St. James’s MISA and Avonmore Super Milk partner to explore nation’s Vitamin D levels and bone health
We don’t get enough sunshine in Ireland; the farmer in the meadow, the householder at the washing line, the family at the beach, as well as scientists and health experts, all find themselves in agreement on this. Sunlight is not just a feel-good-factor, it is a primary source of Vitamin D, essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because our bodies can make it from the sun. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is fundamental to build and maintaining bone health throughout life. In Ireland we have to find other dietary sources of Vitamin D including fortified foods such as Avonmore Super Milk.
However, there is a constant need to explore how we can do these things better. To this end Avonmore Supermilk has partnered with Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin to investigate the Irish population’s Vitamin D levels and bone health.
A team from MISA is analysing approximately 10,000 blood samples from people of all ages to further understand Ireland’s Vitamin D levels. The results will be used to create better awareness around the importance of Vitamin D and to encourage the nation to invest in its bone health for healthier aging.
The partnership brings together MISA and Avonmore Super Milk’s shared goal of promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the consumption of Vitamin D.
Fortified milk ‘very effective.’
Prof. J. Bernard Walsh, Clinical Professor at TCD and Director of Bone Health and Osteoporosis Unit at MISA, described the study as an important piece of research, building on 30 years of collaboration between MISA and Avonmore, since Super Milk was originally launched. “Our past research clearly showed that Vitamin D fortified milk was very effective in raising Vitamin D levels and we look forward to sharing the results of our new research in due course,” he said.
Helena Scully, Mercer’s Glanbia Bone Research Fellow at MISA, said: “The study will focus on identifying the factors that contribute to the very low Vitamin D levels that we see in a significant number of patients of all ages.”
Eoin Doyle, Head of Consumer Marketing, added: “Since its introduction to the market, Avonmore Super Milk has been at the forefront of promoting bone health and Vitamin D consumption for the Irish population. We are proud to be partnering with MISA on this substantial body of research and look forward to gaining a greater insight into the current status of Vitamin D levels and bone health in Ireland.”
Based in St James’ Hospital, Dublin MISA is a state-of-the-art-facility for integrated clinical services and a hub for world-leading research. It promotes coordinated patient care, coupled with far-reaching educational and training programmes, towards the ultimate aim of advancing conditions for successful ageing.
An Avonmore a day
The easiest way to ensure adequate Vitamin D levels is by actively consuming food and drinks that are a good source of Vitamin D, such as tuna and mackerel and foods fortified with vitamin D such as Avonmore Super Milk. A 250ml* glass of Avonmore Super Milk provides 100% of a person’s EU reference Vitamin D intake level of 5µg and is one of the simplest ways to help ensure adequate intake of the sunshine vitamin.
*5 ug EU reference intake
Photograph at top of page includes (from left): Professor J Bernard Walsh of TCD and St James Hospital Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing; Helena Scully of the Mercer's Institute in St James's; and Eoin Doyle, Director of Marketing, Glanbia Ireland.