Vitamin D – New Guidelines

Home / News / Vitamin D – New Guidelines

Vitamin D – New Guidelines

Vitamin D helps the immune system to function normally. It also regulates the calcium and phosphate in the body, both needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin D is found naturally in a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks and in fortified food like breakfast cereals and fat spreads. It is also made in the skin by the action of sunlight and this is the main source of vitamin D for most people.

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition investigating the causes of vitamin D deficiency could not say how much vitamin D is made in the skin through exposure to sunlight, so it is therefore recommending a daily dietary intake of 10 micrograms. Following those recommendations, Public Health England (PHE) has published new advice, stating that 10 micrograms of vitamin D are needed daily to help maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles. This advice refers to intake from all dietary sources (natural food sources, fortified foods and supplements) but it does not take account of vitamin D due to sunlight exposure. PHE advises that during spring and summer (late March/early April to the end of September), a healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean that most people obtain all the vitamin D that they need. However, during autumn and winter, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D. PHE suggest following advice, appropriate to age and circumstances:

• A daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D should be considered for everyone over 4 years of age during autumn and winter.

• Due to limited dietary sources of vitamin D, anyone whose skin has little or no exposure to the sun (e.g. those in care homes and people who always cover their skin when outside) should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.

• Ethnic minority groups with dark skin, from African, Afro-Caribbean and South Asian backgrounds, may not obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer and therefore should consider taking a supplement all year round.

• It is particularly important for pregnant and breastfeeding women to maintain adequate stores of vitamin D. However, the new advice from PHE now includes this group with the rest of the adult population who may not wish to take a supplement during spring and summer.

• All children aged 1 to 4 years should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

• All babies aged under 1 year should have a daily supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

• Children who have more than 500ml of infant formula each day do not need any additional vitamin D as such infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D.

This advice is based on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) following its review of the evidence on vitamin D and health.

Featuring nutrients deficient in the average UK diet: Vitamin D, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium and Iron.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

Yyou can send us an email and we'll get back to you!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
magnesium