Vitamin D

Are you getting enough? Report recommends 10 micrograms (μg) a day...

Scientific Committee on Nutrition (SACN) report

Vitamin D has been high up the news agenda recently, following the publication of the Scientific Committee on Nutrition (SACN) report this July. The report was welcomed by The Charity and we also highlighted the need for urgent debate on the best way for people to get more of the vital vitamin D they need in their diets to build strong bones. 

Study recomends everyone over 1 year of age should get 10 micrograms (sometimes described as 10 μg) of vitamin D every day. 10 micrograms (μg) is equal to 400 International Units(IU)

The charity is currently working with parliamentarians, experts and stakeholders to debate how the recommendations can be implemented in the UK and will be holding a meeting to examine the roles of sunlight, further food fortification and wide-scale use of supplements.

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Vitamin D

You need vitamin D to help regulate the way your body uses calcium and ensure your bones, muscles and teeth remain strong. For healthy adults in the UK, much of the vitamin D you get is obtained by the action of sunlight on your skin. The sun’s ultraviolet light makes a relatively inactive form of vitamin D (cholecalciferol/vitamin D3) in your skin. This is carried by your blood to organs in your body that convert this into an active form of vitamin D that your body can use.

How can I get the vitamin D that I need?

There are three ways you can get vitamin D:

  • from sensible sunlight exposure
  • from food and drink containing vitamin D, either naturally or fortified
  • from vitamin D supplements

Sunlight

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Food & Drink

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Supplements

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Can I get too much vitamin D?
High intakes of vitamin D for prolonged periods can be toxic so it is important that dietary supplements do not provide more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D daily, unless prescribed for a specific reason by your doctor. (The upper limit is 50 micrograms a day for children from 1-10years and 25 micrograms for babies under a year.) If you are taking a number of different vitamin and mineral supplements you will need to check to make sure you are aren’t taking more than the recommended dose. Generally foods and fortified foods (with fortification at its current levels) provide small amounts of vitamin D which are very unlikely to cause you any problems

For more information see our fact sheet ‘Vitamin D supplements and tests’ (available soon)