Irish deficient in vitamin D
Everyone should take vitamin D supplements in countries like Ireland during autumn and winter because modern lifestyles and gloomy weather have led to deficiencies, health officials warn.
Indoor jobs and poor diets are depriving us of enough of the 'sunshine vitamin'.
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium - which is vital for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, said Public Health England.
So how much should people take?
Adults are advised to consume 10 micrograms daily, the amount usually found in over-the-counter supplements sold in chemists and health food shops.
The human body makes most of its vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin, but a small amount also comes from foods, including oily fish - such as salmon - eggs and fortified cereals and spreads.
Most people can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for short periods with their forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered and without sunscreen, from late March or early April to the end of September, especially from 11am to 3pm.
You should be careful not to burn in the sun, so take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before your skin starts to turn red or burn. The longer you stay in the sun, especially for prolonged periods without sun protection, the greater your risk of skin cancer.
Health & Living