How do I boost my vitamin D levels

1. Obtaining Vitamin D through sunlight

Vitamin D is mostly made in our skin by exposing it to sunlight. During the summer months 10-20 minutes of sunlight on the face and hands should be enough. Those with darker skin or the elderly may need longer exposure.

A dim outlook for much of Ireland
Unfortunately as Ireland lies quite far north there are about 5 months of the year (October to February) when little or no vitamin D is made naturally in the skin.

2. Obtaining Vitamin D through diet

Some foods that are easy to include in our everyday diet can help boost our vitamin D levels.
These include:

• Oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel (canned or fresh)
• Egg yolks
• Fortified fat spreads
• Fortified cereals and milk
• Powdered milk

People who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, or a non-fish-eating diet may be at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency.

3. Treatments

What other treatments are available for vitamin D deficiency?

Prescribed Medicines
Vitamin D medicines are usually prescribed by your doctor. You may require these for several weeks or your prescription may be ongoing. It is important that you take your medicines as prescribed in order to get the full benefit and to reduce the risk of any side effects.

Food supplements
These can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies and supermarkets and they come in a range of sizes and formats.

What is the difference between a vitamin D prescription medicine and an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement?

Vitamin D supplements that you can buy at your pharmacy are manufactured to different standards than prescription-only medicines such as Altavita®D3.

You can be sure with a prescription-only medicine, such as Altavita®D3 , that your medicine will provide you with a consistent amount of vitamin D at the quantity specified on the pack.

You should not stop taking your medicine unless advised to do so by your doctor or pharmacist, but this means that you need to see them, or speak to them, as soon as possible.