A new paper by Irish and UK scientists has revealed that people have “nothing to lose”, and much to gain, by taking vitamin D supplements as protection during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The paper co-authored by professor of medical gerontology of Trinity College Dublin, Rose Anne Kenny, states that ‘Evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with severity of Covid-19 disease is “circumstantial but considerable,. ”
She sighted that “There seems nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by recommending vitamin D supplementation for all, making it clear that this is to help ensure immune health and not solely for bone and muscle health. ”
“This should be mandated for prescription for vulnerable adults and children, such as those in care, prisons, or other institutions where people are likely to be inside for much of the time during the summer, ” she added.
Prof Kenny revealed that new US research indicates that virus patients are four times less likely to need admission to ICU if they have healthy levels of vitamin-D.
“she added that, for the first time the research suggests that people with healthy levels of the vitamin may be less likely to become infected.
She urged the Government, last May, to change recommendations immediately by advising the people to take vitamin D supplements during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, there was no change made to the public health advice, Prof Kenny then sent the new position paper that was prepared for the Royal Society of Data Analytics in the UK to the Irish authorities.
Half the Irish population is deficient in vitamin D produced in the skin from UVB sunlight exposure, which is also present in foods like cheese and oily fish.
But as winter approaches, and results of randomised controlled trials unlikely to be available before the pandemic ends, Prof Kenny says people must make sure they get sufficient vitamin D through supplementation immediately.
The US president Donald Trump, who is currently being treated for the Covid-19 disease uses vitamin-D as one of the treatments to cure the disease.
Professor Kenny highlighted that people should take 800 IU (international units) of vitamin D everyday, which is two times the prescribed level in England, Scotland and Wales.