Article updated: November 2020
All care homes in England will receive a four-month supply of vitamin D for each of their residents this Winter, and those classed as clinically ‘extremely vulnerable’ will all receive a letter to say they can opt-in for delivery of supplements to their address.
Although a number of research studies have now been carried out looking at the correlation between vitamin D and coronavirus recovery, in this piece we’ll look at what the evidence suggests and the reason 2.7m people in England will be given free vitamin D supplements this year.
There have been a number of reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus. This includes the UK’s own Queen Mary University in London that has most recently launched its ‘Coronavit trial.’ Here the University hopes to attract over 5,000 participants to study whether increased vitamin D levels could lower the risk of respiratory infections, including coronavirus.
With numerous studies like this hitting the headlines each day, it’s easy to see why many are now taking vitamin D supplements to hopefully protect them from the severer symptoms of coronavirus.
Even Google has reported spikes in Europe over the last few months, with searches for ‘vitamin D and coronavirus’ rapidly rising in countries like Hungary and of course the UK.
This being said and despite numerous trials taking place worldwide, there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D to prevent or treat coronavirus.
However, this doesn’t mean vitamin D isn’t an incredibly beneficial supplement for people. The vitamin helps to support lung function and cardiovascular health, helps to support general health and also can offset the effects of people spending more time indoors (without sunlight) because of lockdown and coronavirus measures.
A change in guidance from Public Health England back in March (2020) and relating to the government lockdown, stated:
Existing public health advice is that if you’re not going outdoors often, you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
PHE are recommending that during this time everyone follows the advice (including children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and older people). This advice is specifically about protecting bone and muscle health and not reducing the risk of infectious diseases.
Then, most recently, in a statement from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said:
“Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in vitamin D.
“The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free supply to last them through the darker winter months. This will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS.
“A number of studies indicate vitamin D might have a positive impact in protecting against Covid-19. I have asked NICE and PHE to re-review the existing evidence on the link between Covid-19 and vitamin D to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus.”
In conclusion, there is no concrete evidence to support the correlation between vitamin D and coronavirus recovery or protection. However, the government’s clear actions show that this is an incredibly in-demand supplement that can have a real benefit on people’s overall health.
With demand for vitamin D continuing to rise, Redrose is continually working with its customers to supply high quality supplements worldwide. If you’d like to know more about manufacturing vitamin D tablets or capsules, please contact us here.