Are you getting enough of the sunshine vitamin?

Vitamin D occurs naturally in some foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolk.
Vitamin D occurs naturally in some foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolk.

Did you know that one in five of us are not getting enough vitamin D?

It’s officially the end of the summer, and with that comes lack of sunshine, and increased time spent indoors.

Unfortunately that poses an obstacle in ensuring we get enough Vitamin D.

Anyone aged one and over should be having a minimum daily intake of 10 micrograms of vitamin D and that if it is not possible to get this naturally, then supplements may be considered.

Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles because its unique ability to influence the amount of calcium in our bodies.

A Vitamin D deficiency may lead to more serious health conditions such as rickets, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

If you suspect you may have further health complications, you may need more than just Vitamin D supplements.

Talk to your GP about the treatments and repeat medication available.

While vitamin D occurs naturally in some foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolk, and specially-fortified foods, including breakfast cereals and fat spreads, the main source is sunlight.

People with dark skin, from African, African-Caribbean and South Asian backgrounds, may need to use the supplement year-round, as the pigment in darker skin doesn’t absorb sunlight particularly well.

Children aged one to four years should also have vitamin D supplements all year. They are particularly vulnerable as their bones are forming so it is especially important that they get the recommended amount.

The Vitamin D requirements are slightly lower for infants under a year old, being 8.5 -10 micrograms per day.

The exception to that is babies who are on formula milk, which already has added Vitamin D.

Vitamin D supplements are widely available from your local or online pharmacy and supermarkets.

However, if you are uncertain about whether or not you should be taking a supplement, speak to your GP or online doctor.

* Dr Alexandra Phelan is an NHS GP and online doctor with Pharmacy2u.co.uk