A CARLISLE-BASED academic is calling for vitamin D to be prescribed to ethnic minorities as “overwhelming evidence” points to a lack of the vitamin contributing to higher infection rates.

Dr John Campbell, 62, who lives on Lowry Hill Road in the city, is a retired nurse teacher and A&E nurse who now spends his time studying and educating people on all forms of healthcare.

The academic has studied diseases all his life and his lectures have been watched more than 50 million times on YouTube in the last three months.

“Darker coloured skin produces vitamin D more slowly in the sun than lighter coloured skin,” he explained.

“It is not unreasonable to suggest that is why Covid-19 deaths are higher than in those with lighter skin.”

Dr Campbell says scientific evidence suggests those with less vitamin D in their body are more prone to infection and worse clinical outcomes.

Vitamin D is particularly important if people spend long periods inside, so could be particularly important during the coronavirus lockdown, according to Dr Campbell. Dr Campbell says maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is not just important for ethnic minorities, but those with the lowest levels have the most to gain from supplements.