Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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598. To ask the Minister for Health if an independent expert group will be convened to examine the evidence linking vitamin D levels and susceptibility to Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44479/20]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for bone and muscle health as well as to support the normal functioning of the immune system.

Vitamin D can be found in a variety of food such as oily fish, eggs, liver and fortified cereal and dairy products, humans can also absorb it from the sun.

With regard to Covid-19, the HSE advises that those who are self-isolating or who are unable to go outside should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D to ensure a healthy vitamin D status for adults and children over the age of one.

The role of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 has not been definitively established. The rationale for using vitamin D is based largely on immunomodulatory effects that could potentially protect against COVID-19 infection or decrease the severity of illness. Ongoing observational studies are evaluating the role of vitamin D in preventing and treating COVID-19. Emerging evidence in relation to this will be kept under review by the NPHET.


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