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Everything you need to know about Vitamin D!

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

10microgram supplement.

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

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