Published March 3, 2017 at 10:59
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s health bosses are backing national guidance on vitamin D after official estimates suggested one in five adults and one in six children in England may have low levels.
A report commissioned by the Government last year suggests that everyone over the age of one needs to consume 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day through over-the-counter supplements in order to protect bone and muscle health.
Limited amounts of the vitamin are found in foods such as oily fish, eggs and fortified cereals but, for most people, the bulk of their vitamin D is made from the action of sunlight on skin.
However with sunlight scarce in the UK – especially over the winter months – this might not be achievable through diet alone.
Vitamin D’s main function is to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are vital for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
In extreme cases, low levels can lead to rickets in children – where the bones become soft and weak and misshapen as they continue to grow.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can cause bone pain and muscle aches.
And whilst it is possible to take too much Vitamin D, the recommendations are well below that limit. For information on taking vitamin supplements, or for any concerns about taking too much vitamin D, visit your local pharmacist. A list of pharmacies in Blackburn with Darwen is available here. Anyone with a chronic condition or taking medication should seek advice from their doctor.
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
This is new Government guidance based on evidence looked at over the last five years which suggests that we might not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight or through our diets. Vitamin D is vital in the maintenance of bone health and I would encourage people, parents and guardians to ensure everyone over the age of one takes supplements based on the recommended dose of 10 micrograms per day to reduce their risk of bone disease and fracture.