Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said that people may not be getting all the vitamin D they need from sunlight during lockdown.

“To protect their bone and muscle health, they should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D,” she said in an emailed statement.

“With the nation staying in to save lives and protect the NHS, many people are spending more time indoors and may not get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight,” she added.

Previously the health body had advised people to take vitamin D supplements during fall and winter. Vitamin D is made in the skin by the action of sunlight. Good natural sources of vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified food like some breakfast cereals.

Tedstone stressed that there is not sufficient evidence to support recommending vitamin D for reducing the risk of Covid-19.

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
Some research suggests that vitamin D supplements may help to protect against acute respiratory tract infections.
Dr. Michael Holick, an expert on vitamin D research from Boston University who has published more than 500 papers and 18 books on the subject, told CNN last month the vitamin regulates the production of a protein that “selectively kills infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses.”

Vitamin D also alters the activity and number of white blood cells, known as T 2 killer lymphocytes, which can reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses, Holick added.

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