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  • Writer's pictureDr Emma Derbyshire

COVID-19 and Why the Aged Should be Swiftly reminded to take their Vitamin D.

Prevention is easier than cure. This is ringing out loud at the moment as hospitalisation fast increases and beds are becoming in short supply. Bearing this in mind we should not overlook the value of ‘prehabilitation’ and ‘preventative nutrition’.

A large body of evidence has already been published linking vitamin D to immunity but more importantly and relevantly – immune response to respiratory viruses and risk of pneumonia. Clearly, none of this is yet specific to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) but such links could be of clear value.

Bearing two important facts in mind – 1) we have just come out of Winter and 2) are now largely housebound the aged, in particular,  should be reminded and encouraged to take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D daily. So never mind stocking up on toilet rolls it’s time to help educate and encourage the aged to stock up on vitamin D.

Key related articles. Julie K. Silver (2020) Prehabilitation could save lives in a pandemic. Available at: PHE (2016) PHE publishes new advice on vitamin D. Available at:

Zdrenghea MT et al. (2017) Vitamin D modulation of innate immune responses to respiratory viral infections. Rev Med Virol 27(1). Telcian AG et al. (2017) Vitamin D increases the antiviral activity of bronchial epithelial cells in vitro. Antiviral Res. 137:93-101. Greiller CL & Martineau AR (2015) Modulation of the immune response to respiratory viruses by vitamin D. Nutrients 7(6):4240-70. Pletz MW et al. (2014) Vitamin D deficiency in community-acquired pneumonia: low levels of 1,25(OH)2 D are associated with disease severity. Respir Res 15:53.



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