Most Nutritionist would always advise a food first approach before supplements, however there is one exception to this rule and that is Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is needed for bone, teeth and muscle health and it supports the functioning of the immune system.
The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight as our body is able to make Vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays from the sun. However, during the winter months, the sunlight isn’t strong enough for our bodies to make it (yes, even on sunny days).
There are foods which contain Vitamin D like oily fish, egg yolks, liver and foods fortified with Vitamin D but it’s hard for us to meet our daily requirement through food alone.
That’s why it’s advised during the winter months (October to March) to take a daily 10microgram Vitamin D supplement. An easy way to remember that you need to start taking a supplement is to look at your shadow; if your shadow is longer than you are it’s time to start taking it!
Most Vitamin D supplements contain Vitamin D3 which is often derived from animals. If you don’t eat animal products choose a supplement that contains D3 from lichen or D2.
There are some people that are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, so it is recommended they take a Vitamin D supplement all year round. This includes those that are not often outdoors, are in an institution like a care home, usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors or those that have dark skin.
There are also different recommendations for children under the age of 4. For more into visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/