Without enough vitamin D, it’s difficult to regulate the amount of calcium or phosphate in the body.
A severe lack of the vitamin may even lead to bone deformities, rickets, or osteomalacia.
But you could lower your chances of a vitamin D deficiency by eating certain foods.
The third best source of vitamin D is red canned tuna, according to dietitian Juliette Kellow and nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.
It contains almost 11mcg of vitamin D per 100g serving, they said.
Canned pink salmon provides slightly more vitamin D, at 13.6mcg per 100g.
But, the best source of vitamin D in food is canned pilchards in tomato sauce, they revealed.
“Despite being able to make vitamin D ourselves, a lack of vitamin D is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world,” they said in their book ‘Eat Better Live Longer – Understand What Your Body Needs To Stay Healthy’.
“Since it’s so vital to health and longevity, it’s time to address the situation.
“We can top up our body’s store of vitamin D with foods, including oily fish, mushrooms, and eggs.
“The World Health Organization recommends a daily vitamin D intake of 5mcg for everyone under 50, 10mcg for 51-65-year-olds, and 15mcg for over 65s.
“Some health organisations suggest that everyone takes a vitamin D supplement in autumn and winter to guarantee levels for optimum health.”
Around 40 per cent of all adults in Europe and America over the age of 50 are deficient in vitamin D, they said.
Everyone should spends between 20 and 30 minutes in the sun to avoid a deficiency, it’s been claimed.
But, during the winter months, people won’t be able to absorb enough ultraviolet light to produce vitamin D.
Everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement to prevent a deficiency from September to March.
If supplements aren’t for you, try adding more oily fish, red meat, or egg yolks to your diet.
You could be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency if you have bone or back pain, if you feel constantly tired, or if you are frequently getting ill.
Other warning signs include hair loss, muscle pain, and having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal than normal.