A lot of good news and puzzling news about vitamin D.
The good news is that researchers in Scotland are launching a new study comparing artificial UVB light-similar to the light that you would expect to get in Aberdeen- and vitamin D supplements on the immune system. They are looking to see if there is any effect on health outcomes. Vitamin D deficiency can affect bone health and it may have an effect on other diseases such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. The one thing I would question from the proposed research is the fact that doses of vitamin D to be used are similar to those found in ordinary over the counter vitamin supplements. I suggest if you look at research from around the world then to augment 25(OH)D levels-the test for vitamin D- to an adequate level in defficient people will mean administering a considerably higher dose. The team are looking for 50 volunteers who are not currently taking vitamin D, are not allergic to the sun, and can travel to the research site to take part.
The puzzling news about vitamin D is research published in the Lancet on January 24th. Professor Michaelsson's team looked at a meta-analysis of data to see if vitamin D offered health benefits in prevention of heart disease, cancer or bone fractures. They could find no beneficial evidence and suggested that 'taking vitamin D without true insuffiency might actually cause harm.' This has been refuted by Dr Canell of the Vitamin D Council but I did wonder where the data originated to substantiate the statement?