Free Vitamin D pills for 2.5 million ... - British Lung Foun...

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Free Vitamin D pills for 2.5 million vulnerable in England

2greys profile image

More than 2.5 million vulnerable people in England will be offered free Vitamin D supplements this winter.

The vitamin, which helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, will be delivered to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, and care homes. Vitamin D can be absorbed through the skin when exposed to sunlight - but the elderly and those with dark skin need topping up.

The pandemic means many more people than normal have spent time indoors. The groups most at risk are residents in care homes, and people with serious health conditions which mean they have spent extended periods shielding from the virus - a total of 2.7 million people.

45 Replies

Hi. I live in Scotland and offered these in October and is being delivered next month. They say they will make a difference and help our immune system.

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Sallyb29

Personally speaking. Sadly they are sticking to the old NHS recommendation of 10 mg/day (400 IUs). Obviously they do not see the research that we do. 10 mcg (400 IUs) a day is better than nothing.

I will accept them and take them along with my normal dose of 50 mcg/day (2,000 IUs) which I take all year round. The recognised safe limit is 100 mcg/day (4,000 IUs). I live on the South coast

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to 2greys

Yes I take 2000 every day

stanns profile image
stanns in reply to Littlepom

Why on earth do you need 2000 every day, is that not harmful.

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to stanns

No, 2,000 IUs/day is safe, the recommended max dose is 4,000 IUs/day. I and many others take 2,000 IUs/day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an American physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, takes 6,000 IUs/day.

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to stanns

My GP has had me on 1600 per day since 2015. Recommended minimum dose for respiratory patients. I happened yo buy some 2000 off the internet so have boosted it for the winter. Haven't had a cold and only one chest virus since which didn't last long since I have been taking it.

Trishe profile image
Trishe in reply to 2greys

I bought vitamin D for myself and my husband to take, 1000IUs now I'm wondering like 2greys we should be taking 2 of these a day, instead of the 1. 2 greys? We live in the south west.Trish

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Trishe

I live in Southampton, I started to take 4,000 IUs/day for one year and then 2,000 for the last 3 years. I spent my working life indoors and have never been a sun worshipper spending little time outdoors, so figured I needed a big boost for the first year.

In the 4 years 9 months since diagnosis I have had 3 chest infections, a 3 day hospitalisation for Pneumonia and survived Covid, a very good record given all my comorbidities.

meldi44 profile image
meldi44 in reply to 2greys

Hi 2greys, You're spot on. I live in Scotland and have been given 400 IUs by the Scottish Government. Practically useless, the dosage and the government. I'm already taking

2,000IUs. As you stated, 'no research'.

DJS6 profile image
DJS6 in reply to 2greys

Hi there 2greys - not sure re these figures?

I think it's 10 micrograms ( ㎍ or mcg) = 400 IUs (as opposed to 10 milligrams or mg)

So safe upper limit: 100 ㎍/day = 4,000 IUs (as opposed to 100 mg)

Or am I just getting confused ?

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to DJS6

You are correct, my bad, it should read mcg not mg.

deejames profile image
deejames in reply to Sallyb29

I got mine today. I have been taking Vit D for the past month anyway but will stop in March once the daylight increases.

Thanks 2Greys and this has been a long time waiting for Vit D especially those in the vunerable group. There's some real evidence that suggests it is beneficial for those of us who don't venture outside much - with the onset of COVID-19, I think it added more numbers to the list. I welcome an evaluation as to whether my 1 vit D tablet from the local supermarket is enough. I'll be watching to see how this progress. 🐿🌈.

HiI have never taken Vitamin D before. But have accepted the tablets on offer and will take daily. Will have a read into it more and if a bigger benefit to me will consider taking higher dose. Anything that helps our ailing body's has to be a good thing 😊

moogle profile image
moogle in reply to Sallyb29

I started taking them after seeing the evidence on Dr John Campbell's videos. I only take one 1000 tablet but know I can increase it if I want to do so.

I am amazed and delighted to hear this. A gigantic shift in the taking of vitamins.

Bkin profile image
Bkin in reply to Tugun

Those deficient in vitamin D are at greater risk of death by covid if they are exposed to the virus. Most in UK are deficient especially in winter months and especially as we age, vitamin D also modulates the inflammatory response in illness.

JagNut profile image
JagNut in reply to Tugun

"Vitamin D is actually a hormone rather than a vitamin; it is required to absorb calcium from the gut into the bloodstream" 😇

That is good news and I’ll do the same as you 2greys - take it alongside my usual dose. It’s a pity the powers that be don’t recognise that the higher dose is more beneficial.

Also that it should be taken as Vitamin D3.

