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Essential for the healthy function of the body Vitamin D, the vitamin produced by the body when sunlight hits the skin, can be one of the easiest to obtain.

Simply walk outside and allow your body to do its thing and collect the benefits of the the sun's natural light.

But what happens if, as the clocks go back and many of us find ourselves spending our daylight hours tied to a desk, we only manage to get outside for meaningful periods of time when it's dark?

This can lead to a vitamin D deficiency, which limits our bodies' ability to absorb calcium and phosphate from the foods we eat.

While for most of the population healthy levels can be maintained fairly easily between March and September, for those that can't it can lead to unhealthy bones, teeth and muscles.

In these darker months the challenges of getting enough becomes more widespread and so the NHS recommends we maintain sufficient levels through our diets instead.

It is understood that approximately 20% of the population has low Vitamin D status, which comes with a set of worrying conditions. In children this can lead to rickets, while in adults it can cause a painful bone condition called osteomalacia, atrovent generic the NHS says.

Holland & Barrett claims that, due to improved sun safety awareness and poor summers, 50-60% of Brits could not be getting enough vitamin D.

In order to make sure you're getting plenty of vitamin D in your diet, it is recommended you eat foods such as oily fish, cod liver oil, red meat, fortified cereals, egg yolks and fortified spreads.

In the UK milk is rarely fortified with vitamin D, meaning dairy isn't a particularly good source.

The NHS reports that people who do not get enough sunlight exposure through their job or lifestyle, or if they're housebound, frail, wear clothes that cover much of their skin or have darker skin should consider taking 10 micro gram supplements of vitamin D daily throughout the year.

10 micrograms is the rough amount people need per day, according to the NHS.

Being pregnant or breastfeeding can also lead to lower levels of vitamin D in the body.

Holland & Barrett claims that only 10% of the vitamin D in our bodies comes from diet, while 90% comes from sunlight.

Holland & Barrett says: "Even if you eat fortified foods, you could be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Symptoms of low vitamin D vary from person to person.”

They say that a sweaty scalp is thought to be a common early warning sign of low vitamin D, but there are others to look out for as well.

Seven symptoms of low levels of vitamin D

  • A low mood
  • Weak muscles
  • Becoming unwell often
  • Gaining weight
  • Fatigue
  • Achy bones and joints
  • Head sweats

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