Vitamin D and Covid 19

In collaboration with Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), NICE has published rapid guidance on vitamin D in relation to COVID-19. During 2020, SACN conducted an assessment on nutrition and immune function in relation to COVID-19, which also included vitamin C and zinc. They found a lack of robust evidence to suggest that specific nutrients or supplements can prevent people from catching COVID-19 or reduce its effects. The guidance also concluded that there is not enough reliable evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19. NICE recommends that more research needs to be done and stresses the use of high-quality randomised controlled trials in future studies. The guidance can be found by visiting:

From January 2021, the Government is providing a free 4 month supply of daily vitamin D to adults on the clinically extremely vulnerable list who have opted to receive the supplements and to residents in residential and nursing homes in England. There are 2.7 million vulnerable people in England being offered free vitamin D supplements including automatic deliveries to all care homes. Letters are being sent to clinically extremely vulnerable people (as designated during the pandemic) inviting them to opt-in for a 4month supply to be delivered directly to their homes.

Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle health and the current government advice is for everyone to take a 10 microgram (400IU) vitamin D supplement every day throughout the autumn and winter. This dose is safe and effective at maintaining the correct levels. Most people have been indoors more than usual this winter and spring which means they might not have been making enough vitamin D from sunlight. Some people are more at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D even in spring and summer including those with dark skin (such as those with African, Afro-Caribbean or south Asian backgrounds), those who are not outside very often, people in care homes and those who cover up most of their skin when they are outside. It is advised that these people take a vitamin D supplement all year round.

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