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 Moderated by: Prof Trevor Marshall  
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Dr. Marshall, after reading this article, which mentions that mental illness doubled in English speaking capitalistic countries in the last 20 years of the last century, and the author's assertion that English speaking greedy capitlistic countries have more mental illness than mainland Europe, I wondered about the rise in the use of Vitamin D in mainland Europe.  I've read recently that obesity is on the rise in France, and so I'm suspecting that Vitamin D use is on the rise there.  Does Vitamin D usage make sense of the vague statistics on mental health provided?  Thanks, Claire

Prof Trevor Marshall
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Much neurological disease, possibly the majority of neurological disease, is caused by the Th1 pathogens, The DMM2008 conference at Karolinska this year is themed "Cognitive Dysfunction in Disease: Mechanisms and Therapies" so there does seem to be at least some recognition of this by "Medicine."

As for your second statement, about immunosuppression due to Vit D, it is interesting to note that a lot of the Third World has been shipped fortified dried milk powder, especially baby formula, since the 1960's. So this is not just a problem of the West, although the USA is certainly the hardest hit by it.
Of particular interest to me is Japan, where the startling rise on heart disease has been attributed to Western fast foods. IMO it could also be Western supplement-fed beef and the vitamin craze. Since Japan has always had a significant proportion of fish in its diet, this does tend to pose some questions we will need to look at, over the next decade...

Last edited on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 19:43 by Prof Trevor Marshall

Cass A
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Much of the rise in "mental illness" can be attributed to the psychiatric profession medicalizing nearly every aspect of human behavior.  This is currently being exposed in the US News and World Report regarding psychiatrists deciding the names  and characteristics of "new" disorders having ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The DSM used to be a thin book--now you could hold down your coffee table with it.


Cass A


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With reference to Marshall's comment on the Japanese and fish consumption I have wondered if epidemiologists have been missing a host of other possible associations that could explain equally well or better the health and longevity of these people. Both the icelandic people and the japanese are the longest lived and both are island states with a high fish consumption. However, both cultures also have had a historical predilection for frequent immersion in hot thermal waters, something that has been carried on into modern times. The japanese take hot baths every night, as not many live in proximity to thermal waters anymore, not only for higiene purpuses but because they believe it to be of health benefit, and the icelandic folk still regularly visit active, thermal waters, for the same reasons. Could it be that some of the increasesd health and longevity seen in these cultures is due to improved immune function due to regular periods of elevated body temperature? I have never seen this factor ruled out (controlled for) in any of the epidemiological studies. Perhpas the hot tub lobby can fund these studies and clarify (or muddy) this issue!:)

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