A multi-disciplinary expert group of senior clinicians and researchers from across Ireland has received the INDI Research & Quality Improvement in Dietetic Practice Award for 2021 for their work, which examined a link between low vitamin D status and an increased risk of Covid-19.
Last April, members of the Group - Dr Daniel McCartney (TU Dublin) and Dr Declan Byrne (St. James’s Hospital and School of Medicine, Trinity) - co-authored an article published in the Irish Medical Journal, recommending that adults living in Ireland take 20-50 micrograms of vitamin D per day, as it may enhance resistance to respiratory infections such as Covid-19, or limit the severity of the illness for those that do become infected.
A multi-disciplinary expert group of senior clinicians and researchers was convened from gerontology, pulmonology, immunology, biochemistry, endocrinology, nutrition and dietetics to review and evaluate the emerging evidence in this area. Named the Covit-D Consortium, they published a statement in November outlining the evidence supporting a causal link between low vitamin D status and increased risk and severity of Covid-19 infection, including data from prospective intervention trials with vitamin D supplementation.
Data from TILDA indicate that there has already been a significant increase in vitamin D supplementation from 9% of older adults in Ireland to 15% of these older adults since March 2020. Earlier this month, the Covit-D Consortium received the Research & Quality Improvement in Dietetic Practice award at the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute’s annual research symposium in highlighting this important issue and providing evidence to inform policy development in this area.