Vitamin D deficiency: what you need to know

What do you know about Vitamin D?

We get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight on our skin. The vitamin is made by our body under the skin, in reaction to summer sunlight. However, if you are out in the sun, take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you turn red or get burnt.

Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods. Good food sources are:

  • oily fish – such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • eggs
  • fortified fat spreads
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • some powdered milks

There are dangers of being Vitamin D deficient BUT also dangers of having too much – but how much is too much? Also…are some people more at risk of being deficient in Vitamin D than others?

This useful infographic below answers some of the important questions. Just click the image to enlarge it.


A new survey of over 1,000 women carried out by Mumsnet, the UK’s largest network for parents, on behalf of Internis Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Internis survey undertaken by Mumsnet of 1,036 mothers. June 2015), has revealed that mothers and mothers-to-be are in the dark about vitamin D and the dangers associated with vitamin D deficiency and overdosing. This worrying lack of awareness means that some mothers are unwittingly putting themselves and their children at risk of serious and long-term health problems.

Have you been given any guidance on Vitamin D? I certainly haven’t been, it is something I researched on my own. I normally think that i am quite savvy and in the know when it comes to things like this but a lot of the things written about Vitamin D are unclear.

Despite concerns from the UK’s Chief Medical Officers about the increasing prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its potential long-term impact on health, the survey found that almost 60% of mothers did not receive any guidance or information about vitamin D from any source either during or after their pregnancy.

What’s more, in the absence of any guidance, mothers appear to be taking matters into their own hands. Nearly 90% of mothers who gave their child under five a daily vitamin D supplement, sourced it without a prescription from their GP. In comparison to prescription only medicines, the under-regulated products have been shown to include variable content of vitamin D, with consistent inaccuracies in the stated dosing, not only between batches, but also between pills from the same pack. I have certainly bought supplements for my children, I wasn’t aware that these could be sourced on prescription…anyone else?

It seems from the Mumsnet survey results that I am not alone. I find this quite worrying as a mother and I feel that there is a real need for education and awareness around Vitamin D – this is fast becoming a significant public health concern.

What are your thoughts? Does this worry you? Do you feel clued up or left in the dark?

Let's Talk Mommy
Mums' Days

16 comments on 'Vitamin D deficiency: what you need to know'

  • I thought sunscreen stops you from getting the sunlight you need to make Vitamin D, or is that only sunblock? I generally only use sunscreen on the kids in the height of summer and when I know they may spend a longer time than normal outside e.g. sports day.

  • This is so interesting hon as I was recently diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency! I realised something was up because I was feeling really achy a lot like an old woman. I have since been taking supplements and feel a whole word better. Good to share this info x #sharewithme

  • Such an interesting post! I eat a lot of eggs and fish so I am hopefully all stocked up :) no need for supplements. Lots of sunshine today which helps. Thanks for sharing the cool infographic too! #Sharewithme

  • We walk to school each day so I like to think we get enough in this way alone but how much is too much? I wonder what the dangers of overdosing are.

    • I think that is the issue – how do we actually know if we are having too much or too little? The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood I think which can cause poor appetite, nausea and vomiting.

  • Interesting! The trouble is, we are told so much conflicting advice these days it seems anyway. I think we need a certain amount of vitamin D from the sun by just being outside for 15 minutes or so every day. I have suffered from breast cancer and take a daily supplement of vitamin D as I have been advised it will reduce my risk of it re occurring! Apparently, you are more likely to suffer the disease if your vitamin D level is low. I have no idea about vitamin D and pregnancy

  • Very interesting post! I wasn’t told I needed it while pregnant but my sister advised me to take it. But once Emma was born I was told by the health visitors that I needed to take it and that I needed to give supplements to Emma once I stopped breastfeeding.

  • I love learning something new everyday. I am soaking up the vitamin D here but when I get back its always good to know where else I can get it from. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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