top 3 winter vitamin supplements

3 of the best winter vitamin supplements – as recommended by our private online healthcare service


As we enter the season of darker evenings and colder days, what sort of winter vitamin supplements do we need? Here we share key vitamins to help our minds and bodies cope with the UK's shorter days.

Do I really need to take vitamin supplements in the winter?

Even if you exercise regularly and eat a healthy and varied diet, supplements can still help boost the body's natural reserves and fend off the 'winter blues'. Miserable weather can make it hard to stay motivated about jogging or heading to the gym. It's tempting to take the car rather than walk. Or to grab hot food which may not be the healthiest. And less daylight means we are all in need of Vitamin D.

1. Have more energy with B-12

What does it do?

B-12 helps us release energy from food and produce red blood cells. Not having enough can make you feel tired, lethargic, and weak. This can then affect your mental health. For some people with depression, they may also have low Vitamin B12 levels, and treating this can help treat their depression.

Food sources

Milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish. However, this is not found in fruit, vegetables, or grains.

How much would you recommend taking?

If you feel your diet isn't providing enough B-12 then a supplement might be a good idea. This is especially true if you're vegetarian or vegan. We would recommend following the Department of Health and Social Care advice, and take a maximum of 2 micrograms a day.

2. Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin

What does it do?

Vitamin D helps keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Lack of Vitamin D can make you ache and feel tired. It can even lead to rickets in children and bone pain, known as osteomalacia, in adults.

Food sources

Egg yolks, oily fish, liver, red meat.

Other sources 

Our bodies create 90% of the Vitamin D we need from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.

How much would you recommend taking? 

We recommend following the NHS guidelines of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day from September to late March. Find out more at NHS – Vitamin D.

3. Boost your brain with Omega 3 fatty acids

What do they do?

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the health and function of the brain. One scientific study focused on levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. They discovered people with lower levels were more likely to report mild or moderate symptoms of depression or to have a more negative outlook. (Source: University of Pittsburgh.)

Food source

Salmon, walnuts, flax seed, oily fish such as herring, sardines and mackerel.

How much would you recommend taking?

We recommend taking supplements of up to 500 milligrams a day. Look out for Omega 3 supplements which contain eicosapentanenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Need more help with your physical and mental health?

Do you wish you could better manage your health? Our onlinw private healthcare service is here to care for you and your family 24/7. You can book appointments with our GPs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

We’ve also launched My Health to give you the power to focus on the health needs that matter most to you, and help you further understand your mind and body. You’ll discover a range of reading and audio resources to give you the support you need, when you need it; including tips for falling asleep and breathing techniques to reduce stress, as well as sections covering nutrition, physical activity, and relationships.

Discover more in our Doctor Care Anywhere FAQs.

Last reviewed October 2021.


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