Independent TD Michael McNamara, chair of the Oireachtas Covid response committee, writes:

Following my intervention in the Dáil last week (above), I received a briefing yesterday from senior health experts who were emphatic about the urgency of addressing Vitamin D insufficiency as part of the fight against #COVID19. They need to be listened to

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37 thoughts on “D Briefing

  1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    most people in Ireland are deficit, especially in winter, you’d need a good few hours outside daily to scrape up what little is available in the day light

      1. missred

        I take a prescription level vitamin D called Desunin 800 iu, started last May and I do believe it has improved my mood a little. I don’t get sun and I hate oily fish so I really wish I’d taken it years ago

        1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

          lord how I miss sunshine, garanteed, warm golden, happy, caressing, sexy, sunshine

    1. Cian

      TL;DR from H’s link:

      In The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the findings from a prespecified analysis from the D-Health randomised clinical trial in more than 20 000 Australian adults recruited from the general population suggest that monthly doses of vitamin D did not reduce the risk or severity of acute respiratory tract infections. Although the analysis showed a statistically significant effect on the overall duration of symptoms based on analysis of diary data, the reduction was small (0·5 days) and unlikely to be clinically meaningful.

      1. Cian

        TL;DR from H’s link:

        On Dec 17, 2020, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) […] published an updated rapid review of recent studies on vitamin D and COVID-19. Their recommendations support the current government advice, revised in April, 2020, during the first lockdown in the UK, for everyone to take vitamin D supplements to maintain bone and muscle health during the autumn and winter months.
        […]
        However, the rapid review concluded that sufficient evidence to support vitamin D supplementation with the aim of preventing or treating COVID-19 was still lacking and that the topic should be further investigated.

        LT;DR: vitamin D is good for you; you should take supplements; but there is no evidence that it helps with Covid.

        1. Smokymo

          Australia is a sunny country, they should do this study in UK or Ireland.

          Also did they not find correlation between severity of covid to persons levels of vitamin d?

          Everyone I know who came to Ireland from ‘sunnier’ countries supplement vitamin d or have one of those lamps.

          Maybe irish people are better at getting vitamin d from Irish weather.

          1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            the lighter your skin the easier you absorb it, explains that unique blue tinge of the average Irish body

        2. f_lawless

          Are you really being fair in your assessment or just looking to defend the government position again?

          Click through to the Australian study in question and the key point in relation to Ireland:

          “Interpretation:

          These findings suggest that routine vitamin D supplementation of a population that is largely vitamin D replete is unlikely to have a clinically relevant effect on acute respiratory tract infection. ”

          According to a 2020 TCD report , 13% older adults in Ireland are deficient in vitamin D. 30% of those aged 70+ are deficient during winter.

          You say there’s “no evidence” but yet there is plenty of compelling observational evidence. How come you’re so quick to defend the government’s decision to impose mandatory masks which ignores all the available evidence from several randomised control trials and is based on flawed, cherry-picked observational studies? Could it be that you have a reflexive tendency to defend the government line no matter what?

          Worth a read:

          https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/12/3642/htm

          “Vitamin D Insufficiency May Account for Almost Nine of Ten COVID-19 Deaths: Time to Act. (Nov 2020)

          Hermann Brenner and Ben Schöttker

          Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

          Evidence from observational studies is accumulating, suggesting that the majority of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 infections are statistically attributable to vitamin D insufficiency and could potentially be prevented by vitamin D supplementation..

          ..Although final proof of causality and prevention of deaths by vitamin D supplementation would have to come from randomized trials which meanwhile have been initiated (e.g., [5]), the results of such trials will not be available in the short run. Given the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and the proven safety of vitamin D supplementation, it therefore appears highly debatable and potentially even unethical to await results of such trials before public health action is taken.”

          1. Cian

            I think there should be an official push towards taking Vitamin D supplements.

            There are benefits to taking them (even if the Covid is still undecided) and few risks. So on the whole the benefit outweighs the risks.

            They could be seen as an additional “slice of Swiss cheese” (not replacing any of the other precautions taken) [https://www.broadsheet.ie/2020/12/14/a-limerick-a-day-1982/]

    2. Bob

      Buy some vit D and take it every day for 2021.

      Will cost you maybe 50 euro.

      The linked article says UK recommends it but has not definitive 100% scientific proof it will help.

      Same as masks really and we all wear them :)

  2. Dell

    Whether it is effective in helping fight covid is very much disputed but it certainly wouldn’t do anyone any harm to supplement on vitamin d during the winter months as we do not get enough sunlight to produce it naturally.

  3. Paul Davis

    This has been known about for at least 9 months.

    Absolutely zero advice about boosting your health and immune system given during a pandemic.

    And people say trust the science.

    News alert, you are being lied to for financial and political gain.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      with the exception of NZ and a couple of others, no government anywhere in the world will emerge from this looking good. some have handled it worse than others, but almost all have made mistakes. id guess most will lose next election due to it. where is the political gain? and having forfeited billions in tax revenue as a result of lockdowns while having to spend billions on income support, where is the financial gain?

      1. paddy apathy

        NZ has not started vaccination yet.
        Maybe that is a feather you can pluck from cap. Won’t start till mid to late 2021.

  4. bisted

    …of all the whipping boy indignaties that NPHET have had to put up with from this dreadful government, they surely pale compared to having to listen to Michael McNamara as chairman of the Covid response committee…he makes the quacks on here seem like experts…he would be worthy of a place among the Broadsheet ratlickers…oh, wait…

  5. Mary Brennan

    Someone told me you can get on medical card free but doctor or hse never tell you ,is this true

    1. Cian

      Yes, but there is a Catch

      A doctor can get you a free medical card if they think you can’t look after it yourself.
      But asking for the free card shows you can look after yourself… so they can’t get you a free medical card.

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