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Public told to take vitamin D supplements amid concerns of lack of sunlight exposure during lockdown

By Isabel Shaw

23 Apr 2020

In updated advice from the government, the public is being told to take 10mcg of vitamin D a day during the pandemic.

The new advice – published by Public Health England and The Scottish Government (23 April) – comes after concerns that people may not be receiving enough of the vitamin after being told to stay indoors.

The advice tells people who do not get enough sunlight to purchase vitamin D supplements from their pharmacy or supermarket; but also warns people ‘not to buy more than they need’.

Vitamin D is needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

PHE already recommends that adults and children over the age of one should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D, particularly during autumn and winter, for musculoskeletal health.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that vitamin D reduces the risk of Covid-19, the National Pharmacy Association stressed in their announcement of the update.

Dietary sources of vitamin D include, oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel – red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods, although it is difficult to achieve sufficient levels through diet alone.

Last week, the government announced that the UK lockdown was extended for ‘at least another three weeks’.

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