In the past few pandemic months, many experts have advised people to take Vitamin D supplements as scientists found that it can reduce the risk of getting COVID-19. Now, the UK authorities have decided to offer free Vitamin D pills during the winter season to more than 2.5 million people in the county.
The vitamin helps to keep the bones, teeth, and muscles healthy and many people have been using it for years as many physicians recommend taking the pill. Now, the UK officials said that the vitamin supplement will be delivered to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have been living at care homes.
The natural source of this vitamin is the sunlight, but in terms of people with darker skin tones and elderly people, they need topping up. The vulnerable group is mostly of residents in care homes and those with underlying serious health issues. During the Coronavirus pandemic, they have spent extended periods shielding from COVID-19.
Advice for Vitamin D
According to healthcare officials, usually during the winter season, everyone should take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day. But this year, as per the experts, it is more important due to the Coronavirus pandemic which affects several parts of the body as well as the immunity system.
Along with the Welsh and Scottish governments, Northern Ireland's Public Health Agency also issues similar advice during the COVID-19 lockdown. But there is no evidence that Vitamin D protects or treats the Coronavirus caused disease.
Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, and his colleagues have studied blood samples from an American clinical laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, of over 190,000 Americans from all 50 states. Their analysis revealed that people who had deficient levels of Vitamin D had 54 percent higher Coronavirus positivity compared to those with adequate levels of Vitamin D in the blood.
However, experts also warned against Vitamin D toxicity and said that "it is great when it [Vitamin D] is at a normal level, but too much can cause a lot of problems." Dr. Anna Kazaryan, a rheumatologist at UCSF Fresno, advised people to check with their doctors to know how much Vitamin D they need.
Supply in UK Care Homes
The UK government stated that all the care homes in the country will receive enough Vitamin D supplements for the residents. Those who are officially on the clinically vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to opt for a Vitamin D supply that will be delivered to their residence.
The supplement delivery will start in January 2021 and people will receive four months' worth of free supplements. Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England said that Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle health. "We advise that everyone, particularly the elderly, those who don't get outside and those with dark skin, take a Vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (400IU) every day," he added.
According to him this year following this advice would be extremely important as more people spending as much time as possible inside and this is why "the government will be helping the clinically extremely vulnerable to get Vitamin D."