With winter looming and a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus being experienced in major UK cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is now urging people to take vitamin D to boost overall health and, with new evidence being found, to potentially protect the public against this surge in covid-19 cases.
Part of a wider increase in public health messaging, the Government is encouraging people to take vitamin D daily — the NHS recommends around 10 micrograms of vitamin D, equivalent to one salmon fillet — which will help keep bones and muscles healthy as local ‘lockdowns’, social restrictions and weather changes keep people indoors throughout winter.
Currently, it’s thought that one in five Brits are deficient in vitamin D — that’s around 13 million people — and, with the body usually creating vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin, it’s an important vitamin to take during winter when days are shorter and darker.
Add to this Matt Hancock’s recent U-turn on government advice to vitamin D supplementation and it’s a no-brainer that investing in the supp is a smart move. “Blood vitamin D levels go down when people develop serious illness. The same thing happens to other blood tests such as blood cholesterol, or blood zinc levels, which also fall when someone is sick. These changes are part of what is called the acute phase response. Moreover, the sicker people are, the more exaggerated are these changes,” explained Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at University of Glasgow.
“This means that it is likely the occurrence of illness that is leading to lower blood vitamin D levels… and not that low vitamin D levels, are causing Covid-19.”
With this in mind, we’ve assembled our go-to vitamin D guide, with expert input from nutritionists and health experts, to help you clear up any confusion.
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