Professor Parag Singhal on the importance of Vitamin D consumption
A North Somerset physician is urging people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to protect themselves against coronavirus by taking Vitamin D everyday.
Professor Parag Singhal, who works in Weston-super-Mare, said the vaccine rollout will take a long time and those most vulnerable to the virus must not get complacent.
He told ITV News West Country: "My message to the BAME population is very clear and loud. Please take an adequate dose of Vitamin D, develop your defensive immunity to minimise the severity of the disease."
According to the NHS, people should take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep your bones and muscles healthy.
Professor Singhal is the National Secretary for BAPIO (British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin).
He said while the vaccine is good news, people from BAME communities who are not on the priority list must still protect themselves from catching Covid-19.
According to Professor Singhal and a growing number of medical experts around the world, Vitamin D is essential for building a strong immune system.
Professor Singhal even credits 'the sunshine vitamin' with saving his own life after he caught coronavirus in November.
He said: "I am on the road to recovery. I have escaped with a relatively mild disease, without needing hospitalisation, and I owe this to Vitamin D because I have been taking 100,000 units every month."
The professor added: "Everybody is going overboard about the vaccination, that it has arrived, but people are not going to get it that easily. We still need to protect ourselves and people should not forget that.
"We know that more and more studies are coming out and Vitamin D plays such an important role."
In April Professor Singhal, as part of BAPIO, warned of the "disproportionately high mortality rates" among BAME health workers.
Multiple reports, including one from Public Health England, have similarly concluded that people from BAME backgrounds are more susceptible to falling seriously ill from the virus.