Health bosses scrap scheme offering vulnerable Britons free vitamin Dbut experts say decision is ‘short-sightedbecause the nutrient could have benefits beyond Covid

  • The Department of Health scraps scheme offering free vitamin D to shielders
  • It comes as researchers continue to study whether it can protect against Covid
  • But experts told MailOnline it should be offered in case it boosts protection
  • Vitamin D supplements won’t be dished out to millions of vulnerable Britons for free this year.

    Last winter nearly 3million clinically extremely vulnerable people — including cancer and severe kidney disease patients — were offered a four-month course of the ‘sunshine vitamin’.

    Health officials were concerned the group had low levels of the nutrient because of how long they’d been stuck inside under the shielding guidance.

    They also hoped vitamin D could protect them against Covid after a series of studies suggested people with a deficiency were more likely to catch the virus and become seriously unwell.

    But the same scheme has been scrapped this winter because shielding guidance was ditched earlier in 2021 — meaning those vulnerable did not have to be stuck inside.

    And studies haven’t provided strong enough evidence that the nutrient can protect against Covid.

    然而, experts told MailOnline the vitamin — which capsules of can cost less than 3p — should be dished out again, arguing the Government’s decision not to offer it this winter was ‘short-sightedbecause it is cheap and safe.

    One scientist said vitamin D could have health benefits beyond Covid.

    然后镜头切换到另一个浅色螺旋结构,似乎只显示了两条使用相同技术的鲸鱼, Britons cannot get their required intake — 10 micrograms per day for everyone aged one and older — from being outdoors, so are advised to take a supplement

    然后镜头切换到另一个浅色螺旋结构,似乎只显示了两条使用相同技术的鲸鱼, Britons cannot get their required intake — 10 micrograms per day for everyone aged one and older — from being outdoors, so are advised to take a supplement

    The graph from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition ([object Window]), No10's advisors, shows the amount of vitamin D Britons get from sunlight drops during the winter months

    The graph from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition ([object Window]), No10’s advisors, shows the amount of vitamin D Britons get from sunlight drops during the winter months

    From early April to the end of September, most people in the UK get all the vitamin D needed from sunlight.

    During the autumn and winter, 然而, Britons can’t get their required intake — 10 micrograms per day — from being outdoors, so are advised to take a supplement.

    The vitamin, also abundant in oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks, boosts general health and fortifies bones and muscles.

    Department of Health bosses announced in November 2020 that 2.7million people in England could opt-in to get vitamin D supplements. The scheme ran until last April.

    Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people were likely to have been indoors more than usual this spring and summer, 该机构说.


    Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.

    These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

    A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.

    Government advice is that everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter.

    People at high risk of not getting enough vitamin D, all children aged 1 至 4, and all babies (unless they’re having more than 500ml of infant formula a day) should take a daily supplement throughout the year.

    There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus (新冠肺炎). But there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19.

    资源: NHS


    This meant they ‘may not have been able to obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight’.

    And it was reviewing evidence on the link between the supplement and Covid ‘to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus’.

    But shielding guidance was paused this April and officially ended in September due to the success of the vaccine rollout.

    结果是, health bosses scrapped the scheme for the coming winter.

    But data from the Office for National Statistics shows a fifth of people in the group were still shielding at the end of last year.

    Experts told MailOnline that rolling out the vitamin despite a lack of strong evidence that it works could boost protection against the virus over the winter.

    Professor David Armstrong, an expert in medicine and sociology from King’s College London, admitted studies on Covid and vitamin D have been ‘mixed’, so there is ‘no clear mandate for wide adoption of supplementation’.

    但他补充说: ‘Is there an argument for supplementary vitamin D, just in case? 是, this position can be argued as it is a relatively safe (and cheap) intervention.

    Professor Armstrong also said that too much vitamin D can harm health, so it is not ‘completely safeto rollout across the country.

    And if people perceived they were at less risk from Covid because they were taking vitamin D, it could make them less cautious with other measures, 他说.

    ‘When you reduce one risk people tend to increase other, such as faster driving when wearing a seat belt,’ Professor Armstrong said.

    Professor Adrian Martineau, an expert in respiratory infection and immunity based at Queen Mary University London, told MailOnline that ‘the jury is still outon whether vitamin D protects against the virus.

    It ‘has a small protective effect against other acute respiratory infections’, which has been acknowledged by Government scientists, 他说.

    But last year’s offer of free vitamin D was hampered by low uptake, added Professor Martineau, who led the CORONAVIT study examining the effects of the nutrient on Covid.

    This was especially noted among those living in the most deprived areas and older people, which are the groups that stand to benefit most from the offer.

    Professor Martin Hewison, an expert in molecular endocrinology at the University of Birmingham, told MailOnline the Government decision to cease the free vitamin D programme is disregarding a precaution that could boost Covid protection.

    ‘Perhaps there is a fear vitamin D supplementation is a distraction from vaccination,’ 他说.

