Vitamin D supplements
When medications are available to readily purchase, the local NHS encourages patients to self-care with these items; this includes items such as paracetamol and hay fever medications.
Like other vitamin supplements, GP practices will no longer routinely prescribe vitamin D supplements unless patients are at high risk of deficiency. Patients currently receiving vitamin D supplements on prescription will be reviewed with a view to stopping this routine provision on the NHS. Those at high risk of deficiency will continue to receive prescriptions.
You can buy vitamin D supplements from your local Pharmacy, supermarkets and health food shops – Look for 400 to 1000 units (10-25 micrograms) daily.
You can find vitamin D in food, such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, cod liver oil, some fortified foods such as margarine spreads, fortified milks & yoghurts, some breakfast cereals and some mushrooms.
You can also absorb vitamin D straight from the sun. National guidance states that regular exposure to areas such as forearms and hands, ideally daily, for around 10-15 minutes between 11am to 3pm from late March to the end of September, in the UK is adequate for most people. This should be less than the time it takes for skin to redden or burn. Sunbeds are not a recommended source of vitamin D. It is important to avoid sun burn as prolonged exposure leading to burning or dark tanning is not a safe way to gain vitamin D and increases risk of skin cancer.
Please speak to your GP if you feel you are experiencing symptoms of vitamin deficiency.