by Rufus Greenbaum
Rufus Greenbaum discovered the appalling truth when he investigated a little known committee that decides which supplements should be available on the NHS.
Some years ago I became interested in how the government and the Department of Health deal with preventing illness. My own health had improved after I had lost a lot of weight and I felt so much better that I began researching what else could keep me feeling so well. One bit of advice that kept cropping up was to keep Vitamin D levels topped up.
It seemed such a simple way to improve health in all sorts of ways that I contacted various experts to find out why the government was ignoring the evidence. After all, vitamin D is very cheap and making it widely available on the NHS would surely have all sorts of cost-saving health benefits.
Among those I spoke to was a doctor who had just written a book about Vitamin D and sunshine, plus a well-known academic and a campaigning journalist. They all explained that the two bodies that were key to getting any supplement or health initiative approved for the NHS were NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and one I’d never heard of: SACN (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition www.sacn.gov.uk ).
Officially we only need a minuscule amount
Even though Vitamin D had been a hot area of research for over a decade, the SACN hadn’t assessed the evidence for over five years – their last significant paper on it had been in 2007. Then their conclusion had been much the same as it had been for decades – all we need is a minuscule amount in the blood stream ( 25 nmol/L) to avoid rickets and other bone problems.
On that basis we are all doing pretty OK since the UK average is between 25 and 50 nmol/L. However that is way below the amount now recommended by the 40 eminent experts from around the world whose work I had been following. Their advice was that every adult should have between 100 and150 nmol/L in their bloodstream to prevent some major long-term illnesses.
In their Call-To-Action program – which can be found at www.grassrootshealth.net – they say: “There are newly appreciated associations between low levels of vitamin D and a range of fairly common disorders including: tuberculosis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type-1 diabetes, high blood pressure, increased heart failure, myopathy, breast and other cancers.