Recommendations

Recommendations

1.1 Encourage people to follow UK government advice on taking a vitamin D supplement to maintain bone and muscle health. The advice is that:

  • Adults (including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding), young people and children over 4 years should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (400 units; also called international units [IU]) of vitamin D between October and early March because people do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight in these months.

  • Adults, young people and children over 4 years should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (400 units) of vitamin D throughout the year:

    • if they have little or no sunshine exposure including because they:

      • are not often outdoors, for example, if they are frail, housebound or living in a care home

      • usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors

      • are spending most of their time indoors because of the COVID‑19 pandemic

    • if they have dark skin, for example, if they are of African, African-Caribbean or south Asian family origin, because they may not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.

  • Babies from birth to 1 year should have a daily supplement containing 8.5 micrograms (340 units) to 10 micrograms (400 units) of vitamin D throughout the year if they are:

    • breastfed

    • formula-fed and are having less than 500 ml of infant formula a day (because infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D).

  • Children aged 1 year to 4 years should have a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (400 units) of vitamin D throughout the year.

  • Some people have a medical condition that means they cannot take vitamin D or should take a different amount from the general population.

1.2 Do not offer a vitamin D supplement to people solely to prevent COVID‑19, except as part of a clinical trial.

1.3 Do not offer a vitamin D supplement to people solely to treat COVID‑19, except as part of a clinical trial.

For a short explanation of why we made these recommendations see the rationale section on recommendations.

Full details of the evidence are in the evidence review.