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Can Vitamin D help defend against the Corona Virus?

You may have seen in the news recently the potentially important role of Vitamin D in people who have had the Coronavirus – but how much do we really know at the early stage of the virus, and can vitamin D actually help with the virus or other respiratory infections.

Update: 27th April 2020

From Pharmacy Magazine: Public Health England has updated its official advice on vitamin D supplements in light of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions requiring people to stay in their homes as much as possible.

In a ‘coronavirus update,’ PHE advised the public:

•  Consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy.

•  This is because you may not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight if you are indoors most of the day.

•  There have been some news reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus. However, there is no evidence this is the case.

•  Do not buy more vitamin D than you need.

What is Vitamin D?

Often called ‘the sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is actually a vitamin as well as a hormone, which can be made in the body on it’s own. Vitamin D is responsible for regulating the amount of other important minerals in our body like calcium or phosphate, both of which are necessary for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

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Do I Need To Take Vitamin D?

There are two major forms of vitamin D, these are vitamin D3 (also know as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (known as ergocalciferol). The main sources of vitamin D are typically sunlight exposure, which is where it is synthesised in the skin, as well as from foods or dietary supplements. Between the Spring and Summer months of April and September, skin synthesis is the typically main source of vitamin D for most people. However vitamin D is found in modest amounts in some foods;

– Oily fish such a salmon, sardines and pilchards contain reasonable amounts of vitamin D.

– Red meat can also contain the vitamin

– Egg yolks, also contain modest amounts but this can vary

Does Vitamin D help with the Corona Virus?

Scientists are currently investigating a potential link between survival rates for coronavirus and the levels of Vitamin D in patients.

A 10-week trial involving 200 Corona Virus patients at the University of Granada, Spain is looking to discover if the ‘sunshine vitamin’ can help defend against the Corona virus. Vitamin D is typically produced by exposing the skin to sunshine and is essential for a complete healthy immune system. However a recent study by Trinity College Dublin found out that adults who took Vitamin D supplements saw a 50 per cent fall in chest infections, showcasing the importance of the vitamin in the fight against Covid-19.

The study itself aims to investigate whether the “use of Vitamin D induces significant improvements of health… as well as preventing health deterioration”. Dr Jenna Macciochi, of the University of Sussex, said: “If you are deficient in Vitamin D, you are three to four times more likely to catch a cold. It therefore makes sense a viral respiratory infection like Covid-19 would be worse if you were Vitamin D-deficient.”

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Public Health England will advise the public to start taking a daily dose of vitamin D as they may not be getting enough sunshine during the coronavirus lockdown to produce the vitamin normally.

The report, by The Telegraph, indicates that the guidance from the government may change amid the coronavirus lockdown, during which time many people are not receiving enough sunlight due to being inside for extended periods of time.

Coronavirus symptoms: There are some similarities Image Source

Should I take Vitamin D?

The way vitamin D works is with calcium and phosphorus to help promote healthy bones, muscles and teeth. It is also important in protecting muscle strength and preventing rickets, osteomalacia and falls.

In normal circumstances, sunshine, is where most of your vitamin D comes from and not food or supplements. So even a healthy, well-balanced diet, that provides all the other vitamins and nutrients you need to be fit and healthy, could not be providing you with enough vitamin D if you aren’t able to get enough sun, as many people currently are not due to lockdown. During autumn and winter months when we spend more time indoors and the sun is weaker, adults and children over the age of one are advised to take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.

Now we are in spring, if you can, you should seek to spend some time outdoors in the sunshine (e.g. your garden or balcony). However, if you are having to self isolate or if you are unable to go outside as often, you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms to ensure a healthy vitamin D status (for adults and children over the age of one).

Does the UK Government Recommend Vitamin D?

Guidance from the NHS recommends the public to consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy.

  • This is because you may not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight if you’re indoors most of the day.
  • There have been some news reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus. However, there is no evidence that this is the case.
  • You can buy vitamin D supplements at most pharmacies and supermarkets. Do not buy more than you need.

Where Can I Buy Vitamin D Tablets Online?

Vitamin D Tablets can be purchased online from may online pharmacies, we have a range of Vitamin D supplements as well as other vitamins and minerals to help keep you fit and healthy, see our full range.


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