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Why do we need vitamin D?

imagesVitamin D is essential for healthy bones. In the UK we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure from around late March/early April to the end of September.


We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet.

These minerals are important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

A lack of vitamin D, known as vitamin D deficiency, can cause bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities.

In children, for example, a lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets . In adults, it can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness.

Good sources of vitamin D:-


From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.

The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.

But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.

Sources include:

  • oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel

  • red meat

  • liver

  • egg yolks

  • fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals

Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.


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