Study to look into whether food should be fortified with Vitamin D

This Morning: Dr Chris discusses vitamin D and Covid

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The study in question is being launched after evidence showed one in six adults (16.6 percent) in the UK has a vitamin D deficiency.

This deficiency, says the NHS,: “can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.”

People at high risk of a vitamin D deficiency normally include: “all children aged one to four, and all babies (unless they’re having more than 500ml of infant formula a day) should take a daily supplement throughout the year.”

With regard to children the study which showed 16 percent of adults had a vitamin D deficiency also found around 20 percent of children also had the deficiency.

Health officials wrote that older people, people from Black and South Asian communities, and the housebound are more likely to have lower levels.

The call for evidence was done so by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities; a department seeks to reduce health inequalities in the UK.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We must break the link between background and prospects for a healthy life. I am determined to level up the health of the nation and tackle disparities.

“People from Black and Asian communities, older people and people who have limited access to the outdoors are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health and improving years of life lived in good health.”

The Health Secretary continued to add: “I have launched this call for evidence to identify innovative waves we can encourage people to increase their vitamin D intake and help people live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

Although this action appears shows the government taking action on health disparities, this study comes months after it decided not to repeat a scheme involving the providing of vitamin D supplements for free to vulnerable people during the winter.

As part of this scheme, around three million people were offered a four-month course of vitamin D.

The reason for this was because clinicians were concerned that, due to how long they had been shielding during the pandemic, these individuals had not been able to get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D was under the spotlight in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic as it was believed to be a potential treatment for the respiratory disease.

However, despite the hope and suggestion, trials have shown vitamin D has little effect on Covid-19.

One study said: “There was no suggestion of benefit. In this randomised control trial, vitamin D had no effects on the incidence or consequences of COVID-19 or other acute respiratory infections.

“[T]here continues to be no persuasive evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation will help protect you from COVID-19 infections.”

While vitamin D won’t protect the body from COVID, it is nevertheless healthy to work it into the diet.

Foods high vitamin D include:
• Oily fish
• Red meat
• Liver
• Egg Yolks
• Fortified foods.

For more information on vitamin deficiencies contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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