Recent headlines have focused on the importance of Vitamin D to our health, declaring that we should be taking supplements as modern lifestyles and gloomy weather have led to deficiencies. Studies are backing up these claims too – health officials have warned that indoor jobs and poor diets are depriving people of the “sunshine vitamin”[1].

When reports like these come to public attention, it can be hard to know what to make of them. So, Roz Witney, Dine Contract Catering’s in-house nutritionist has offered some clarity on the topic, providing recommendations and advice for those who are often indoors.

“New recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) suggest that we need around 10 micrograms of Vitamin D per day to protect bone and muscle health. We should be able to achieve this with a balanced diet and regular bursts of summer sunshine, as skin synthesises from the action of sunlight and it is the main source of Vitamin D for most people. 

"However, if you work indoors or are unable to get outside, you need to rely on dietary forms of Vitamin D. Good sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish, liver, egg yolks, red meat and fortified breakfast cereals. Although, it is difficult to achieve the recommended amount of Vitamin D from dietary sources alone, especially if you have limited access to sunshine, so the recommendations state that a daily supplement delivering 10 micrograms of Vitamin D should be considered.”

Roz adds to this point with a statement from Dr Louis Levy, Head of Nutrition Science at Public Health England, he says:

“If you are confined to an office with limited access to sunshine, or even just subject to the typical British weather, you may be lacking the vital benefits Vitamin D brings to your body. It’s is clear from all those who are invested in Health & Nutrition that we should be supplementing the required levels of the nutrient. It is also worth emphasising the benefits Vitamin D brings, from improved bone health, warding off depression and reduced chance of heart disease.”