Rushden dietitian says vitamin D could help us look after ourselves during lockdown

With the country entering its second lockdown today, Dr Mabel Blades says vitamin D is important for everyone
Food sources include salmon and egg yolksFood sources include salmon and egg yolks
Food sources include salmon and egg yolks

An expert on diet and nutrition says it could be worth adding vitamin D to your shopping list to help look after yourself during lockdown.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

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She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

Dr Blades has been sharing her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in recent months, helping us make good use of the food in our cupboards and offering advice on getting a balanced diet during the pandemic.

This week she is talking about the importance of vitamin D.

Dr Mabel Blades told the Northants Telegraph: "Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from foods for the formation and maintenance of strong bones.

"It also has a function in the immune system which helps to ward off infections.

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"Indeed, there has also been some research to suggest that vitamin D could help to limit the severity of coronavirus.

"It was certainly one of the many items that Donald Trump was given to treat coronavirus.

"Food sources are oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, margarines and spreads (which have it added), fortified breakfast cereals, red meat and liver.

"Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” as it can be produced by the skin during the summer months.

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"During the winter or bad weather, or if you do not go out of doors much or cover yourself then a source is needed.

"It was advised that vulnerable people such as older people, housebound individuals plus young children should take a supplement.

"However, this year Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS in the light of coronavirus plus lockdowns has updated this long-standing advice about vitamin D.

"They state that “everyone should supplement with 10 micrograms daily, not just ‘at-risk’ groups”.

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"Only 10 micrograms are needed and most over the counter supplements contain this and having looked at them in supermarkets and shops most cost below £2 for a month’s


"Unless advised by your doctor do not take additional amounts.

"Therefore, with a further lockdown plus winter weather it could be well worth considering adding this to the shopping basket for your family and also for older friends and relatives."

If you have a question relating to food, nutrition and eating well during lockdown, email your question to [email protected] and we will put it to Dr Blades.

To follow Dr Blades on Twitter, search for @blades_mabel.

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