A GP is advising people to take vitamin supplements to boost their immunity against COVID-19.
Dr P Muzaffar, a GP, has been working alongside One Voice Blackburn in delivering messages to the community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“The south Asian population in the UK is susceptible to low vitamin D levels due to their darker skin pigmentation, tendency to avoid the sun, and high skin coverage due to clothing,” says Dr Muzaffar.
“This makes it more important that they have an adequate oral intake of vitamin D through diet or supplementation. The recommended dose is 400-800iu (international units) daily.”
The message comes at a time when the government has changed its ‘Stay At Home’ message to ‘Stay Alert’, and also at a time when the BME communities are higher risks to COVID 19 than the general public.
“The lack of vitamin D can increase the increase the risk of a variety of chronic diseases including osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, recurrent infection, depression, fatigue, getting sick, hair loss, bone and muscle pain and impaired hearing,” continues Dr Muzaffar.
One Voice, through its Baiter Sehat Health campaign, has also been advised that vitamin C and zinc can also improve immunity to infections and diseases, particularly among the BME community. Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, which helps our body fight infection. Researchers compared COVID-19 mortality rates across Europe to vitamin D levels and discovered a strong correlation between higher death tolls and deficiencies in the micronutrient.
The message from the health professions is clear – low vitamin D levels can pose a significant risk to health.
“I would recommend vitamin D supplements to people of South Asian heritage, especially in this current health pandemic,” advised Dr Muzaffar.