Vitamin D

Do I need to take a vitamin D supplement?

Adults and children over five:

Public Health England advises all adults and children over five years to consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg (400 units) of vitamin D daily, particularly during autumn and winter. (Take for longer if you are not getting outside during the coronavirus lockdown)

Infants and children under five:

Breastfed babies from birth to one year of age should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10mcg of vitamin D, to make sure they get enough.

Babies fed infant formula should not be given a vitamin D supplement until they are receiving less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, because infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.

Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D.

Take all year round if higher risk

People who have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency are advised to take a 10mcg (400 units) supplement all year round.

People at higher risk include:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Older people, aged 65 years and over
  • People who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example those who cover their skin for cultural reasons or who are housebound
  • People with darker skin, for example people of African, African-Caribbean or South Asian origin
  • Vegans and those who do not eat fish, or generally have a poor diet
  • People who are obese (BMI>30kg/m2) or have had a gastric bypass
  • People who have malabsorption syndromes or taking certain drugs (antiresorptives, anticonvulsants, rifampicin)
  • People who have a family history of vitamin D deficiency.