People should take Vitamin D during winter months, advises Sheffield academic

NHS vitamin D guidelines say that we should all consider taking vitamin D supplements along with our food, especially people of colour, during the winter months.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:03 pm

During the winter months it can get particularly tiring and gloomy for many of us and advice from Public Health England says we should consider taking Vitamin D supplements, along with our food, to help us in the winter due to the lack of sun.

A report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) showed that those that have little exposure to the sun and people with dark skin, African, African-Carribbean and those of South Asian background might not be getting enough Vitamin D and should consider taking supplements all year round.

Dr Bernard Corfe, Senior Lecturer in Oncology at the University of Sheffield, who was recently involved in a study on this topic said: "Vitamin D is produced in the skin through the action of sunlight, so people with higher melanin do let less UVB through and as a result tend to have lower levels of vitamin D all year round.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

The NHS advises people take Vitamin D supplements during the winter months
The NHS advises people take Vitamin D supplements during the winter months

“Government recommendations are that this group (people of colour, African and South Asian background) supplement with 10mcg a day throughout the year. Research ongoing at the University of Sheffield is investigating the benefits of vitamin D supplementation specifically in older South Asian women.”

NHS research shows that approximately one in five people are low in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat and egg yolks.