Millions of Britons are not getting enough vitamin D – putting them at greater risk of developing rickets and bone deformities, an NHS watchdog has warned.
Government figures show that up to a quarter of the population don’t get enough of the “sunshine” vitamin, which is crucial for healthy bones, but most do not know it.
Pregnant women, people with darker skin, and children are all at higher risk of not getting enough of the essential nutrient.
Those living in the sun-deprived north of England also tend to have lower levels of the vital vitamin, while almost 75 per cent of Asian adults don’t get enough of it during the winter months.
A lack of the essential nutrient can cause rickets in children and in adults can lead to osteomalacia, causing the person’s bones to become weak and painful, and hampering mobility.
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, and it only occurs naturally in a few foods, such as oily fish and eggs.
Under a raft of new recommendations being consulted on nationally, NICE is calling for a national campaign to raise awareness about its importance.