    But there is still a ‘strong casefor rolling out the tablets because it is ‘not expensive and what have we got to lose?’.

    Professor Hewison added: ‘Every winter people in the UK are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

    ‘Over the last year there have been many published studies showing that vitamin D deficiency is common in people with Covid infection or more severe Covid disease.

    ‘Does this mean that vitamin D deficiency leads to worse Covid outcomes? The simple answer is that we do not know.

    Supplementation of those with higher risk of vitamin D deficiency ‘is cheap, safe and may have general health effects beyond Covid’, Professor Hewison said.

    他加了: ‘We have a successful vaccination programme in the UK but there is still concern over infection and hospitalisation.

    ‘We are encouraged to take every precaution to help promote our best health and protect family, 朋友们, and our health service – masks and testing are good examples.

    ‘It therefore seems very short-sighted that DHSC are prepared to ignore something as simple, 便宜的, and safe as supplementation with vitamin D – at least during the winter when we will all be a risk of vitamin D deficiency.

    But Professor Vimal, an expert in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics at the University of Reading, told MailOnline respiratory tract infections are just one Covid symptom ‘and there is no convincing evidence to supportwhether vitamin D will prevent or treat the infection.

    He said vitamin D ‘cannot be considered as a silver bullet against Covid’, but given the ongoing risk of infection and long-term effects of Covid, vulnerable people should continue to have access to the free NHS service supplying the vitamin.

    Naveed Sattar教授, an expert in metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, told MailOnline he is ‘not surprisedby the Government’s decision, because there is a lack of evidence that the vitamin works against Covid.

    他说: ‘Their provision could even be harmful by providing people with false reassurance.

    ‘Rather, it would be far better if people are encouraged to walk a little more and eat better (or drink less alcohol) over the winter months to help prevent weight gain or lose weight since the link between excess weight and more severe Covid is solid.

    One study of 550 people in Barcelona found a vitamin D treatment reduces Covid deaths by 60 百分. And a study of 4,600 Americans found people with higher vitamin D levels were seven per cent less likely to catch the virus.

    The findings from the study in Spain led former Brexit Secretary David Davis to call for the treatment to be rolled out to every hospitalised Covid patient.

    But experts poked holes in the research and subsequent a study by researchers in Canada of 1.2million people found the nutrient does not affect the risk of catching or being hospitalised from Covid.


    什么时候? 六月 2021.

    由谁? McGill University in Canada.

    科学家研究了什么? Genetic variants strongly associated with increased vitamin D levels in more than 4,000 people who were diagnosed with Covid and more than 1.2million uninfected people from 11 国家.

    他们发现了什么? There was no evidence linking high vitamin D levels and a lower risk of contracting Covid. And among those who tested positive, there was no association between higher vitamin D and a lower likelihood of being hospitalised or becoming severely ill.

    研究的局限性是什么? The study did not include individuals with vitamin D deficiency, so does not cover whether deficient patients could benefit.

    什么时候? 游行 2021.

    由谁? The University of Chicago.

    科学家研究了什么? The vitamin D levels for more than 3,000 people in Chicago and whether this increased their risk of catching Covid.

    他们发现了什么? 30 ng/ml of vitamin D in the blood is usually considered sufficient. But Black people who had less than 40 ng/ml were 2.64 times more likely to test positive compared to those with levels more than 40 ng /毫升. No statistically significant link was found between vitamin D levels and infection risk in white people.

    研究的局限性是什么? It is unclear how vitamin D supports immune function and is only observational, so cannot determine that low vitamin D causes the increased risk of infection.

    什么时候? 十二月 2020.

    由谁? King’s College London.

    科学家研究了什么? 372,720 英国Covid症状研究应用程序的用户, who had reported what supplements they were taking at the start of the pandemic.

    他们发现了什么? 妇女服用维生素D, 多种维生素, omega-3 or probiotics appeared to be between nine and 14 获得Covid-19的可能性降低了30%. This means that, if the average risk of getting Covid was one in 10, 那些服用补品的人可能会发现他们的风险下降到大约一分之一 12.

    研究的局限性是什么? Scientists were very unsure of the results and said the study did not prove that the pills actually protected women, 但可能是总体上更健康的生活方式的标志. 领导这项研究的专家说,人们不应该开始尝试使用维生素来保护自己.

    什么时候? 十月 2020.

    由谁? University of Cantabria in Spain.

    What did the scientists study? 116 Covid patients at the Valdecilla Hospital

    他们发现了什么? Eighty-two per cent were deficient in vitamin D, whereas just 18 per cent had adequate levels of the nutrienta fourfold difference. This was compared to the 47 per cent of people who were deficient in a control group who did not have the infection.

    研究的局限性是什么? The research does not prove that deficiency led to them falling ill enough to need hospital care.

    什么时候? 九月 2020.

    由谁? 西班牙科尔多瓦大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 50 Covid-19 hospital patients with

    Covid-19 were given vitamin D. 他们的健康结果与 26 对照组的志愿者没有服用药片.