About time too, but not enough as you state. Everyone over the age of 40 should take a supplement of vitD if you ask me. All those aches and pains could often be because of the lack of vitD. I was 50 when I had terrible pains in my hands and all I got from drs was, take ibuprofen. It didn't work and after 6 months I saw another gp ,she ran blood tests and found my vitD level was very low, so had mega amount of supplements to get level up....hand pain went. I love the sun and had just come home from a holiday abroad so was surprised levels were so low. Some people do not absorb vitD as I dont. My daughter has just started taking vitD as she has been having lots of aches and pains. Waiting to see the effect on her. Sorry I've gone on a bit 🤣

In Edinburgh we also start the free vit D next week, I would rather a free dram though.

Due to following John Campbell and others I have been on Vitamin D since the early days of the Pandemic. I increased my dose when I started to spend less time in the garden. I take 3000u a day which from previous years maintain good levels. Personally my wife and I laughed when we saw this as my daughter had already ensured our winter and spring supply and the medical cupboard is overflowing.

Finally the powers that be have caught up with the Vit D importance

Thanks 2greys and to all the people adding their input here.

My husband has malignant melanoma so wears sun cream every day. He has bought his own Vit D for years but GP’s don’t regularly check his levels. Hopefully his levels are ok. Mine were low a few years ago so I take a supplement also wonder if I will be offered it on prescription in the future or will it be just while Covid is around?

I have osteoarthritis as well as copd I take cod liver oil capsules with added vitamin a and d , I've started taking vitamin d tablets in the last 4 weeks take care everyone and stay safe x

Hi 2greys

I have been taking the vitamin for some time now and I have advised my friends and relatives to do likewise. I have yet to hear any recommendation from my GP to take the vitamin - in fact I have yet to hear anything from my practice for some time, apart from the shielding letters. You mention those who may be vulnerable and you are spot on. Perhaps this may go some way to explain why the BAME community appear to be suffering disproportionately from the Covid virus and it beggars belief that this so called government are not stressing this and offering the vitamin (FREE) to the BAME community.

Keep up the good work and stay safe.


Not heard anything from my doctors might just get my own (I have Bronchiectasis)

I haven’t heard from my practice either and I also have Bronchiectasis. Not badly enough presumably. Must ring them.

I'm just going to start taking them can't do any harm lol

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Willanna

"People on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will get a letter inviting them to opt in for a supply of Vitamin D tablets to be delivered to their homes."

Willanna profile image
Willanna in reply to 2greys

Could take forever with my doctors, bit behind with things even before the pandemic. What dose do you take & how long have you been on them x

"People on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will get a letter inviting them to opt in for a supply of Vitamin D tablets to be delivered to their homes."

I was given drugs to suppress my immune system in July and Vitamin D tablets were given to me( along with folic acid) to be taken every day. They are on my repeat prescription.

How high of a dose do you need to take for it to be effective?

Davegt profile image
Davegt in reply to Willanna

I have been on 1600iu's daily for the past 6 years through NHS Endocrinologist on prescription. Along with many tests, my Serum 25-hydroxy vit d levels are checked annually and at that level I am considered to be optimal.

Hi. For about two years I've been taking tiny pills from well known pill shop. On the package it says they are 4000 IUs. Thanks 2greys, I didn't know what that meant until your post but wot's an IU?

Davegt profile image
Davegt in reply to micox

International Unit.

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Davegt

Correct 👍

My GP recommended vitamin D3 to me years ago, as a useful guard against infection. I've taken it ever since and, coincidence or not, have had very few infections, or exacerbations, ever since. Long may it continue!

I’m pleased to hear they are at least recognising it can help too.

I’ve been on mine since earlier this year and although I’m awaiting a Dr’s call on Friday as a follow up to discuss results of my recent full blood test.

My results still hadn’t been checked by a Dr this last Friday, having phoned twice for results, and holding in queues for over an hour each time. The receptionist went to her and requested a quick look and she decided to follow up next week.

I have been reassured my VitD levels are OK (as I specifically asked) and nothing to concern myself about with rest of results either, so imagine follow up call will simply be routine and at least nothing too important, so unperturbed having to wait another full week to discuss them.

Hope you all have a good week and stay safe if going out and about. X

I have to say I've been taking them for years as they are extreamly cheap I pay around £5 for 3 months supply so why the government has to give out free 400iu is beyond me has someone in the government got shares 400iu is not high enough ...

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Kakariki

Matt Hancock has been put under pressure in Parliament by an MP, Dr Rupa Huq, twice, over the benefits to to the immune system of vitamin D and that it was a cheap to provide.

The first time he totally dismissed her claim stating that the NHS said there was no benefit. The second time when she quoted new evidence he said he would order a review of the evidence.

This new policy, to me, is just paying lip service to Dr Rupa Huq, to placate her and the British people who observe Parliamentary proceedings and the press. Something and nothing, I agree totally with you 400 IUs is not nearly high enough, especially for older people and those with respiratory disease/s who lack vitamin D anyway.

I have received an e-mail (11 page letter) from DHSC / NHS this afternoon and if Vitamin D is required it can be requested, there is a link within the e-mail.

I already take cod liver oil and the advice is not to take additional vitamin D.

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