The Vitamin D deficiency – what you need to know

Research from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) shows that around one in five children and about one in six adults in the UK have a vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults. 

From late March to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. To help increase the amount of vitamin D you are consuming you could look at food sources such as: 

  • oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel)
  • red meat
  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals

Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure. It’s recommended that adults and children over the age of 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they:

  • are not often outdoors – for example, if they’re frail or housebound
  • usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
  • have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight

You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.

Symptoms to look out for when it comes to lack of vitamin D include: 

  • fatigue
  • bone pain
  • muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps
  • mood changes such as depression

If you are suffering with any of the symptoms above and would like to speak to an expert you can book the same or next-day GP appointment at Pall Mall with prices starting from £75. To book call 0161 394 0319 or enquire online

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