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Vitamin D

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Guidance for health professionals on Vitamin D.
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Advice on taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for infants and the early years.

UK health departments advise that certain groups of people are most at risk of vitamin D deficiency. It is recommended that these groups take daily supplements to ensure their bodies receive the amount of vitamin D that they need:

  • all pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially teenagers and young women, are particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency
  • young children under 5 years of age
  • all people who are not exposed to much sun, for example those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, who are housebound or confined indoors for long periods
  • people from ethnic minorities who have darker skin, because their bodies are not able to produce as much vitamin D. Clinical deficiency has been most reported among children of African-Caribbean and South Asian origin.

Women and children that are participating in the UK wide Healthy Start scheme can receive free supplements containing vitamin D. For more information visit the Healthy Start website (external link)