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Vitamin D supplements: Britons unaware of guidelines

We cannot make vitamin D from sun exposure during autumn and winter months, and the UK Government recommends that everyone should consider taking a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement from October to March. This is to make sure we get enough vitamin D to keep bones and muscles healthy.

However, the latest survey from British Nutrition Foundation reveals that awareness levels among people haven’t increased since 2021, when 49% people had cited being unaware about this recommendation.

The survey also found that while 28% people are fully aware of this recommendation, only 7% of all Brits admitted to actually taking them between October and March. 24% said they take Vitamin D supplements all year round.

This is slightly lower than 2021 when 8% had mentioned that they take Vitamin D supplements between October and March and 26% had mentioned taking it all year round.

The percentage of people taking vitamin D supplements all year round also seems to have reduced from 26% in 2021 to 24% in 2023.

Reasons cited for taking the supplements this year ranged from being advised by a healthcare professional (31%), to maintaining/improving general health (40%) and that they didn’t think they got enough vitamin D from their diet and sunlight (33%).

However, 44% people said they NEVER take vitamin D supplements. Worryingly, this statistic has increased, as it was 39% in 2021.

Reasons for avoiding intake included being unaware of its benefits (22%), preference to not take supplements (25%), lack of awareness around which supplement to take (13%) and affordability as they can be expensive (14%).

Commenting on the findings, Bridget Benelam, Nutrition Communications Manager, British Nutrition Foundation said, “The lack of awareness around the need for Vitamin D supplements at this time of year is concerning as Vitamin D is essential for keeping our bones and muscles healthy. While we can get some vitamin D from our diet, our main source is sunlight exposure on the skin. National surveys*** show that more than 1 in 10 of us have low levels of vitamin D in the blood so it is really important that we raise awareness of the need to consider supplements from October to March to maintain the levels we need for good health.”

 

Hippocratic Post
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