Value of Vitamin D
Medical professionals are being contacted about government guidelines, recommending that under-fives in particular may require daily vitamin D supplements, as well as some other groups.
Value of Vitamin D
A stark warning was issued by UK chief medical officer - Dame Sally Davies - that some adults and young children and lacking in vitamin D. Medical professionals are being contacted about government guidelines, recommending that under-fives in particular may require daily vitamin D supplements, as well as some other groups.
The debilitating condition rickets, as well as brittle bones, weakened muscle and infections such as TB are all possible results of vitamin D deficiency, and recent research pointed to 25% of UK toddlers having bloodstreams lacking in it.
The Feeding For Life Foundation report is not conclusive, no national data being available, and these conclusions based solely on dietary sources, such as oily fish, margarines and cereals, but it took no account of exposure to sunlight, which also promotes vitamin D production in the body.
It seems clear, however, that significant numbers of UK people probably have too little vitamin D in their blood, and need to take supplements, but the general public seem unaware these days of the importance of this vitamin, as shown by a resurgence in the incidence of rickets in children, over recent years, after a long period when the disease had faded.
At greatest risk of are dark-skinned people and those living in the north of the UK, Scotland's having high rate of MS - also linked to vitamin D deficiency - mainly due to there being much less sunshine there, and leading to calls for all foodstuffs to be automically fortifed before going on sale .
Since schemes offering free cod liver oil and vitamins were suspended, public awareness has declined, such programmes stopped because at the time they were thought to be harmful, in retrospect a major mistake by the authorities.
Children and pregnant women, guidelines say, need 400 units daily, only 10% of the quantity recommended in the USA, so the Department of Health has asked that a review of how much vitamin D different population groups need be carried out.
Whatever the outcome, and even if certain ethnic groups need more than others, persuading the population that they need to supplement their diets for the sake of their health is likely to be an uphill battle. Remember though, if you get a chesty cough that just MIGHT be TB, you have been warned.