Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West and Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee Seán Crowe has today launched a report by the Committee advocating that people incorporate Vitamin D supplements into their diet as Irish people are at a high risk of deficiency and that solving this could have long lasting health benefits and stave off a wide range of illnesses and diseases.
Speaking after the launch of the Report at Leinster House today, Teachta Crowe said:
“The Oireachtas Health Committee report that I have launched today not only advocates that Irish people take Vitamin D supplements more regularly, but calls on the Government to reconsider the VAT that is applied to them so that we can make them as affordable and available as possible.
“Due to our climate, Irish people do not get enough Vitamin D. It can also be difficult to eat a diet rich in Vitamin D and so we see Irish people across all age groups displaying Vitamin D deficiency.
“The report found Vitamin D deficiency is highest among Irish BAME communities at 94%, Nursing Home residents at 80%, those over 80years of age at 64%. The group with highest prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, such as those with obesity or older adults, are the same group with highest risk from Covid-19.
“Vitamin D is well-known for its importance in supporting human health. Not only does it support bone health and prevent osteoporosis through its promotion of calcium absorption, it is also known for assisting muscle strength. An inadequate level of vitamin D has been associated with a number of diseases including metabolic disorders, autoimmune conditions, psychiatric, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, and cancers.
“There is also believed to be a link between Vitamin D deficiency and a higher chance of contracting Covid-19. We have heard anecdotal reports of shortages of the vitamin in our chemists as people have been taking far more of the vitamin than they did previously.
“We should not forget about Vitamin D once Covid-19 passes however. The long term health benefits of supplementing our Vitamin D are clear and we need to have a national information campaign to inform the public of this important and simple way to improve and preserve their health.”
You can read the report here