Vitamin D

Written by on 24 November 2020

PHA recommends Vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter

The Public Health Agency NI (PHA) is recommending that everyone takes vitamin D supplements during the winter months to help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Dr Hannah Dearie, Senior Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer at the PHA, said: “Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that everyone needs to stay healthy, and we get it from three main sources – sunlight, supplements and food. 

“During the summer months, from late March/early April to the end of September, our bodies can make most of the vitamin D we need from sunlight on our skin. However, during the winter months, with reduced daylight, most people need an additional supplement to get the required amount of vitamin D.

“This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was advised that we stay at home and as a result a lot of us spent more time indoors than we usually would have during the summer months, resulting in reduced vitamin D exposure. 

“Each year during the winter months, we advise that everyone should take a supplement of vitamin D each day to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy and this year as we continue to spend more time indoors it is important that we follow this advice.”

As well as from sunlight and supplements, our bodies get vitamin D from a healthy balanced diet that includes foods like oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, trout, kippers and sardines), eggs, meat and dairy products, along with foods that have been fortified with vitamin D such as breakfast cereal.

Who needs extra Vitamin D? 

Everyone from age 1 onwards should take a 10 microgram supplement of vitamin D every day at this time of the year.  Babies require a different amount – – all infants (breastfed and formula-fed) from birth to one year of age should take an 8.5-10 microgram supplement every day, unless they are drinking 500ml (1 pint) or more of infant formula each day.

“You can buy vitamin D supplements at your local community pharmacy and most supermarkets, but please only buy what you and your family need, to ensure the supply chain is maintained for everyone. Also, parents who have children under 4 years or those who are pregnant and on benefits or pregnant and under 18 are entitled to Healthy Start vouchers – visit for more information,” added Dr Dearie.

For more information on Vitamin D please visit the PHA website at

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