Vitamin & Mineral guide

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is different from most other vitamins because our bodies can make most of what we need with exposure to sunlight.


Contributes to the maintenance of normal bone and teeth.

Contributes to normal absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus and the maintenance of normal blood calcium concentrations.


  • Oily fish – such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and mackerel
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods such as spreads and some breakfast cereals.


During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun isn’t strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.

But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing vitamin D during the autumn and winter.

Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can get all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet. You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.

People at risk of vitamin D deficiency

Some people won’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.

The Department of Health recommends that you take a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D throughout the year if you:

  • aren’t often outdoors – for example, if you’re frail or housebound
  • are in an institution like a care home
  • usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors

If you’re from a minority ethnic group with dark skin, such as African, African-Caribbean or south Asian, you may also not get enough vitamin D from sunlight. You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D throughout the year.

Visit the NHS site for more information on vitamin D –

Source:  (Next review due 03/08/2023)


Products containing vitamin D

Viatmin D rich foods include

  • Egg yolks

  • Liver

  • Oily fish