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HBTSR plan to help purchase Vitamin D supplements  during the winter months for people seeking Asylum in Newport and Swansea as we know that living on less that £40 a week does not make it easy to buy supplements and many people have not been able to go out much in the last year.  Newport Gap Sanctuary and Unity in Diversity Swansea have agreed to help distribute . Part of the reasoning for this decision is below.

What Vitamin D does
Vitamin D helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and is needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.Vitamin D is also necessary for the immune system to work properly.
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in autoimmune disease. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19). But there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat coronavirus. [ NICE]
Good sources of vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. But between October and early March in UK we do not get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
red meat
egg yolks
fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals

In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.

Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements. It is now recommended in the UK that all adults should consider taking 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day during winter months.

People at risk of vitamin D deficiency
Some people will not get enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure. Especially this year!
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that you take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if you:
*are not often outdoors – for example, if you’re frail or housebound
are in an institution like a care home
*usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors
*If you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not get enough vitamin D from sunlight so you should consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day throughout the year.

Taking Vitamin D tablets
During autumn and winter, everyone is advised to take vitamin D and this is particularly important if you’ve been indoors over the spring and summer as you may not have been getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.
10 micrograms (µg) of vitamin D[equivalent to 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D.] is the daily amount recommended for the general population by government for general health and in particular to protect bone and muscle health.This is a safe level of intake, designed to meet your nutritional needs. Taking more is not currently recommended.
For most people taking up to 100 micrograms (µg) equivalent to 4,000 international units) per day is considered safe.
In a few people, taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia). This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.

People who should not take Vitamin D
If you are already taking, or are prescribed, a vitamin D supplement by your GP or healthcare professional
If you are already taking, or are prescribed, a medication that contains vitamin D by your GP or healthcare professional
If you have a medical condition or treatment that means you may not be able to safely take as much vitamin D as the general population
There are some groups who need to be particularly careful including those under the care of a renal, endocrinology or cancer specialist. This could include people with high vitamin D levels, kidney stones (now or in the past), too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), cancer (some cancers can lead to high calcium levels), severe kidney disease and a rare illness called sarcoidosis.

More reading
Vitamin D

Vitamin D and letter

Vitamin D and the immune system

Vitamin D and Covid

NICE: Not enough evidence to recommend vitamin D solely to prevent Covid-19