This page summarises and signposts to medicine related guidance we’re aware of from professional and government bodies relating to coronavirus and nutritional and inherited metabolic disorders
Our advice is constantly reviewed as the pandemic situation evolves.
Whilst we have tried to ensure that the information on this page is complete, please report a concern if you feel anything is omitted or inaccurate.
To see our professional guidance summaries for other clinical areas, click here
Advice in this area includes:
Last updated 17 December 2020
- This guideline covers use of vitamin D in adults, young people and children in hospitals and community settings in the context of COVID-19.
- The Panel considered evidence from the NICE evidence review of vitamin D for COVID-19 as well as indirect evidence from the updated Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) rapid review on using vitamin D supplements to prevent acute respiratory tract infections.
- The guidance recommends following UK government advice on taking a vitamin D supplement to maintain bone and muscle health and provides recommended doses dependent on age group.
- With insufficient evidence for the Panel to support use, Vitamin D supplements are not recommended for the sole purpose of treating or preventing COVID-19 except as part of a clinical trial.
- The guidance provides links for services supplying free vitamin D supplements to some population groups, including the NHS service supplying free daily vitamin D supplements for people at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from COVID‑19 and women and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
Department of Health & Social Care: Vitamin D and care homes guidance
Last updated 24 February 2021
- Details of DHSC policy to provide a free 4-month supply of daily vitamin D supplements to residents in nursing and residential care homes in England to support their general health.
- The supplement will be provided in liquid form to be administered as 2 drops daily, providing 10micrograms (400 international units) vitamin D. It will be classed as a food supplement not a medicine and will be delivered directly to care homes from January 2021.
- The policy provides direction for care home providers on following steps to check safety information for each resident before offering the supplement, and ensuring vitamin D is only provided to residents when they have provided informed consent or on the basis of a best interest decision under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- Direction is also given on recording provision of the supplement and supporting residents to self-administer, as well as management of incidents and adverse reactions and storing the supplements.
British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition: COVID-19 Resources
Last updated 25 May 2021
- Includes links to BAPPEN/PINNT Statement on the recent advice for people on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) previously advised to shield published 23/11/2020; NNNG practical advice and guidance for management of nutritional support during COVID-19 updated 12/4/2020; a statement on Coronavirus and home parenteral nutrition (HPN); a statement on home enteral nutrition and COVID-19; a statement on COVID-19 and enteral tube feeding safety updated 13/5/2020; an AIDE-memoire for NG tube placement before FIRST use in critical care settings during COVID-19 updated 13/5/2020; a BAPEN/BSG joint statement on PEG insertion during COVID-19 published 24/4/2020; recommendations on route of nutrition support in patients requiring non-invasive ventilation or continuous positive airways pressure during COVID-19 updated 21/4/2020; practical guidance for using ‘MUST’ to identify malnutrition during COVID-19; pyrexia protocols for HPN patients (COVID testing available and COVID testing unavailable); a remote rapid discharge protocol, flowchart and discharge checklist to allow remote discharge of PN-dependent patients from their referring hospital and a selection of documents regarding BAPEN position that NG/NJ tube placement should be classed as an aerosol generating procedure.
British Dietetic Association: COVID-19/Coronavirus – Advice for the General Public
Last updated 18 May 2021
- A selection on FAQs on supplements, general advice on nutrition, treatment and support for people with or at risk of malnutrition and links to advice or further information on nutrition for people with specific health conditions (e.g. diabetes, coeliac disease, respiratory disorders, IBS, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) or who have food allergies.
British Inherited Metabolic Diseases Group: Emergency Guides
- Links to guidelines for emergency management of adults or children providing details of emergency regimen drinks and making IV fluids for metabolic patients
British Inherited Metabolic Diseases Group: Considerations in the assessment of IMD Critically Unwell Covid-19 patients
Last updated April 2020
- This guidance from the Adult Dietitians BIMDG Subgroup includes advice on medications including propofol, prokinetics and IV ammonia scavenging medicines
British Inherited Metabolic Diseases Group: Guidance for identifying individuals with IMD vulnerable to COVID complications
Published 6 November 2020
- This guidance provides information on the 2 groups of people more at risk of complications if they develop COVID-19 infection, i.e. ‘clinically vulnerable people’ or clinically extremely vulnerable people’, outlining which group someone may fall into, dependent on medical conditions or medications.
- It notes that the majority of individuals with an inherited disorder of metabolism are not considered to be ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, unless they have 1 or more additional issues associated with their condition (e.g. treatment with immunosuppression sufficient to significantly increase the risk of infection; have or are undergoing treatment for some specific cancers; severe lung disease (requiring home oxygen); long-term life dependency on ventilation; brittle/poorly controlled or complex disease, or multiple co-morbidities, etc).
British Inherited Metabolic Diseases Group: Frequently asked questions about the vaccination programme for COVID-19
Last updated 4 January 2021
- Responses to FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccines for patients with inherited metabolic diseases or lyosomal storage disorders.
- Topics covered include suitability of these patients for receiving the vaccine, safety in patients following a low protein diet, advice for patients receiving regular intravenous enzyme replacement therapy and timing of vaccination, and whether having the vaccine would impact on a person’s ability to receive gene therapy in the future