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Public Health of England Vitamin D supplements 'advised for everyone'

Rarely a month goes by without the papers reporting at least one health news story related to vitamin D. In recent weeks the media has reported that vitamin D can help relieve the symptoms of asthma and lower blood pressure.

There have been long-standing claims that vitamin D brings a wide range of benefits, from preventing cancer risk to improving mental health, or even reducing your risk of getting multiple sclerosis.
foods rich in vitmain D , naturally that can is not affordable on every house holds shopping list 

alternatives are supplements made artificially and affordable  

What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a group of related molecules that the body needs to help absorb calcium and phosphate. These are substances that help keep the bones healthy and strong.

Vitamin D is somewhat unusual in that we obtain it from two difference sources:
dietary sources

How much sun is needed to get enough vitamin D?

Types of vitamin D

There are two main types of vitamin D:
  • vitamin D2 – which is made by plants
  • vitamin D3 – which is produced when skin is exposure to the sun
Foods can be fortified with both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.

When the skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B contained in sunlight, it generates the production of vitamin D. Most people generate the majority of the vitamin D in their body from sunlight.

Ultraviolet B does not penetrate glass so you will need to go outside to top up your vitamin D levels.

A 2010 consensus statement on vitamin D (PDF, 126.69kb), released by a combination of charities, recommended a "little and often" approach. It says regularly going out with sunscreen, between the months of April to October, for a few minutes in the middle of the day should provide enough exposure to create sufficient vitamin D.

NOW It's Official Research and Public Health of England a Government body supports recommendation of Vit D supplements as of today, from the report findings below

PHE is advising that 10 micrograms of vitamin D are needed daily to help keep healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

To protect bone and muscle health, everyone needs vitamin D equivalent to an average daily intake of 10 micrograms, Public Health England (PHE) advised the government today (Thursday 21 July 2016).

This advice is based on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) following its review of the evidence on vitamin D and health.

Vitamin D is made in the skin by the action of sunlight and this is the main source of vitamin D for most people. SACN could not say how much vitamin D is made in the skin through exposure to sunlight, so it is therefore recommending a daily dietary intake of 10 micrograms.

PHE advises that in spring and summer, the majority of the population get enough vitamin D through sunlight on the skin and a healthy, balanced diet. During autumn and winter, everyone will need to rely on dietary sources of vitamin D. 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 supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D in autumn and winter.

People whose skin has little or no exposure to the sun, like those in institutions such as care homes, or who always cover their skin when outside, risk vitamin D deficiency and need to take a supplement throughout the year. Ethnic minority groups with dark skin, from African, Afro-Caribbean and South Asian backgrounds, may not get enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer and therefore should consider taking a supplement all year round.

Bow legged occurs in children who have very poor exposure to vitamin D via dietary constraints or via environmental eg sunlight 

Children aged 1 to 4 years should have a daily 10 microgram vitamin D supplement. PHE recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age. As a precaution, all babies under 1 year should have a daily 8.5 to 10 microgram vitamin D supplement to ensure they get enough. Children who have more than 500ml of infant formula a day do not need any additional vitamin D as formula is already fortified.

Dr Louis Levy, Head of Nutrition Science at PHE, said:

A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer. However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it. And those who don’t get out in the sun or always cover their skin when they do, should take a vitamin D supplement throughout the year.

Vitamin D supplements are available free-of-charge for low-income families on the Healthy Start scheme.

Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, both needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. It is found naturally in a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks and in fortified food like breakfast cereals and fat spreads.
Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHEis an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Follow us on Twitter: @PHE_uk and
The latest data from the PHE National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008 to 2012) shows that 23% of adults aged 19 to 64 years, 21% of adults aged 65 years and above and 22% of children aged 11 to 18 years have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. This is not the same as having a deficiency, where you would be unwell, but rather means that you are at greater risk of developing a deficiency. If a person is deficient of vitamin D they will be clinically unwell and will need to be treated by a doctor.
PHE recommends against people using sunbeds because extreme short-term use could cause severe burning and long-term damage to the skin, with a possible increased risk of developing skin cancer.
Updated PHE advice is detailed on NHS choices.
SACN is a committee of independent experts that advises government on matters relating to diet, nutrition and health. Details of the committee, including working procedures and membership, are found at
SACN reviewed the evidence on vitamin D and health outcomes. In addition to musculoskeletal health, SACN reviewed the relationship between vitamin D and non-musculoskeletal health outcomes including cancer, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and heart disease but found insufficient evidence to draw any firm conclusions.

Public Health England press office
Telephone020 7654 8038
Out of hours020 8200 4400

Nordic Countries 

Nordic countries  reevaluated vitamin D recommendations a few years ago

“All the evidence that we have supports the idea that vitamin D concentrations have an inverse relationship to the occurrence of numerous diseases. It is known that breast cancer, intestinal cancer and MS are like this,” says Illari Paakari, Professor of Medical Science at Helsinki University.

Current guidelines recommend 300 IU for people aged 2 to 60 years, and 400 IU for those aged 60 and older. Paakari would like to see recommendations change to 400 IU for children up to the age of 10 years and 800 IU for people older than 10 years. He bases these recommendations on the belief that the suggested amounts would bring vitamin D blood levels up to a range where bone diseases would be prevented.

Paakkari believes current guidelines falsely mislead people into thinking they are taking sufficient amounts of vitamin D, while in fact the research shows that is not actually the case.

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