Vitamin D is important to keep your bones and muscles healthy. Your body makes it in your skin when it is exposed to sunlight. In the autumn and winter, or when people spend a lot of time indoors, your body can't make enough vitamin D from sunlight. You can get some vitamin D from foods such as oily fish, eggs and meat, but this isn't enough to support a healthy body.
The governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland recommend that everybody should take vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter. Vitamin D is safe for people affected by lymphoma.
This year, the government in England is providing clinically extremely vulnerable people with a free 4-month supply of vitamin D, with deliveries starting in January. You can register online to receive your supplements. You will need your NHS number, which should be on the letter from the government with more detailed advice.
There have been some reports that vitamin D might reduce your risk of coronavirus by helping your immune system respond to the virus. At the moment, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this but it is being researched further in clinical trials.
Other benefits of vitamin D
You may have heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) where people feel sadder in the winter than in the summer. This is because of serotonin, which acts on nearly all of the brain cells and influences mood, sleep, appetite and decision makin. Low serotonin levels may contribute to feeling down.
Vitamin D, which you get from being out in the sun, promotes serotonin production. Unless you have been able to spend time in sunlight, you may find your vitamin D levels are low. This may make you feel flat or down.
3 December 2020