People urged to take vitamin D supplements

People are being urged to consider taking a vitamin supplement in the winter months to ensure they get enough vitamin D.

In a raft of new guidance, Public Health England says that vitamin D is vital for bone and muscle health but that people are generally not getting enough from sunlight during the winter months.

It said everyone should ensure they are getting 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, and should consider a supplement, and breastfed babies and young children must be given a supplement to boost their intake.

Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D for most people, but the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition was unable to say how much sun is the “right amount”, owing to differences in how people’s bodies convert vitamin D.

The vitamin is also found naturally in a small number of foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks, and is added to some breakfast cereals and spreads. Some of the best sources are eggs (one whole poached egg contains 1.025mcg of vitamin D) and fish (one 112g fillet of mackerel contains 18mcg, an 85g fillet of cooked salmon contains 11.2mcg, and 85g of tinned, drained salmon contains 12.3mcg).


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