Veggie option puts you at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency

New research has shown that people in the UK who do not eat meat or fish have a lower intake of vitamin D which could have an adverse effect on health. This is known to be a public health concern as vitamin D deficiency is increasing.

In the study, meat eaters had the highest dietary intake of vitamin D (3.1 ug/d), followed by fish eaters but vegans had less than quarter that of the meat eaters (0.7ug/d). 

The cross-sectional analysis used in this study measured the plasma 25(OH)D concentrations of 2,107 men and women, aged 20-76  years.

The results, published in Public Health Nutrition, revealed that not only do meat eaters have the highest intake of vitamin D but they also had the highest dietary intake of calcium.

Dr Margaret Ashwell OBE, former advisor to the Foods Standards Agency Micronutrients programme, commented: “This study adds to the growing body of evidence showing the significance of vitamin D from the food we eat, even though we know that sunshine is the major way in which we get the vitamin D that our bodies need.  It also gives another example of the important role that red meat can play in providing micronutrients that are key to maintaining health.”

Meat plays an important role in a healthy balanced diet as it is a major source of protein. Meat contains a variety of essential nutrients, including iron and zinc. Red meat is vital for our diets as it is a great source of B vitamins, including B12, which is not found naturally in foods of plant origin.


Crowe, F L, Steur M, Allen N E, Appleby P N, Travis R C, Key T J. Plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans: results from the EPIC-Oxford study. Public Health Nutrition. First published online 21 September 2010.