Now we are in May most people would normally be thinking about stopping their Vitamin D supplements as per NHS guidelines. However, there is mounting evidence that during the Coronavirus lockdown – when we are indoors more than usual, and the good sunny weather is not guaranteed – that we should continue taking it over the summer months too.
Research has recently been published, showing that Vitamin D supplements can reduce the severity of both flu and coronavirus. This US study recommends that adults at highest risk for flu and COVID-19 should consider taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for a few weeks to rapidly raise blood levels, followed by 5000iu per day to keep vitamin D stores nice and healthy.
Normally it is thought that a blood level of over 50 nmol/L Vitamin D is enough (this is what your GP would advise) but this study is recommending a much higher baseline of 100-150 nmol/L for optimal immunity and for keeping inflammation in check, which is their justification for taking more Vitamin D and for longer.
It is also now known that Vitamin D helps to improve the diversity of the gut microbiome, which is important for regulating immunity, inflammation and also recuperation from illness.
If you have been taking vitamin D regularly over the winter and enjoyed some of the recent sunny days, then you may not need this stronger dose. But if you know you tend towards low vitamin D levels, then you may want to consider taking a little more and for a little longer. Please never take more than these recommendations, as Vitamin D toxicity can happen – you do not want to go over 200 nmol/L blood levels.
If a marked deficiency is found, then this is the level of treatment that Nottingham University Hospitals advises for 6-8 weeks only – but obviously you would need to discuss these with a professional and have your vitamin D levels checked. We at NatureDoc can organise affordable finger prick Vitamin D blood tests for our clinic clients.
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- Age <1 month – 12 months – initial treatment 1,500 IU daily (Formula-fed babies should not be given a vitamin D supplement until they’re having less than 500ml of infant milk formula daily, as infant formula is fortified with vitamin D)
- Age 1-6 months – initial treatment 3,000 IU daily
- Age 6 months – 12 years – initial treatment 6,000IU daily
- Age >12 years and adults – initial treatment 10,000 IU daily
Source: Nottingham NHS
If you sit in the hot sun in minimal clothing for 20 minutes during the summer, then you will get about a boost of the equivalent of a 10,000iu dose of Vitamin D. And you can’t even have a overdose of vitamin D from the sun. Roll on some more sunshine!
We know many people want to know what products we recommend but unfortunately for regulatory reasons, recommendations have to be private. However all is not lost, you can join NatureDoc Live! for monthly Zoom Q&As with Lucinda, as well as a forum for asking questions, and access to recommendations in our blogs which appear when you log in.
- Evidence That Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths
- The role of Vitamin D in the prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 infection and mortality
- Vitamin D Receptor Promotes Healthy Microbial Metabolites and Microbiome
- Vitamin D advice for everyone: coronavirus