Free vitamin D scheme

How we get vitamin D

The best source of vitamin D is sunlight on your skin. However the sun in the UK is only strong enough between April and September.

The amount of time you need in the sun to make enough vitamin D is different for every person and depends on things such as skin type, the time of day and the time of year. Going out in the sun for around 15 minutes without sunscreen three to four times a week in the summer sun is a good way to keep vitamin D levels topped up. After this period it's important to apply sunscreen as usual and carefully avoid sunburn.

You are particular risk of vitamin D deficiency if you:

  • are of Asian, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin
  • cover up your skin for cultural reasons
  • are confined indoors
  • are overweight

It's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, no matter how healthy your diet is. However, vitamin D is found naturally in small amounts in some foods such as oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon and trout. There's also a small amount of vitamin D in eggs and fortified foods (with added vitamin D) such as some breakfast cereals.

Pregnant women, new mums and children under four need extra vitamin D for healthy bones from vitamin D supplements.

If you're pregnant or have children under four you can register for your free vitamins at most community pharmacies across the borough. When you register you'll receive a Free D card. 

Page last updated: 07 May 2021

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