Why is Vitamin D important for your health?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. It is necessary to form strong bones and teeth. Recent research points to evidence that Vitamin D may well play a broader role in our health, by protecting us from chronic diseases like heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
What are the best ways of sourcing vitamin D?
Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, but these are limited to generally oils and cereals.
The main source is sunlight, or the ultra violet uv B rays that get absorbed through the skin to form the vitamin. Unfortunately we only produce vitamin D from April to October, as the sun’s rays aren’t of the appropriate wavelength over the winter months.
It seems too that we don’t store sufficient vitamin D during the winter, so insufficiency and deficiency can be common. That is why a vitamin D supplement is often necessary to provide enough of this nutrient.
What can I do, or who can I talk if I am worried?
The government issued a letter in February 2012 recommending that all children aged six months to five years should be given a daily supplement.
Infants who drink 500mls formula milk daily do not require extra supplementation, as they will obtain it through their milk.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also take a daily vitamin D tablet.
Speak to your local pharmacist, GP or Health Visitor, who will be able to advise you about supplements and where you can obtain them.
The Health Centres operate the Healthy Start scheme in Camden, and there may be further distribution in the future through Children’s Centres.
Public Health Strategist - Children and young people