A COMMUNITY group has launched a new campaign to encourage Vitamin D intake as the government rolls out the supplement free to care homes.

One Voice Blackburn and IMO Charity are working together on their ‘We all need the D, even me’ is a programme that aims to highlight the significance of Vitamin D and create an awareness of deficiency throughout the South Asian heritage community.

This comes at an important time as Health Secretary, Matt Hancock announced in November 2020 that vulnerable people would be able to get Vitamin D supplements for free in the winter months to ensure they remain healthy.

But, One Voice want to focus on those especially in the South Asian community, as these are the traditional groups of people who usually lack it more.

The campaign is the brainchild of 22-year-old Aisha Seedat who recognised the importance of Vitamin D and Vitamin C for the bodies of those with darker skin.

She said: “Although this is a very serious message, we aim to deliver the promotion in a fun and enlightening manner.

“We want to spread the message far and wide. Vitamin D and C deficiency is an important matter for all of us, no matter the age.

“Lack of Vitamin D may have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic by people staying indoors and reduced sun exposure. Vitamin D and C products are cheap, natural, and improve our immune system.”

The organisations are encouraging local people from the South Asian community to consume Vitamin D at levels of up to 4000iu/100mg daily.

University of Surrey research has shown extensive Vitamin D deficiency in over 8,000 South Asians living in the UK. People from BAME backgrounds that have a deeper skin tone are less able to absorb sunlight into their skin.

The increased melanin in the skin reduces its ability to absorb UV rays from the sunlight which means we do not have the ability to produce much Vitamin D from the sun.

Safe levels of Vitamin D is generally agreed to be above 10 nanograms per millilitre. One recent study of South Asians living in Manchester found average levels of 5.8 in winter and 9 in summer.

The campaign already launched on social media in late October 2020 and will continue to highlight the importance to South Asians in the community.