THE UK on Saturday(28) announced that more than 2.5 million vulnerable people across England will be given free Vitamin D supplements for the winter.
All care homes will receive it automatically, and for individuals on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list four months’ worth of supplements will be delivered directly to their homes for free starting in January.
“Because of the coronavirus, 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,” said health secretary Matt Hancock.
“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.”
The government will publish its findings towards the end of the year.
The supplements will support general health, in particular bone and muscle health, a statement said.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Vitamin D is important for our bone and muscle health. We advise that everyone, particularly the elderly, those who don’t get outside and those with dark skin, takes a vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (400IU) every day.
“This year, the advice is more important than ever with more people spending more time inside, which is why the government will be helping the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to get Vitamin D.”
Public Health England advises everyone to take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of Vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep bones and muscles healthy and people at risk should take a Vitamin D supplement all year round.