The sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to 10 or 15 minutes of sun a day. But for those of us in the northern hemisphere the sun can often be a rare visitor, especially in winter, so many of us can suffer from a deficiency in it. Foods such as eggs, liver and oily fish such as salmon or mackerel contain Vitamin D, though usually not sufficient for us. Fortified foods such as cereals and dairy products also contain it but in very small quantities. In our changeable climate this is not sufficient for our needs, and this is where supplements come in.
Recently the Scottish Government issued a factsheet – Vitamin D: advice for all age groups . This advises that everyone (including children and pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D. This is especially important now that we are in lockdown and unable to go out as much as usual.
An article in the National by an unnamed doctor encourages the Scottish Government to send a supply of Vitamin D to every Scottish home as Vitamin D helps the body’s immune system. The vitamin may help the body fight off the coronavirus and could prevent people having to go to hospital. The doctor’s recommendation is based on a 2017 BMJ study which found vitamin D supplementation resulted in a 12% reduction in respiratory patients experiencing an acute tract infection.
In the video Vitamin D and immunity a doctor explains the benefits of taking Vitamin D and how it might help fight and alleviate the symptoms of the coronavirus.