Why do I need it?
Vitamin D is needed to support our bone, teeth and muscle health, as well as supporting the function of our immune system. Not having enough Vitamin D can increase the risk of osteomalacia (soft bones) in adults.
How much do adults need?
10micrograms a day.
Where can I find it?
Vitamin D is the only nutrient where our main sourcedoesn’t come from food, as our bodies make Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.
You can find Vitamin D in some food sources such as egg yolks, oily fish, liver, red meat and foods fortified with Vitamin D however, it is hard to reach our daily requirements though food alone (see ‘Do I need supplement?’).
Do I need a supplement?
During the winter months, the sunlight isn’t strong enough for our bodies to create Vitamin D
(even on sunny days!), therefore it is advised between October and March all adults take a daily
A good tip to remember if you need to take a Vitamin D supplement is to look at your shadow.
If your shadow is longer than you, it is time to start taking a 10microgram Vitamin D supplement.
If you are vegan check the supplement is suitable as many Vitamin D supplements contain Vitamin D3, which sometimes is derived from animals. Vitamin D3 from lichen is suitable for vegans as well as Vitamin D2.
It is advised that you take a 10microgram vitamin D supplement all year-round if:
• You are not often outdoors
• You are in an institution like a care home
• You usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors
• You have dark skin, for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background