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Warning over Vitamin D coronavirus misinformation

Although vitamin D helps the human body absorb calcium and other minerals, and is naturally absorbed by our skin from direct sunlight, there is no evidence to support claims that vitamin D prevents or treats the virus.

Vitamin D does not prevent or treat coronavirus say health bosses at Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

The only way to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus is by maintaining good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings in public, and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

However, during the pandemic, the Government does advise that people should consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day if they are spending more time indoors, shielding, self-isolating, or at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Those at a higher risk include BAME communities, people spending large amounts of time indoors, and those who usually cover up most of their skin when outdoors.

Vitamin D supplements can be purchased from local pharmacies, supermarkets and health food stores at low cost.

Free advice is also available from expert pharmacists without the need to book a GP appointment.

Dr Julian Povey, local GP and Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “It is very important to bust the myth that vitamin D can prevent or treat coronavirus – it can’t.

“Vitamin D is effective in helping to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy and strong but there is no evidence that it can help against Covid-19.”

Dr Jo Leahy, local GP and Chair of Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “It needs to be made very clear that hand hygiene, face coverings and keeping a safe distance from others is still the only way to cut down your risk of the virus.

“Vitamin D is available from your local pharmacy and levels can be naturally boosted by spending plenty of time outdoors, but are not linked to treating or preventing coronavirus. Just be careful not to burn.”  

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