A Labour and Tory MP have joined forces in bid to persuade Matt Hancock to promote the possible benefits of vitamin D in fighting coronavirus.
Former Brexit secretary David Davis and Labour’s Dr Rupa Huq are set to met with the Health Secretary on Wednesday evening.
The unlikely duo will try to persuade him launch a public health campaign to encourage Britons to take vitamin D supplements.
A recent study in the US suggested that patients who take a daily dose of vitamin D are less likely to experience complications and die from coronavirus.
Dr Huq, the MP for Ealing Central and Acton, said: “Vitamin D is not a smoking gun or panacea, but as an additional tool in our armoury against Covid-19 it can be powerful – reducing the risk by half according to a recent randomised controlled trial from Spain.
“It’s no coincidence that where Vitamin D levels are high (e.g. Finland and New Zealand), cases and deaths have been rare. Here in Blighty, though, our R number is rocketing.
“Informing people of the benefits of upping intake of something available for pennies over the counter at your local Boots would be a low-cost, low-risk intervention to help stop the spread and ward off a dreaded second surge of the virus.”
She said: “Recommending Vitamin D and even prescribing it would be inexpensive and far-reaching. With the worst death toll in Europe, what do we have to lose?”
The Health Secretary told the Commons last month that he had ordered a trial that showed vitamin D did not “appear to have any impact”. However, officials later admitted that no trials took place.
According to a recent study in the US, patients who take a daily dose of vitamin D are less likely to experience complications and die from coronavirus.
Scientists at Boston University’s school of medicine found that the vitamin was linked to higher levels of immune cells in the blood and much lower inflammatory markets.
This meant there were far fewer cytokine storms, a potentially deadly overreaction of the immune system sparked by coronavirus that overloads the blood with proteins.