Widespread deficiency shows that current government guidance on supplements is failing.
Adding vitamin D to bread and milk may help combat Covid-19. Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose/The Observer
Scientists are calling for ministers to add vitamin D to common foods such as bread and milk to help the fight against Covid-19.
Up to half the UK population has a vitamin D deficiency, and government guidance that people should take supplements is not working, according to a group convened by Dr Gareth Davies, a medical physics researcher.
Low levels of vitamin D, which our bodies produce in response to strong sunlight, may lead to a greater risk of catching the coronavirus or suffering more severe effects of infection, according to some studies. Last week, researchers in Spain found that 82% of coronavirus patients out of 216 admitted to hospital had low vitamin D levels. The picture is mixed, however – some research shows that vitamin D levels have little or no effect on Covid-19, flu and other respiratory diseases. Read more >>