Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. …read moreSee less
Sometimes referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, it’s created by your body from direct sunlight on your skin. The sun can be a rare sight here in the UK, so the NHS recommends that we should all be taking a supplement in the autumn and winter months, or all year round if you’re at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.
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In which food is vitamin D found?
There are lots of food that can provide you with vitamin D, including fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel; dairy products, soy milk, orange juice, and cereals.
However, it is very difficult to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D through your diet alone.
The NHS recommends people in the UK should take a 10 microgram supplement per day, but don’t exceed 100 micrograms (4,000 IU).
How much vitamin D should I take?
The NHS recommends that everyone over the age of 4 should take 10 microgram vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter.
This is because we usually get vitamin D from sunlight hitting our skin and when the lovely British weather kicks in in the colder months it can be harder for us to catch those rays.
Although you can get vitamin D from your diet, it’s not the easiest vitamin to get enough of, which is why daily supplements step in to help.
If you’re someone who isn’t exposed to a lot of sunlight in general, you can take a vitamin D supplement all year round to help keep your levels up.
Does my child need vitamin D?
All children need vitamin D, starting shortly after birth.
Not only does vitamin D help your child to build strong bones, but it can prevent them from developing bone conditions such as rickets, a condition that softens bones and can occur in growing children.
The age of your child matters when it comes to their vitamin D intake.
Speak to your doctor for advice on how much vitamin D you should be giving your child.
Who is more at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
Whilst we’re all at risk of having low vitamin D levels during the darker months in the UK, some people can be at risk all year round.
You should take a 10 microgram vitamin D supplement all year round if you spend a lot of time indoors (for example, if you’re frail or housebound), if you’re in an institution like a care home, or if you usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when you’re outdoors.
This also applies if you have dark skin - for example if you have an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background - as your skin might not make enough vitamin D from sunlight alone.