The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) previously considered the evidence on vitamin D and health in 2007. It concluded that there were insufficient data at that time to reconsider the Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for vitamin D set by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) in 1991. Since vitamin D is synthesised in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, COMA considered that dietary intakes of vitamin D were not necessary for most of the UK population (aged 4-64y). It was assumed that skin synthesis of vitamin D in the summer would be enough to cover requirements during the winter. Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNI) were therefore set only for groups considered at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
In 2010, SACN agreed to consider whether the DRVs for vitamin D intake were still appropriate in the context of public health advice to stay out of the sun and to wear sunscreen and because a substantial amount of new evidence had accumulated since its previous considerations.