Sunshine vitamin covid protection that governments need to back
Accessed from the world wide web at 13:00 hrs 29.10.20.
Vitamin D is emerging as probably the lowest cost, modifiable risk factor for severe covid-19 disease. Governments are increasingly recommending it but most are limiting levels to those based on protecting bone and muscles, not those required for immune protection.
The UK government recommendation for adults is just 10 micrograms or 400 IU, and that is around one-tenth the amount required to ensure proper function of the immune system. Vitamin D acts as one of the key pro-hormones that helps ensure signalling between the innate and adaptive side of the immune system and is critical to immune function, a health relationship recognised by the notoriously conservative assessor, the European Food Safety Authority.
Today, we launch our ‘Test & Take: Vitamin D‘ campaign that makes a case for vitamin D supplementation, as well as the importance of testing owing to common differences between individuals in levels of circulating vitamin D even at the same levels of intake. As we move into winter in the north and the risk of being exposed to pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 increases, optimising your vitamin D status becomes even more important.
Apart from launching our brand new campaign (see link above) replete with lots of information that will help you learn how to measure and optimise your vitamin D levels, and a video interview with Dr Damien Downing, the UK’s most established medical proponent of vitamin D, you’ll find below our second open letter of the year to Matt Hancock, the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
This time, we’re appealing to Mr Hancock to upgrade vitamin D advice from bone and muscle health to immune health, as well as to implement studies on vitamin D on covid-19 in the most deprived communities where the need is greatest.
You can download the full letter here.