The big news about the NICE guidelines is the recognition that Halal supplements must be made readily available to at risk patients. It follows that healthcare professionals should consider HALAL when recommending or prescribing vitamin D products to Muslim patients, or producing a formulary of vitamin D products. Muslims in the UK are among the most at risk of vitamin D deficiency and consequently the health conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Professor Mike Kelly, who was involved in producing the NICE guidelines, said: “Around 10 million people in England may have low vitamin D status and so could be at risk of health problems – and they may not know it.”
NICE have clearly defined Halal as
“foods or non-food items such as cosmetics or pharmaceuticals permitted by and prepared according to Islamic law.”
It is presumed that only products carrying independent certification from recognised Halal Certification organisation will be recommended as a Halal option. This is the only way that healthcare professionals can comply with the NICE guidelines.
A hard ask?
Surprisingly, our research showed that currently only one product range already widely recommended by many UK NHS organisations qualifies as a certified Halal option namely Pro D3 produced by Synergy Biologics in the UK. Other manufacturers claim Halal credentials for their products but do not carry Halal certification and many are unaware of the strict requirements for Halal compliance.
The international recognised guideline for the strict requirements for Halal compliance are outlined in the following article ( https://halaltreatments.com/2014/07/15/brunei-darussalam-guidelines-for-halal-certification/ )
Highlighted below is Recommendation 1 from the official NICE guideline.
Recommendation 1 Increase access to vitamin D supplements
The Department of Health should:
- Work with manufacturers to ensure vitamin D supplements providing the reference nutrient intake (RNI) as recommended by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, are widely available for the following at-risk groups:
- Infants and children aged under 5
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women, particularly teenagers and young women
- People over 65
- People who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example, those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, who are housebound or confined indoors for long periods
- People with darker skin, for example, people of African, African-Caribbean or South Asian family origin.
Suitable supplements should also be available for people with particular dietary needs (for example, people who avoid nuts, are vegan or have a halal or kosher diet).
You can read the full NICE guideline at the following link –