Shropshire Health Bosses Shed Light on Vitamin D

1 November 2019 1:24pm

Health professionals at Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are shedding light on taking vitamin D supplements this winter now the dark nights are drawing in.

Vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb calcium and other minerals which are essential for healthy bones, muscles and teeth.

A top tips guide has been launched across practices and pharmacies in the county to offer patients all the information they need about vitamin D, including what it does, where you can buy vitamin supplements, and how much you should take.

With the shorter days now here, the advice is to maintain vitamin D levels via dietary supplements which are readily available, at low cost, from most pharmacies, supermarkets and health food shops. No appointments necessary.

Public Health England also advises that everyone (both adults and children above five years) should take vitamin D supplements during the autumn and winter months. Children aged one to four years should have a daily 10 microgram vitamin D supplement all year round.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “Our bodies create vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when we are outdoors.

“However, in the autumn and winter months we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, so we rely on getting it from a small amount of food sources or dietary supplements. Vitamin D supplements are readily available from pharmacists and shops, so you do not need to visit your GP.”

Last year Shropshire CCG spent approximately £110,000 prescribing vitamin D which could have been bought from a supermarket or pharmacy. It also costs the NHS over £17 to supply three months of vitamin D supplements, however the cost over-the-counter is approximately £4.

For further information and advice on vitamin D supplements and self care, pop into your nearest pharmacy or visit: www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk/health-advice/self-care/vitamin-d/