthy bones and teeth, but we now know that vitamin D also affects many other aspects of health.
One of the questions our research has tried to answer is whether the general population in the UK is getting enough vitamin D, and what factors affect whether they are. In particular we have investigated, and continue to research:
- how do differences in our lifestyle or genetic makeup affect the risk of vitamin D deficiency
- what is the importance of vitamin D in pregnancy and early life, and how does that affect health in the longer-term
- how a lack of vitamin D is linked to health and well-being later on in life
This research has highlighted the need for infants and pregnant women to take vitamin D supplements to make sure they are getting enough of this essential vitamin. But our research also indicates that the majority of the UK adult population is deficient in vitamin D, especially during the winter and spring. Fully understanding the health implications of vitamin D deficiency and what causes it could contribute to decreasing the burden on the UK's health services in the long-term.
A great deal of our research in this area has been done using data collected through the 1958 Birth Cohort and the 1966 Northern Finland Birth Cohort. More recent research on this topic is investigating the influence of genetic make-up on vitamin D status and requirement, and how this in turn affects our health and well-being in the longer term. This research is being done through a number of large genetic research consortia.
Current and recent research
- Vitamin D and the risk of cardiovascular disease (D-CarDia)
- Genome-wide association and vitamin D
- Food fortification: Vitamin D2 versus Vitamin D3
Page last modified on 14 nov 12 14:44