Henkilökohtainen profiili

Tutkimuksen ja opetuksen kuvaus

Position: Professor h.c. , University lecturer (retired)

[2010(2007) -2013 Professor, Head of Department]


The research projects in the Calcium Research Unit focus mainly nutrition and bone health. We have been using different protocols spanning from epidemiological studies to experimental studies in humans, animals and cell lines and a number of different methods.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem.  It is well known that vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in children, which is characterized by defective mineralization of the skeleton. The corresponding condition in adults is called osteomalacia. Vitamin D insufficiency has also been related to osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency seems to correlate with a many other health outcomes, but the evidence is circumstantial.  However, there is much biological and physiological evidence for roles of the active vitamin D metabolite in many biological systems. Below are short descriptions of our ongoing projects and some older ones.

The EU-financed ODIN- project (Food-based solutions to  Food-based solutions for optimal vitamin D nutrition and health through the life cycle,  Project No.: FP7-613977-ODIN) 
started late in 2013( www.odin.eu).  The total budget is about 8 million euros, of which our budget is over 500 000 euros. The number of partners is about 35. ODIN is a four-year collaborative project aimed at preventing vitamin D deficiency in European citizens. The scientific contribution of ODIN is to bring high quality research approaches to the area of public health. The major challenge of the project is to clarify the optimal way of eradicating vitamin D deficiency in Europe with novel foods obtained via innovative fortification processes. One task of the ODIN project is to create a 25OHD (25-hydroxyvitamin D) , the marker of vitamin D deficiency,  unified analytical platform and a Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP).  Thus, meta-analyses and individual subject-level meta-regression analyses to integrate standardized data on vitamin D status will be conducted. Our group is responsible for one work package, two intervention studies and the Finnish part of the integrated data on vitamin D status. In 2014 we performed an intervention study with vitamin D fortified yeast in bread and in the end of 2014 and 6-month vitamin D intervention in ethnic groups was started.

We are currently involved in the Maamu-cohort (immigrant health study) at THL, including about 3000 subjects of different ethnic groups,  as regards vitamin D status and vitamin D  intake. We have earlier studied vitamin D status in some ethnic groups in Finland, and found that the vitamin D status, as indicated by serum25OHD,  is very low in Somalis and Bangladeshi women.

Vitamin D status has been low in ethnic Finns in Finland, as we and others have shown earlier, but fortification of fluid milk products and of spreads since 2010 has increased the vitamin D intake in Finland substantially according to the latest Finrisk report. We are currently responsible for analyzing the vitamin D status in the THL administered Health 2011 cohort  and to compare  it to the situation in the year 2000( Health 2000).

We are currently studying some SNPs related to genes involved in vitamin D metabolism e.g. the vitamin D transporting protein (Gc-protein).

Furthermore we have recently studied the association between maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy and the effect on the bone quality in newborns and at the age of 1yr in collaboration with researchers at the Hospital for Children and Adolescents.  We are also collaborating with e.g. the UKK-institute (DEX-project) and the Pori Health project in the elderly.

Dietary phosphorus intake and health outcomes

Dietary phosphate intake is high in industrial countries. Phosphate-containing food additives are used commonly in food industry, increasing the phosphate load. Some earlier studies in healthy humans have indicated that a low calcium/ high phosphate intake could be deleterious to bone. We have shown in human acute studies and animal long term studies( in our large Luufos-project) that a high phosphate intake, especially food additive intake, has deleterious effects on bone and bone markers in  a dose-dependent manner. We started, in 2009, a population based study, PHOMI, involving 800 subjects, on the association among phosphorus intake, bone health and vascular mineralization and the data analyses are still ongoing. We have, however, recently shown an association between a high phosphorus food additive intake and increased carotid aterial intima media thickness indicating an increased risk for atherosclerosis.

Principal investigator : Christel Lamberg-Allardt





In Finnish:

RAV 133 Clinical nutrition

RAV214 Laboratory Assessment of Nutritional Status

RAV 215 Experimental nutrition


In English:

RAV080 Nutritional Science (included in the MSc. Food Science Master Programme)


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