Take Vitamin D supplements to compensate for lack of sunlight during lockdown, Britons are urged
- NHS officials encouraging people to take vitamin D supplements in lockdown
- Update on the NHS website advises taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day
- New advise issued during coronavirus crisis as people spend more time indoors
- Doctors say there’s no evidence vitamin D reduces risk of contracting the virus
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The NHS is urging Britons to take vitamin D supplements as they are spending an increasing amount of time indoors during the coronavirus lockdown.
From around late March to the end of September, most people get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, which is why it is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin.
During the autumn and winter, experts advise taking vitamin D supplements in order to compensate for the lack of sunlight absorbed into the body during colder months.
But now officials have issued an update on the NHS website, which states: ‘Consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy.
People enjoying the sunshine and warm weather in Potters Fields Park, next to Tower Bridge in London,on Wednesday
‘This is because you may not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight if you’re indoors most of the day.
‘There have been some news reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus. However, there is no evidence that this is the case.
‘You can buy vitamin D supplements at most pharmacies and supermarkets. Do not buy more than you need.’
Vitamin D helps maintain calcium and phosphate levels in the body, which helps with the health of bones, teeth and muscles.
The human body produces vitamin D during exposure to sunlight, although other sources include oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks.
The vitamin is also added to some breakfast cereals and spreads, and can be taken as a supplement.
Commenting, Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: ‘With the nation staying in to save lives and protect the NHS, many people are spending more time indoors and may not get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
NHS officials advised Britons to take vitamin D supplements due to lack of sunlight during the coronavirus lockdown
‘To protect their bone and muscle health, they should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D – there is no sufficient evidence to support recommending Vitamin D for reducing the risk of Covid-19.’
Graham Keen, executive director of the Health Food Manufacturers Association, added: ‘Whilst vitamin D supplementation has long been recommended for key population groups, this broadened advice is welcome to help everyone maintain healthy joints and muscles.’
Yesterday the UK has announced 763 more hospital deaths from the coronavirus, taking Britain’s total number of victims to 18,094.
But the coronavirus outbreak in the UK may have killed more than 41,000 people already when non-hospital deaths are included.
An analysis of backdated statistics by the Financial Times has predicted that, by the time care home deaths and unrecorded hospital fatalities are added up, it could emerge that 41,102 people had died by April 21. The official toll was 17,337.