Vitamin D prescribing in care and nursing homes: a prescribing ban contributing to fatalities? Concl

How much Vitamin D do we really need (it’s probably more we are being told) 8.1.21


The latest report doesn’t budge from SACN’s five year old recommendation to take just 10µg per day. If you want to help with Covid-19, a respiratory tract infection, the flu or your immunity in general, this dose is probably not high enough.2


There is a consensus that up to 100µg per day (4000 IU) is safe for healthy people. The presently recommended 10µg only takes most people to the border between deficient and insufficient.6 Studies suggest that for an effect on immunity, blood levels of Vitamin D need to be adequate (over 50nmol/l), which would require a dose nearer to 50µg or even up to 100µg per day, depending on the individual.7


Writing in Science Daily, Professor Martin Hewison, Professor of Molecular Endocrinology at Birmingham University, said


“The new guidance from NICE, SACN and PHE on vitamin D recommendations for the UK is hugely disappointing, and I am sure that this response will be echoed by many other vitamin D researchers in the UK and worldwide….These are the lowest vitamin D supplementation recommendations in the world, despite recognition of the prevalence of vitamin D-deficiency in the UK…”8


‘How much evidence is enough?


SACN has recommended more research is needed before we can say Vitamin D can help with Covid-19, despite worldwide evidence previously discussed on this site, and the known safety profile.


However, when it comes to Covid-19 Vaccination, a trial with only 213 UK participants over 70, and only 23 Black British participants, and arguably unimpressive results, seems to be enough to rollout to tens of millions of people in the coming weeks.


Conclusion

The UK public should be advised, if they are in good health with no liver or renal impairment, that it is safe to take 50µg to 100µg of Vitamin D per day. Screening should be undertaken in care homes and deficiency treated. There many benefits to this could both directly and indirectly contribute to the fight against Covid-19 and ease the pressure on the NHS.

References

  1. Number of deaths in care homes notified to the Care Quality Commission, England - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

  2. Low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D level is associated with increased risk of COVID‐19 infection: an Israeli population‐based study - Merzon - 2020 - The FEBS Journal - Wiley Online Library.

  3. Vitamin D and the Immune System (nih.gov)

  4. Cost-effectiveness and budget impact of Empirical vitamin D therapy on unintentional falls in older adults in the UK | BMJ Open

  5. Bulletin 275: Vitamin D | PrescQIPP C.I.C

  6. SACN vitamin D and health report - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  7. nutrients-12-02488.pdf (nih.gov)

  8. www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-rapid-covid-19-guidance-on-vitamin-d-published-by-nice-phe-and-sacn/


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