Monday, 2 August 2010

More on Vitamin D

Another Radio 4 program investigating Vitamin D (available for only six more days).  The Food Program looks at the mounting evidence in support of supplementing with D (notwithstanding Ken's comments):
  • A growing body of evidence suggests we may need more Vitamin D. But since access to the sun is limited and people are wary of skin cancer, should we be fortifying more foods with Vitamin D or consuming supplements?Health professionals have been appalled at the return of rickets in some communities and studies have shown that infants can be at risk of heart failure if the mother is lacking in Vitamin D. Current guidelines are based on the avoidance of rickets rather than on an optimal amount of Vitamin D for health. Why is the UK apparently behind other countries in its recommendations and in supplementation and fortification of foods - and does this need to change?
The case is made no only for supplementation, but also emphasis is place upon the sources of D such as meat (!), eggs and butter (apparently there is not so much in dairy, despite what the milk marketeers would have us believe).

This is yet another great example of Radio 4's investigative journalism.  This series has, over the years, explored all areas of food production and consumption.  Always entertaining, it is nice to see it reaching in to the fringes of science.

Personally I took 10000IUs most days over last winter. Spring and autumn I take around 2500IUs most days. In summer I might take 2500IUs on days I have not been outside in the sun between 1100hrs and 1400hrs - but as you can imagine, this is a rare event. 

I do treat 'pill popping' with caution and will look to adjust my dosage accordingly based upon future evidence.  Certainly there seems to be little in terms of long term investigation in to supplementation with D.  But, with sporadic intake and current knowledge, I am reasonably happy.

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