Vitamin D has moved a step closer to being used as a potential way to prevent and treat coronavirus after Matt Hancock asked government health advisers to produce new guidelines on its use.
The health secretary told the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) and Public Health England to create guidelines for the use of the “sunshine” nutrient two weeks ago, before it was reported that the government was planning to give four months worth of vitamin D supplements to more than 2 million vulnerable and elderly people, following the lead of Scotland.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Nice, which sets NHS clinical guidelines, told hlcarpenter.com: “Nice and PHE received a formal request to produce recommendations on vitamin D for prevention and treatment of Covid from the secretary of state for health and social care, Matt Hancock, on October 29.”
The move comes after the government began considering giving vitamin D supplements to elderly people and those who are shielding as the UK enters winter. There is growing concern that many people may have poorer vitamin D levels than usual as a result of staying indoors for longer periods during the pandemic.