What is it?

What is vitamin D?

For strong healthy bones

Vitamin D is a vitamin that is needed for good health. It helps calcium and phosphorous in our diet to be absorbed – these are needed to keep our bones healthy and strong.

For muscles and general health

Vitamin D is also thought to be important for muscles and general health.

Produced by sunlight exposure

Vitamin D is mostly made in the skin by exposure to sunlight – very little of our natural diet contains vitamin D, although some foods are fortified (enriched) with it.

What is vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency means you have a low level of vitamin D in your body. If your doctor suspects you are deficient in vitamin D, they may do a blood test as part of the diagnosis. The results of this test will show if you have vitamin D deficiency. Some people are more at risk of developing vitamin D deficiency than others. For example, people over 65, dark-skinned people, pregnant and breast feeding women are more at risk. If your doctor thinks that you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, they may decide to treat you to prevent this from happening.

Who is at risk?

There are a number of groups of people who are considered to be more at risk than others of developing vitamin D deficiency

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Vitamin D deficiency can be confirmed with a simple blood test

Boosting your vitamin D

There are a few ways you can help to boost your levels of vitamin D

Treatments

Your doctor may decide to prescribe a vitamin D medicine to prevent or treat your symptoms

What causes deficiency?

Learn more about what can cause vitamin D deficiency

Health risk

Some of the health risks associated with untreated vitamin D deficiency affect many parts of the body