Vitamin D deficiency / insufficiency

Vitamin D is important for healthy growth of bones, teeth and muscle. It helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. Insufficient vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children and bone pain caused by osteomalacia in adults.

People with insufficient exposure to light and darker skin are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Others at greater risk include those with nutritional deficiency, certain comorbidities eg malabsorption syndrome and certain drugs eg corticosteroids. 

Current advice from Public Health England is that all adults should take a Vitamin D supplement. See BBC News

This is because you may not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight if you’re indoors most of the day.

There have been some news reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus. However, there is no evidence that this is the case.

You can buy vitamin D supplements at most pharmacies and supermarkets. Do not buy more than you need.

To prevent vitamin D deficiency, all adults in the UK should take either 

a daily supplement containing 800-2000 international units of vitamin throughout the year including the winter months. Adults should not have more than 100 micrograms a day and if they are going to take supplements the recommended amount is 10 micrograms a day or 

20,000-25,000 units once to three times a month. 

Please check with your pharmacist if you are unsure. (Advice taken from Adult Greater Manchester Medicines Management guidelines) You can also read the paediatric Greater Manchester Management guidelines too.

For further information please see

Learn more about Vitamin D deficiency from here

Clinical Knowledge Summaries