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Br J Nutr ; 127(10): 1567-1587, 2022 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805502


A multi-disciplinary expert group met to discuss vitamin D deficiency in the UK and strategies for improving population intakes and status. Changes to UK Government advice since the 1st Rank Forum on Vitamin D (2009) were discussed, including rationale for setting a reference nutrient intake (10 µg/d; 400 IU/d) for adults and children (4+ years). Current UK data show inadequate intakes among all age groups and high prevalence of low vitamin D status among specific groups (e.g. pregnant women and adolescent males/females). Evidence of widespread deficiency within some minority ethnic groups, resulting in nutritional rickets (particularly among Black and South Asian infants), raised particular concern. Latest data indicate that UK population vitamin D intakes and status reamain relatively unchanged since Government recommendations changed in 2016. Vitamin D food fortification was discussed as a potential strategy to increase population intakes. Data from dose-response and dietary modelling studies indicate dairy products, bread, hens' eggs and some meats as potential fortification vehicles. Vitamin D3 appears more effective than vitamin D2 for raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, which has implications for choice of fortificant. Other considerations for successful fortification strategies include: (i) need for 'real-world' cost information for use in modelling work; (ii) supportive food legislation; (iii) improved consumer and health professional understanding of vitamin D's importance; (iv) clinical consequences of inadequate vitamin D status and (v) consistent communication of Government advice across health/social care professions, and via the food industry. These areas urgently require further research to enable universal improvement in vitamin D intakes and status in the UK population.

Awards and Prizes , Financial Management , Adolescent , Animals , Chickens , Female , Food, Fortified , Humans , Male , Pregnancy , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vitamin D , Vitamins
Br J Nutr ; 127(6): 896-903, 2022 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651089


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused mild illness in children, until the emergence of the novel hyperinflammatory condition paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (PIMS-TS). PIMS-TS is thought to be a post-SARS-CoV-2 immune dysregulation with excessive inflammatory cytokine release. We studied 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentrations in children with PIMS-TS, admitted to a tertiary paediatric hospital in the UK, due to its postulated role in cytokine regulation and immune response. Eighteen children (median (range) age 8·9 (0·3-14·6) years, male = 10) met the case definition. The majority were of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin (89 %, 16/18). Positive SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were present in 94 % (17/18) and RNA by PCR in 6 % (1/18). Seventy-eight percentage of the cohort were vitamin D deficient (< 30 nmol/l). The mean 25OHD concentration was significantly lower when compared with the population mean from the 2015/16 National Diet and Nutrition Survey (children aged 4-10 years) (24 v. 54 nmol/l (95 % CI -38·6, -19·7); P < 0·001). The paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) group had lower mean 25OHD concentrations compared with the non-PICU group, but this was not statistically significant (19·5 v. 31·9 nmol/l; P = 0·11). The higher susceptibility of BAME children to PIMS-TS and also vitamin D deficiency merits contemplation. Whilst any link between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of COVID-19 and related conditions including PIMS-TS requires further evidence, public health measures to improve vitamin D status of the UK BAME population have been long overdue.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/complications , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , Vitamin D
Front Nutr ; 8: 756413, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518510


Background: The world is still struggling to control the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The level of uncertainty regarding the virus is still significantly high. The virus behaves differently in children and young adults. Most children and adolescents are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. They generally have a very good prognosis. However, it is not well-known whether children and young adults with type 2 diabetes are at risk of getting a severe infection of COVID-19. Many Muslim children with type 2 diabetes have been performing dawn to dusk fasting during the month of Ramadan, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of this on their health has not been well investigated. Previous studies in adults have suggested that intermittent fasting may be beneficial in different ways including reversal of type 2 diabetes and prevention of COVID-19 infection. Objective: The primary aim of this narrative review is to summarise the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young adults with type 2 diabetes, and to identify the knowledge gaps in the literature. It also explores the potential of intermittent fasting in reversing the pathogenesis of diabetes and highlighting how this approach could prevent these patients from developing chronic complications. Methods: This narrative review has been produced by examining several databases, including Google Scholar, Research Gate, PubMed, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (EBSCO), and Web of Science. The most common search terms used were "COVID-19 AND Children", "SARS-CoV-2 AND/OR Children", "COVID-19 AND Diabetes" "COVID-19 Epidemiology", "COVID-19 AND Ramadan fasting", "COVID-19 and Intermittent fasting." All the resources used are either peer-reviewed articles/reports and/or official websites of various media, governmental and educational organisations. Results: Having reviewed the currently limited evidence, it has been found that the incidence of COVID-19 among children with type 2 diabetes seems to be not much different from children without diabetes. However, these patients are still vulnerable to any infection. Several studies have reported that prevention programmes such as intermittent fasting are effective to protect these groups of patients from developing any complications. Moreover, observing Ramadan fasting as a type of intermittent fasting could be beneficial for some children with established diabetes, prediabetes and people at risk. Conclusion: Children and young adults with type 2 diabetes are not at risk of severe COVID-19 infection as the case in adults with diabetes. More research is needed to identify the impact of COVID-19 and to investigate the efficacy and safety of intermittent fasting, including Ramadan fasting, among these age groups. Implementing these cost-effective programmes may have a great impact in minimising the incidence of diabetes. Moreover, this could be effective particularly at prediabetes stage by preventing these people from going onto develop type 2 diabetes and taking medications for the rest of their life and protecting people from complications linked to disease and infection.