How much Vitamin D do we really need?

Official estimates suggest one in five adults and one in six children in England may have low levels of vitamin D3.

For most people, the bulk of their required vitamin D3 is made from the action of sunlight on their skin (which contains ultraviolet B radiation). During and after the European summer, levels of vitamin Din the blood are a bit higher and sometimes scientifically ‘normal’. A healthy, balanced diet is always recommended and with exposure to summer sunshine, many people may get enough vitamin D which lasts a few months in the blood.

However, during autumn and winter, sunlight is in short supply, particularly in the northern European countries. So how much vitamin D do we really need?

Some other groups of people are also at risk of vitamin D deficiency need extra help with reaching those vitamin D targets because there are several factors (such as people from ethnic minority groups with dark skin, elderly people in care homes and those who wear clothing that cover most the skin) which effect conversion of sunlight to vitamin D.

Unfortunately having more sunshine until you burn is not a safe option of getting more vitamin D made in the body.  You must wear at least factor 15 SPF in the UK.

Over the past few months nutrition and medical experts have written a new report on vitamin D supplements

The report says:

  • Everyone over the age of four should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day, particularly in Autumn and Winter.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women and at-risk groups should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day all year round
  • Children between the age of one and four should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D supplements every day, all year round
  • All babies from birth up to one year of age should take 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day (particularly those being breastfed)

This new advice applies to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have updated their guidance in line with the new recommendations for people aged over six months only.

In addition of course, limited amounts of the vitamin are found in foods such as oily fish, liver, eggs, milk, fortified cereals and fat spreads with added vitamin D. Unfortunately however, it would be near impossible for us to obtain 10 micrograms of vitamin D through diet without supplementation.

Why do we need vitamin D?

As well as the vital roles in bones, teeth and mental health, there are links to certain common and sometimes serious bowel and breast conditions.

ProfBiotics Bowel and Breast contain vitamin D3 as we recognise its role in the wellbeing of these tissues. A 2 capsule daily dose contains 25 micrograms.

Visit to learn more.