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Covid-19: Public health agencies review whether vitamin D supplements could reduce risk

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2475 (Published 19 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2475
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London, UK

As agencies announce they are examining whether vitamin D supplements could reduce the risk of covid-19, Ingrid Torjesen finds out what the existing evidence shows

Public health agencies in England and Scotland are conducting urgent reviews into the potential for vitamin D to reduce the risk of covid-19.

Among the evidence being examined is a systematic review and meta-analysis published in The BMJ in 2017, which concluded that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory infections.1 As the covid-19 pandemic escalated, greater awareness of this paper prompted speculation in the media that supplementation could offer benefits against covid-19. Since the start of the pandemic the review has been viewed online more than 300 000 times and shared more times on social media than any other research paper published in The BMJ in the past three years.

Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition will examine the findings of the paper as part of a wider review of the evidence on vitamin D supplementation and reduced risk of acute respiratory tract infections.

At the same time, the …

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