‘More vitamin D is not necessarily better’

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MEASURING vitamin D levels in an attempt to alleviate a range of illnesses is “costly, confusing and without credibility”, according to a Scottish scientist.

Professor Naveed Sattar is calling for an end to the tests to measure blood concentrations of the vitamin which, he says, have “skyrocketed” following recent publicity over the alleged health benefits of taking vitamin D supplements.

In a paper to be published in the medical journal The Lancet tomorrow Professor Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said the only reliable tests were randomised trials.

He said the cause of vitamin D deficiency had not been identified and other than it being given to prevent fractures in osteoporosis, there was no other established link with other conditions.

Last month, international experts called for food in Scotland to be fortified with the vitamin to try to reduce the large numbers of people developing multiple sclerosis.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “We welcome contributions to the debate, but there would need to be broader scientific consensus in favour of a new approach before any change could be considered.

“The Institute of Medicine in the United States last year produced a major review of the impact of vitamin D on ill-health, concluding there was no evidence of any impact of vitamin D on any chronic illness apart from its impact on bone health.

“Indeed, they specifically stated that ‘more is not necessarily better’.”