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Fri, 27 November 2020

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Government heeds advice on Vitamin D and offers 4 months’ supply to the most vulnerable

British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT)

2 min read Partner content

Following the sustained pressure from the scientific community, including BANT’s call for extraordinary supplementation of Vitamins C & D as a preventative measure for COVID-19, the government has finally acted on Vitamin D.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has decided to “act fast”, albeit well into this second national lockdown, and offer a four-month supply of Vitamin D supplements to millions of vulnerable people shielding at home and in care homes.

This will include organ-transplant recipients, chemotherapy patients and those with severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

British MP and former cabinet minister David Davis called for action back in September stating “A cheap way of tackling COVID-19 is being ignored”. The first packages are due to be sent early next month (December), four months later.

Vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient and there is mounting evidence of its effectiveness in moderating COVID-19 severity.

BANT recently highlighted research in which early intervention with Vitamin D supplementation in SARS-CoV-2 infections reduced severity of the infection and lowered ICU admissions. Public Health England (PHE) recommend 10 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin D3 every day from foods such as oily fish and eggs, or supplementation. 

With average costs starting as little as £12 per adult for a four-month supply, it is cost-effective and available to roll out nationally. Why then has it taken so long for the government to act?

BANT is encouraged by this latest move and continues to call for Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplementation for all adults as part of a wider prevention strategy for COVID-19.

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