Letter in The Guardian on 21.02.17 on article Vitamin D 'proved to cut risk of colds and flu' on 16.02.17
By Dr Jenny Goodman (BSEM)
Great to see vitamin D on your front page at last (Vitamin D ‘proved to cut risk of colds and flu’, 16 February). Those of us in the British Society for Ecological Medicine, a group of doctors who take the nutritional aspects of our patients’ treatment very seriously, have been banging on about the benefits, and indeed the necessity, of vitamin D for decades. Indeed, the society’s president, Dr Damien Downing, published a book about it back in 1988 entitled Day Light Robbery – The Importance of Sunlight to Health.
I would just like to add two points: first, vitamin D is vital not only to the health of the immune system, thereby in fact reducing the likelihood of cancer as well as of infections, it is also essential for mental health. In young people with depression and in older people with onset of dementia, we find desperately low levels of vitamin D. Vegans are particularly at risk, because in the British climate they have virtually no source of vitamin D at all.
Second, with regard to the proposal to add vitamin D to our food: it is crucial that this be the real thing, vitamin D3, cholecalciferol. Too often, what is added to foods and cheap multivitamins is vitamin D2, ergocalciferol, which is synthetic and far less useful.
Thank you again for publicising this excellent research.
Dr Jenny Goodman
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