Calcium + vitamin D
Vitamin D is the perfect partner to calcium as this vitamin helps the body to absorb the calcium from foods.
We make vitamin D in our body when skin is exposed to sunlight. But in the UK, this only happens between April and September when the sun’s rays are the right strength to do this. Between October and March our bodies can’t make enough vitamin D from sunlight so we need to rely on getting it from our diet.
However, only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D. The richest sources available are oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring and sardines, liver and eggs. Some mushrooms may also be enriched with vitamin D. Other foods such as breakfast cereals, bread and yogurts may be fortified with vitamin D, too – but make sure you check the label.
Because only a few foods supply vitamin D, it’s difficult for most people to get enough from their diet alone, so the NHS advises all adults and children over the age of one to consider taking a supplement containing 10mcg vitamin D every day, especially during the Autumn and Winter. The NHS also gives specific advice on vitamin D for babies, based on whether they are being formula fed or breastfed, and recommends a daily 10mcg supplement of vitamin D all year round for some people because they may not be able to make enough from sunlight even in the Spring and Summer. These include…
- People with darker skin
- People who cover their skin even when outside in sunlight
- People who spend a lot of time indoors, for example, those who are housebound or in a care home