Your report (24 December) on the proposal that there should be artificial supplementation of Scotland's food by vitamin D to reduce the frequency of multiple sclerosis did not address the two main questions of whole-population interventions. Is it effective? Is it safe?
Current evidence strongly supports a role for low levels of vitamin D in the development of MS, as your article says. However, other factors are also involved. There are no population-based clinical trials supporting the effectiveness of artificial dietary supplementation by vitamin D in lowering the frequency of MS.
On the matter of safety, vitamin D supplementation should have no adverse effect on healthy individuals. However, whole-population medication also affects the frail, elderly and ill. There are a number of illnesses in which vitamin D supplementation is potentially harmful. These are diseases associated with elevated blood calcium and include hyperparathyroidism, myeloma, lymphoma, tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.
How common are these conditions? In Scotland hyperparathyroidism alone affects 6 per 1,000 of the population – it is several times more frequent than MS. So while we need to examine this issue carefully, mass medication with no published evidence of benefit, and with the risk that more people could be harmed than are likely to benefit, would be irresponsible.”
Happy Hogmanay, but let's skip the haggis on Rabbie Burns' Night!
____________________ "Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while." Groucho Marx.
MP start May'11 (2 breaks: one in December '15 and one Jan-Mar '18) | Lyme Disease '93, CFS/ME '10 | muscle/joint pain, severe fatigue, myriad neurological symptoms