By Joleen Murphy

The public should be encouraged to use vitamin D supplements in order to help protect them against the severity of Covid 19 and other illnesses.

That’s the view of the Health Committee which examined the issue.

It’s report recommends a public awareness campaign and other steps to encourage the uptake of the supplement.

Dr Daniel McCartney, a member of the Covid-D Consortium which backs the move, says studies show the importance of vitamin D in tackling the coronavirus.

“There is now an abundance of evidence linking low Vitamin D levels to increased risk and severity of Covid-19.

“This evidence includes intervention trials in which Covid-19 patients receiving Vitamin D supplementation experience less severe disease and lower rates of death than their un-supplemented piers.”

A Dáil committee is recommending the promotion of the use of vitamin D supplements for the entire population as a public health measure.

It’s aimed to reduce the risk of respiratory and other illnesses such as osteoporosis.

The health committee also recommends the reduction or elimination of VAT on the supplement, to encourage its uptake.

Chair of the committee, Deputy Sean Crowe, says now is the time to start taking preventative steps to deal with illnesses such as Covid-19.

“As the state emerges from the third wave of Covid-19, there is an opportunity to develop a new public health policy that encourages the uptake of Vitamin D supplementation.

“The promotion of Vitamin D supplementation is a cost effective and complementary solution that can be quickly and easily implemented.”

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