Vitamin D Information
A. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
B. Why is CAHN providing you with 50micrograms (2000units) of Vitamin D3?
It is important to take vitamin D as you may have been indoors more than usual this year because of the lockdown.
The daily amount recommended by the government for the general population for general health and in particular to protect bone and muscle health is 10 micrograms (400 units). But higher doses are available and can be taken safely.
For African-Caribbean communities, the pigment on our skin does not allow us to process enough Vitamin D, we are at risk of deficiency throughout the year. Melanin protects the skin against ultraviolet light. But by blocking the sun’s rays, melanin affects the skin’s ability to activate pre-vitamin D. The darker the skin, the longer you have to be in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D as someone with lighter skin. You can buy up to 50 micrograms (2000 units) from supermarkets and CAHN is proud to provide you with a pouch of 120 tablets of 50 micrograms (2000 units) Vitamin D3. It’s important to take vitamin D as you may have been indoors more than usual this year during COVID.
There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19). But there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D to prevent or treat coronavirus.
C. Advice for infants and young children
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that:
- breastfed babies from birth to 1 year of age should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D to make sure they get enough of this vitamin.
- formula-fed babies should not be given a vitamin D supplement until they’re having less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as infant formula is fortified with vitamin D
- children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D
You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D (for under 5 years old children) at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Women and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme can get free supplements containing vitamin D.
See the Healthy Start website (https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk) for further information.
D. Taking vitamin D safely
Please make sure you read and comply with the instructions set out on the product label.
Each ‘1-A-Day’ vitamin D supplement contains 50 micrograms of vitamin D3. This is equivalent to 2000 international units of vitamin D3.
If your GP has recommended that you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow your GP’s advice.
For most people taking up to 100 micrograms equivalent to 4,000 international units per day is considered safe. In a few people, taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia). This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart. NHS.UK has more information about vitamin D, including advice on intakes.
E. People who should not opt in
You should not opt in to receive the vitamin D supplement if:
- you are already taking, or are prescribed, a vitamin D supplement by your GP or healthcare professional
- you are already taking, or are prescribed, a medication that contains vitamin D by your GP or healthcare professional
- you are under the age of 18
- you have a medical condition or treatment that means you may not be able to safely take as much vitamin D as the general population
Note: A pregnant or breast-feeding woman is encouraged to take vitamin D. Please speak to your GP or midwife https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/06/nhs-boosts-support-for-pregnant-black-and-ethnic-minority-women/).
If you are one of the following groups or have any of the following medical conditions, you should not opt in through this process and you should speak to your GP or healthcare professional at your next appointment. There are some groups who need to be particularly careful including those under the care of a renal, endocrinology or cancer specialist. This could include people with high vitamin D levels, kidney stones (now or in the past), too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), cancer (some cancers can lead to high calcium levels), severe kidney disease and a rare illness called sarcoidosis.
For any queries, please contact CAHN on firstname.lastname@example.org