As published in the Daily Express:
Conservative backbencher David Davis MP had previously called for the UK Government to distribute vitamin D supplementation to society’s most at-risk of COVID-19. He’s now calling for Britain to follow the lead of the Spanish region of Andalusia, which distributed calcifediol, a vitamin D supplement, to care home residents in November.
Since then, Andalusia’s figure for deaths per million from COVID-19 has dropped from 187 in November to just 11 at the start of January and is on track for just 33 for the month, an 82 per cent drop from November.
The question was posed to Boris about how effective this ‘Andalusia’ method could be for Britons.
Mr Davis said: “Andalusia, with a population of eight million, had a Covid death rate of about 190 deaths per million in November higher than ours at the time.
“After giving out activated vitamin D to care home residents and some GP patients that death rate almost halved whilst ours was doubled.
“Can he ask his advisors to look urgently again at the very latest Spanish research around this cheap, safe and apparently effective treatment.”
Boris replied: “We will continue to monitor all the evidence about the efficacy of vitamin D and the treatment that mentions.
“I am well aware of and indeed we discussed it and I will keep him updated about the review that is currently taking place.”
Vitamin D is essential when treating acute respiratory infections.
Reports obtained from previous studies highlight Vitamin D’s benefit on calcium and bone homeostasis, especially in children, the elderly and osteoporotic patients.
In addition, it has a number of other very positive effects on the immune system and lung function which could be crucial in the fight against COVID-19.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordered a rapid review into the vitamin’s effect on COVID-19 back in October, after coming under fire for previously rubbishing claims about vitamin D’s effectiveness in treating the virus.
A panel of experts across multiple Government agencies, including Public Health England, analysed “the best” scientific studies from around the world, though they did not say which or how many papers they looked at.
But the team, led by NHS watchdog NICE, said “it was not possible” to determine a direct relationship between vitamin D and Covid, citing a lack of high-quality trials.
A mountain of studies has found that an overwhelming amount of people who get COVID-19 do not have enough vitamin D in their bodies and the sickest of patients are often deficient.
Studies have found patients with a Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to test positive for the virus, and high enough levels of Vitamin D is associated with a less severe illness and better survival rate.
Many of these studies imply correlation and not causation, so further research is needed to see if the vitamin can help the fight against COVID-19.
An open letter was sent to Governments around the world by medical experts from the UK, USA and elsewhere in Europe warning that low Vitamin D levels markedly increase the likelihood of hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19.
The letter now has 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.