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Coronavirus update: Experts urge government to increase vitamin D supplementation

CORONAVIRUS fears have caused upset around the nation, as the promise of a controversial five-day Christmas relaxation of the rules has been snatched from the public a few days before they were supposed to begin. As the pandemic rages on, a growing list of experts have urged vitamin D levels to be raised to combat the disease. Vitamin D: Sarah Jarvis discusses use in combatting COVID-19 Concerns over an overwhelmed NHS, higher transmission of the virus and no doubt an increasing death toll has led to stay-at-home orders for millions of British people over the festive period. Scientist Dr Gareth Davies is urging the government to implement an additional tactic in the fight against coronavirus. Scientist Dr Davies has a background in artificial intelligence, data science and medical physics. Teaming up with Dr Karl Pfleger, a former Google Data Scientist, they're campaigning for an increase in vitamin D recommendations. At present, the NHS stated 400IU International Units (10mcg) is the recommended daily intake between October to March. Dr Davies and Dr Pflefer hope daily vitamin D levels will be increased to 4,000IU, or at least 2,000IU. They now have over 120 signatories, signed by doctors, professors and politicians who support their campaign. This includes Dr Barbara J Boucher, Honorary Professor of Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and British MPs David Davis and Rupa Huq. "We’re a large, global, open alliance of world-renowned experts," said Davies. READ: London CHAOS: Stations packed as Londoners flee before city goes into Tier 4 TODAY We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. One signatory, a retired GP from Scotland, Dr Helga Rhein explained why she's signed the open letter. "Every day we’d come across patients with severe vitamin D deficiency," she began. "When we rectified it, we were surprised to find a wide range of complaints improved: aching legs, depression, frequent URTIs, IBS symptoms and others. "The most surprising was the response in cancer patients whose quality of life improved.” DON'T MISS... Tory revolt: Demands for Boris to let MPs have urgent vote on new lockdown [INSIGHT] Boris on the brink: Tories will have to 'get rid of PM' if UK delivers Brexit sell-out [ANALYSIS] Donald Trump lashes out at UK's new tier 4 Covid measures - 'We don't want lockdowns' [INFO] Another signatory, Dr David D Grimes – a retired gastroenterologist – said: "Medical research began to reveal the importance of vitamin D in defensive immunity 40 years ago." In reference to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Grimes added: "It’s been a well-established scientific fact for years, so why have we had to watch intensive care units being overwhelmed and more than 60,000 people die? "We could have protected people and services if we had just rectified well-known deficiencies." Concurring with the notion that sufficient vitamin D levels is key in protecting yourself from the deadly coronavirus, MP Davis said: "The evidence from several dozen studies show that vitamin D deficiency is implicated in compromising the body’s immune response to respiratory diseases in general and COVID-19 in particular." Citing evidence collated from 188 research papers, Dr Davies has proposed five key reasons why there needs to be "immediate widespread increased in vitamin D intake". Dr Davies added: "Finland is the only country with an effective vitamin D food fortification programme, and has had one of the best pandemic responses globally." As of Sunday, December 20, only 489 people have passed away from coronavirus in Finland. The open letter – here – is being sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock on Monday, December 21. There is a risk of hypercalcaemia, noted the NHS, which is when there's too much calcium in bones from vitamin D toxicity. However, Davies is adamant the number of lives saved by an increase in vitamin D supplement outweighs the "low" risk of hypercalcaemia.

Reference : Express.co.uk