VITAMIN D & HEALTH
In July 2016, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommended that to protect bone and muscle health, everyone needs vitamin D equivalent to a daily intake of 10 micrograms.
Public Health England advises that in spring and summer, the majority of the population get enough vitamin D through sunlight and a healthy balanced diet. Since it is difficult for people to meet the 10 microgram recommendation from consuming foods naturally containing or fortified with vitamin D, people should consider taking a daily food supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D in autumn and winter.
For people whose skin has little or no exposure to the sun, such as older people in care homes, or those who always cover their skin when outside, there is a risk of vitamin D deficiency, and they need to take a food supplement throughout the year. Ethnic groups with dark skin may not get enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer, and therefore they should consider taking a food supplement all year round.
Children aged 1 to 4 years should have a daily 10 microgram vitamin D food supplement, and all babies under one year should have a daily 8.5 to 10 microgram vitamin D food supplement to ensure they get enough.
Vitamin D deficiency
The evidence for skeletal benefits is strong, especially for the reduction of risk of fractures and falls in older people. Vitamin D deficiency manifests itself as bone disease and is characterised by impaired bone mineralisation.