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ODIN [Food-based solutions for Optimal vitamin D Nutrition and health through the life cycle] is a four-year collaborative research project led by University College Cork, Ireland.  The main objective of the ODIN project is to provide the evidence base to prevent vitamin D deficiency and improve vitamin D-related health outcomes through food.

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Europe is high, particularly, but not exclusively, among those resident at high latitudes.  This has significant implications for healthy growth and development and successful aging for current and future generations.

But how much vitamin D do we need?  The recommended daily dose is still under discussion as we need to consider geographical location, age, gender and ethnicity to estimate correct individual doses.

Currently, these fundamental knowledge gaps are major barriers to developing and implementing a safe and effective public health strategy to prevent vitamin D deficiency and optimise status.  It is these knowledge gaps that the ODIN project aims to address.


The Outcomes of the ODIN Project Will Be:


  • The first European population distribution of serum 25(OH)D using standardised analytical data for 25(OH)D [Vitamin D Standardisation Program-ODIN] in 11 countries.
  • The first European population distribution of vitamin D intakes using standardised food composition data for vitamin D [EuroFIR-ODIN] and nationally representative dietary surveys.
  • Evidence-based risk-benefit analysis of UVB exposure across Europe.


Nutritional requirements for vitamin D

  • Dose-response data from randomised controlled trials to estimate dietary requirements for vitamin D in pregnant women, children, adolescents and ethnic adults.


Health and safety

  • Clarity on associations between vitamin D and health, including beneficial and adverse effects on perinatal outcomes, bone growth and body composition and atopic disease in children and cardiovascular disease and mortality in adults.  ODIN will conduct a series of meta-analyses and individual subject-level meta-regression analyses to integrate standardised data on 25(OH)D, a priori defined clinical endpoints and genotype in existing disease-specific prospective adult, pregnancy and birth cohort studies.
  • Comprehensive safety dossier, including prevalence of high serum 25(OH)D, intakes in excess of the tolerable upper intake levels (UL), adverse effects in cohort studies, risks of UVB exposure, adverse events in RCTs.


Food-based strategies to meet dietary requirements for deficiency prevention

  • Experimental data to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety profile of novel technologies and tailored food products to increase the vitamin D content of the food supply using dose-response feeding studies and a centralized analytical platform for vitamin D in food.
  • Projected serum 25(OH)D in the population following changes to the vitamin D content in food, accounting for diversity in diet and UVB across the European latitude.
  • Dose-response data from food-based randomised controlled trials in adults of European and South Asian origin of the 25(OH)D response to targeted vitamin D intakes in foods.


Who We Are

The ODIN consortium is comprised of 30 beneficiaries, including four SMEs and five industry partners from 18 different countries (this includes one non-European partner from the USA).

The beneficiaries of ODIN are: University College Cork (IE); Helsingin Ylipisto (FI); Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DK); University of Surrey (UK); Universitetet I Tromsoe (NR); Aarhus Universitetshospital (DK); Kobenhavns Universitet (DK); Medical Research Council (UK); University College Dublin (IE); University of Southampton (UK); Universitaetsklinikum Freiburg (DE); Harokopio University (GR); University of Manchester (UK); Stichting VU-VUMC (NL); Medizinische Universitat Graz (AT); Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (ES); Robert Koch-Institut (DE); Hjartavernd SES (IS); Institut Za Medicinska Istra Ivanja (RS); PAMIDA International, Ltd. (SK); European Food Information Resource AISBL (BE); Creme Software, Ltd. (IE); Sparos Lda (PT); Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station, Ltd. (IE); DSM Nutritional Products, Ltd. (CH); Monaghan Mushrooms Ireland (IE); Frieslandcampina Nederland Holding BV (NL); Nutricia Research BV (NL); United States Department of Health and Human Services (US); Lallemand SAS (FR).


The DMAT Study

The DMAT Study (Determination of the nutritional requirement for vitamin D during pregnancy and in the early neonatal period) is part of the ODIN project, is currently taking place in University College Cork, in collaboration with the INFANT Research Centre at Cork University Medical Hospital.. This is a four-arm, double-blind, randomised controlled trial that aims to determine the nutritional requirement for vitamin D during pregnancy, for the prevention of gestational and neonatal vitamin D deficiency. 



ODIN Coordinators

Professor Mairead Kiely and Professor Kevin Cashman

University College Cork

Western Road, Cork


Telephone: +353 (0)21 490 3394

E-mail: info@odin-vitd.eu



 EU flag

The ODIN project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613977



The Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort


The BASELINE (Babies after SCOPE: Evaluating Longitudinal Impact using Neurological and Nutritional Endpoints) is Ireland's first longitudinal prospective birth cohort study. Funded by the National Children's Research Centre, BASELINE follows the children of the maternal SCOPE (Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints) study from birth to age five years. This is a collaborative study between the Departments of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Food and Nutritional Sciences, UCC, and the Department of Dermatology, Trinity College Dublin. BASELINE was initially conducted with a main intention of addressing three important research questions: the effects of poor growth in the womb; the incidence and prevalence of food allergy and eczema in early childhood; and the effects of maternal and infant vitamin D status on the growth and health of Irish children. Children have been seen at 2, 6, 12 and 24 months of age where aspects of diet, health, growth and development have been assessed. Appointments at 5 years of age are now being conducted, with a strong focus on muscle strength and body composition. 

For more information, please visit the BASELINE website.


EnhanceDDept. Agri

The EnhanceD study is sponsored by the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food under its Food Institutional Research Measure to examine the effect of consuming Irish eggs with enhanced levels of vitamin D3 or 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 on wintertime vitamin D status in adults. Such products are referred to as vitamin D biofortified foods which arise by using additional vitamin D in the animal feedstuffs and thus improving their vitamin D status. In all, 75 volunteers (aged 45-70 years) took part in the study (January- March, 2015) which was been approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Cork Teaching Hospitals.

The main aim of this vitamin D study is to investigate if consumption of eggs, bio-fortified with vitamin D is an effective food-based strategy for improving wintertime vitamin D status in Irish adults.


Cardio-RUBUS     Cardio-rubus

The Cardio-Rubus project is currently investigating the beneficial effects of blackberry (Rubus) polyphenols on cardiovascular and metabolic health. This project is coordinated by the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research here at University College Cork (UCC) with Teagasc Food Research Centre Ashtown as its project partner, and is funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. A polyphenol-enriched blackberry beverage was developed and characterised as part of this project, which is currently being used in the Cardio-Rubus dietary intervention study which is investigating the effects of blackberry-derived polyphenols on blood pressure and biomarkers of cardiovascular risk in 100 adults aged 45-70years. This Cardio-Rubus dietary study commenced in early 2015 at the Human Nutrition Studies Unit at UCC and is currenlty ongoing. If successful, the Cardio-Rubus project will open up a substantial market opportunity to develop novel functional foods with proven health benefits using one of Ireland’s most treasured native fruits.

INFANT Research Centre

Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork