The Department of Health recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk of deficiency. One such group are people aged 65 years and over, they recommend a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (0.01mg) of vitamin D.
Efficiency in producing vitamin D from the sun decreases as we age
Most of the vitamin D that your body needs is made in the skin from sunlight but our skin becomes less efficient in producing vitamin D from the sun as we age and our exposure to sunlight often declines, particularly for those who are less mobile. Because vitamin D is needed for increased bone and muscle strength, low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of falls and fracture.
Important vitamin D sources
Important sources include:
- Oily fish
- Foods with added vitamin D, such as margarine (which is fortified by law) and some low fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
Beware vitamin A intake
Also note very high intakes of vitamin A may have a negative effect on your bones and make them more likely to fracture when you are older. If you regularly eat liver and liver products you should avoid taking supplements containing more than 1.5 mg of vitamin A per day.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.