Vitamin D for bones

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, so is vital for healthy bones.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommend that everyone over one year of age should get 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day.

The best source of vitamin D is direct sunlight, which is used by our bodies during the summer months to manufacture the vital vitamin in our skin. We can also get vitamin D by eating certain foods; some foods have naturally-occurring vitamin D, whilst others have been fortified (had the vitamin added during manufacture).

From April to September, we should all aim to get ten minutes of sun exposure on bare skin – that’s without sunscreen - once or twice a day.

From October to March, sunlight in the UK doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to make vitamin D. During these months, we rely on getting our vitamin D from food sources and supplements.

To ensure they get enough vitamin D, it is recommended that babies and children aged under five years should be given vitamin D supplements all the year round, even if they do get out in the sun. Older and frailer people may also benefit from a supplement.

Find out more about vitamin D supplements by downloading our factsheet.

Vitamin D supplements

Food sources of vitamin D