Vitamin D Advice

The following groups are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency:

  • All pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially teenagers and young women
  • Infants and young children under 5yrs of age.
  • Older people aged 65yrs and over.
  • People who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, who are housebound or confined to indoors for long periods.
  • People who have darker skin, for example people of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin, because their bodies are not able to make as much vitamin D.

All UK Health Departments recommend:

  • ALL pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, to ensure the mother’s requirements for vitamin D are met and to build adequate fetal stores for early infancy.
  • ALL infants and young children aged 6 months to 5yrs should take a daily supplement containing vitamin D in the form of vitamin drops, to help them meet the requirement set for this age group of 7 – 8.5 micrograms of vitamin D per day. However, those infants who are fed infant formula will not need vitamin drops unless they are receiving less than 500ml of infant formula a day, as these products are fortified with vitamin D. Breastfed infants may need to receive drops containing vitamin D from 1 month of age if their mother has not taken vitamin D supplements throughout pregnancy.
  • People aged 65yrs and over and people not exposed to much sun should also take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

Women and children from families who are eligible for the Government’s Healthy Start scheme can get free vitamin supplements which contain vitamin D in the form of tablets for women and drops for children.