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What you need to know about vitamin D
Wednesday, 1 July · 2 min read

We all need vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles as it helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphate from the foods you eat.

Experts recently suggested that vitamin D might also play a role in protecting you from coronavirus and other respiratory infections, or treating them if you do become ill.

But a new set of studies, including one by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK concluded that there’s not enough evidence of this protective effect.

Vitamin D deficiency is common, however, affecting around 1 in 5 people in countries like the UK.

And although this may not affect your risk of developing COVID-19, it does put you at greater risk of conditions that weaken your bones, like rickets or osteomalacia.

You're more likely to be vitamin D deficient if you stay indoors a lot (which is more likely at the moment) or have darker skin (higher levels of melanin in darker skin mean it produces less vitamin D).

The new studies advised people to follow local guidance around taking supplements because of this.

You can also get small amounts of vitamin D from certain foods, including:

  • oily fish -- such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • red meat
  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • foods that are fortified with vitamin D, such as some breakfast cereals

Read more about vitamin D deficiency here.

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