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Irish health experts warn not to forget to take vitamin D to prevent COVID-19

DUBLIN: As the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine progresses around the world, Irish health experts are urging people not to forget to take vitamin D to reduce the impact of the virus.

Experts from leading Irish universities say that vitamin D can protect people from serious illness and death of COVID-19 and thus asked the government to provide guidance on the need for its use. They say there is evidence of the benefits of using vitamin D, but no policy action has yet been taken by the government.

They point out that the use of vitamin D has significantly reduced COVID death in elderly nursing home patients and significantly reduced the ICU admission rate of COVID patients admitted to the hospital.

They say that with the supply of vitamin D to all vulnerable groups, including care homes in Andalusia, Spain, the number of deaths fell to three in the first week of January, from 60 COVID deaths per day in mid-November.

Dan McCartney, Program Director in Human Nutrition & Dietetics at TU Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, said that the number of COVID cases and deaths in Ireland is growing and that this is putting pressure on intensive care units in hospitals.

He added that taking vitamin D supplements now, along with cautionary measures such as wearing a mask, hand washing and social distance, would give the Irish people more protection against the coronavirus.

In Finland, where vitamin D consumption is high, COVID cases and deaths are low. Research from Germany also shows that people with vitamin D deficiency are six times more likely to die. In addition, according to data from Spain, France and the UK, the risk of ICU admission and mortality is lower in those using vitamin D. He said studies in the UK also showed that COVID victims who were given high-dose vitamin D at the time of hospitalisation had a seven-fold lower mortality rate.

At the same time, the Irish people should take a dose of 20-25 micrograms of vitamin D during the COVID period. However, the elderly, obese and dark-skinned people may need to take higher doses of vitamin D. For this you need to consult with their GP.

McCartney explained that vitamin D deficiency is very high in all sections of the population in the country and therefore, everyone should get into the habit of consuming vitamin D for the prevention of COVID-19.

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