This is some no-nonsense information about Vitamin D.

Look….not even any pictures.

I had lunch with the nutritionist Joy Skipper the other day and we had a very interesting chat about Vitamin D.  She mentioned that a report came out a few weeks ago stating that it wasn’t necessary to take supplements through the winter to improve bone health.

Possibly not.

UNLESS you are already deficient.  Which is a calamitous state of affairs for your bones, teeth and muscles.  At least 1 in 5 people in the UK will be deficient in Vitamin D.  Normally, vitamin D is made from sunlight – you need at least 20 minutes sun exposure without sunscreen to make it.  The sun is only strong enough to help us top up our supplies between April and September.  So during the winter months we should take a supplement.

“But look at the summer, we’ve just had…surely I needn’t bother”

Yes. Bother.

Or better still, find out if you are deficient by trotting along to your GP and asking for a free test or sort it out yourself with an online test HERE

Joy, who has much experience in helping people compile their own supplement profile, says this:

  1. The recommended intake of Vitamin D for various ages is this.  It’s given in international units.   400iu (0-12 months), 600iu (1-70 years), 800iu (70 years plus).
  2. However, if you are already deficient (and the chances are you will be if you haven’t been taking a supplement or you plaster yourself in sun screen throughout the summer), then you need to restore your levels by take 1500-2000iu per day in the winter months, so September to March.
  3. The recent rise in rickets may be due to the overuse of sunscreen, so test your children too.
  4. It’s important that the Vitamin D supplement you buy is D3, which is much more easily absorbed than D2, so pay a little more and check the label.

Joy checked two brands:

Tesco Vitamin D 12.5mcg (500iu) £3.00 – but no idea if this is D2 or D3 ?

Solgar D3 25 mcg (1000iu) £7.99 – double the strength and also it was definitely D3

The amount you should take depends on how deficient you are.  So taking a test should be something we do at the beginning of Autumn.  There are many things we should do, to take care of our health, but we don’t.  However, I am definitely putting this on my to-do list.

I, for one, do not want to be breaking limbs and joints or watching my teeth crumble.  Perish the thought.


The online Vitamin D test is HERE.

Joy Skipper is a nutritionist (and fabulous cook) and she is the author of many books on both food and nutrition.  She offers personal consultations on nutrition and supplementation and can be contacted  at 

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