    他们发现了什么? 只有一个 50 患者需要重症监护,无一死亡. 一半 26 未服用维生素D的病毒患者后来被送进重症监护室,其中两名死亡.

    研究的局限性是什么? 志愿者人数少. 耐心’ 入院前未检查维生素D水平. 没有考虑合并症.

    什么时候? 九月 2020.

    由谁? 芝加哥大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 500 美国人’ 测试维生素D水平. 研究人员然后比较了志愿者’ 捕获的冠状病毒数量水平.

    他们发现了什么? 60 “阳光维生素”含量低的人群中Covid-19的比例提高了20%.


    研究人员没有检查其他复合因素. 尚不清楚志愿者在进行冠状病毒测试时是否缺乏维生素D. 人的年龄, 工作和他们住的地方 – 大大增加感染病毒机会的因素 – 没有被考虑.

    什么时候? 九月 2020.

    由谁? 德黑兰大学, 在伊朗, 和波士顿大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 来自的分析数据 235 住院的Covid-19患者.

    他们发现了什么? 维生素D充足的患者 – 至少 30 ng / mL— 51.5 死于这种疾病的可能性降低百分之二. 他们患重病或需要通风的风险也大大降低. 营养丰富的患者也较少发炎 – 通常是Covid-19的致命副作用.

    研究的局限性是什么? 混杂因素, 例如吸烟, 并没有记录所有患者的社会经济状况,这可能会影响疾病的严重程度.

    什么时候? 七月 2020.

    由谁? 特拉维夫大学, 以色列.

    科学家研究了什么? 782 对冠状病毒检测呈阳性的人进行了感染前维生素D水平的回顾性评估,并与健康人进行了比较.

    他们发现了什么? 维生素D水平低于的人 30 ng /毫升 – 最佳 – 是 45 更有可能测试阳性的人和 95 更有可能住院的百分比.

    研究的局限性是什么? 没有看过潜在的健康状况,也没有在感染时检查维生素D的水平.

    什么时候? 六月 2020.

    由谁? 布鲁塞尔自由大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 比较维生素D的含量 200 Covid-19医院患者的对照组超过 2,000 健康的人.

    他们发现了什么? 与相同年龄的健康男性相比,住院感染的男性维生素D缺乏症的可能性明显更高. 缺陷率分别为 67 COVID-19患者组中的百分比, 和 49 对照组中的百分比. 女性没有发现同样的情况.

    研究的局限性是什么? 独立科学家说,当人们患上严重疾病时,血液中的维生素D含量会下降, 该研究没有考虑到. 这表明该疾病导致血液维生素D水平降低, 而不是相反.

    什么时候? 六月 2020.

    由谁? 仁川仁荷大学, 南韩.

    科学家研究了什么? 50 检查医院Covid-19患者的所有重要维生素水平,并与对照组进行比较.

    他们发现了什么? 76 他们中的百分之一缺乏维生素D, 和严重的维生素D缺乏症 (<10 ng / dl) 被发现于 24 百分之19的Covid患者 7 对照组中的百分比.



    什么时候? 六月 2020.

    由谁? 印度尼西亚的独立科学家.

    科学家研究了什么? 检查维生素D水平 780 Covid-19住院患者.

    他们发现了什么? 几乎 99% 死于维生素D缺乏症的患者. 维生素D水平高于 30 ng /毫升 – 被认为是最佳的 – 只有百分之死亡.

    研究的局限性是什么? 没有经过同行科学家的同行评审, 一个经常发现研究缺陷的过程.

    什么时候? 可能 2020.

    由谁? 格拉斯哥大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 维生素D水平 449 来自英国生物库的人已确认Covid-19感染.

    他们发现了什么? 维生素D缺乏症与感染风险增加相关 – 但在调整了诸如种族之类的联合创始人之后. 因此,研究小组得出结论,他们的“发现不支持维​​生素D浓度与Covid-19感染风险之间的潜在联系。’

    研究的局限性是什么? 服用维生素D水平 10 至 14 提前几年.

    什么时候? 可能 2020.

    由谁? 东英吉利大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 下列人群中维生素D的平均水平 20 将欧洲国家与Covid-19当时的感染和死亡率进行了比较.

    他们发现了什么? 每个国家的维生素D的平均水平“紧密相关’ 具有较高水平的Covid-19病例和死亡. 作者当时说: ‘Covid-19人群中最脆弱的人群也是维生素D缺乏量最多的人群。’

    研究的局限性是什么? 每个国家的病例数受所执行的检测数影响, 以及每个国家为防止感染扩散所采取的不同措施. 它只看相关, 非因果关系.

    什么时候? 可能 2020.

    由谁? 西北大学.

    科学家研究了什么? 全球数十项研究的关键数据,其中包括Covid-19患者的维生素D水平.

    他们发现了什么? 严重缺乏症的患者发生重大并发症和死亡的可能性是普通患者的两倍.

    研究的局限性是什么? 每个国家的病例和死亡都受到所进行的检测数量的影响.