This guideline covers vitamin D supplement use. It aims to prevent vitamin D deficiency among at-risk groups including infants and children aged under 4, pregnant and breastfeeding women, particularly teenagers and young women, people over 65, people who have low or no exposure to the sun and people with darker skin. 

In May 2017, the introduction, recommendations 1 and 6, the context section and the glossary were updated after publication of The SACN vitamin D and health report 2016. We have amended at-risk age ranges, updated links to the new report and updated reference nutrient intake details.


This guideline includes recommendations on how to:

Who is it for?

  • Commissioners, managers and other professionals with public health as part of their remit
  • Manufacturers and providers of vitamin D supplements
  • Members of the public

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline updates and replaces recommendation 3 in NICE guideline PH11 (November 2014). In addition, in NICE guideline CG62 recommendation has been updated so that it is in line with this guideline.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)