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Three free vitamin D books - focus on Scotland 2004-2008

2 free vitamin D books - focus on Scotland

By Oliver Gillie

Sunlight Vitamin D and Health: A report of a conference held at the House of Commons in November 2005

Sunlight Robbery - 2004

Scotland's Health Deficit and a plan - 2008

Scotland's Health Deficit Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The “sunshine vitamin” and the Scots’ climate

1. Scotland gets less sun – Scots less D . . . . . . . .4
2. Eskimos, Lapps – and Scots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
3. Remarkable list of D disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
4. The ‘Scottish effect’ – an explanatio . . . . . . .7
5. An early death in Scotland: Mortality studies 8

Chapter 2: Scotland’s major killers

1. Heart and blood vessel disease . . . . . . . . . . . .10
2. Blood pressure and stroke – the quiet killers 11
3. Heart failure – vitamin D can help . . . . . . . . .12
4. Heart failure in infants – tip of an iceberg . .13
5. Cancer – increased risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Chapter 3: Scotland’s bane: the epidemic of immune system diseases

1. The silent epidemi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
2. The Big Four autoimmune diseases:
2.1. Multiple sclerosis – a world record for Scotland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
2.2. Diabetes in young people (type 1)– a British record for Scotland . . . . . . . . . . . .20
- Diabetes in older people (type 2) .22
2.3. Rheumatoid Arthritis – a northern affliction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
2.4. Inflammatory bowel disease – unspoken suffering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
3. Asthma and other chest condition . . . . . . . .26

Chapter 4: Bone disease, muscle disease and sport

1. Rickets and fractures in childhood . . . . . . . . .30
2. Bone disease and adult fracture . . . . . . . . . . .31
3. Dental decay – more to it than fluorid . . . .33
4. Unexplained backache and muscle pains . . .35
5. Muscle weakness and depressio . . . . . . . . . .36
6. Sport – is Scotland achieving its potential .37
7. Sport – stress fractures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

Chapter 5: Winter illness and other infections – need we suffer so much flu and so many colds?

1. Dramatic effect of D on immune system . . .40
2. Tuberculosis: more common in sprin . . . . . .40
3. D stimulates production of antimicrobial peptides . . . . . .. . . . . . . .41

Chapter 6: Epidemics on the north Atlantic islands

1. Wartime “epidemics” of multiple sclerosis . .42
2. An epidemic of leukaemia – troops blamed again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
3. Prescription – fish twice a day with meal . .44
4. Wartime rationing – one egg every two months . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
5. Two diseases with something in common . .47
6. Leukaemia – an event in pregnanc . . . . . . . .48
7. Cancer and Crohn’s in the north Atlantic islands . . . . . . . . . . . .49

Chapter 7: A new Public Health Policy for sunlight and vitamin D

1. Full review not undertaken by government advisors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
2. UK government now recommends sunshine – and bare shoulders. . . . . . . . . .50
3. Risks v. benefits of sun exposure: 2,000:1 in favour of exposure. . . . . . . . . . . . .52
4. Westminster bungles supply of infant vitamin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
5. Canadians advised to take a supplement – why not Scots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54

Chapter 8: Advice for individuals

1. Supplements – easy and reliabl . . . . . . . . . . .55
2. Sunbathing – the SunSafe advice . . . . . . . . . .56
3. SunSmart’s mistakes – Britons told to play by Australian rules. . . . . . . . . . . . . .57
4. Vitamin D protects skin cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
5. Sun lamps and sun bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60

Chapter 9: Towards a “step-change” in Scots’ health

A check list of action needed from the Scottish Governmen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62

Chapter 10: Sir Richard Doll and vitamin D

1. Influence of a non-significant tren . . . . . . . .64
2. Courageous change of mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
3. James Watson, DNA and vitami . . . . . . . . . .65

Chapter 11: Finding the trail – how this began

1. Sunlight Robber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
2. Scotland – a personal note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67

Chapter 12. For the record

1. Health Research Forum: report of activitie .69
2. A note on methodology: investigative review. . . . . . . . . . . . .71
3. A brief biography . . . . . . . . . .72

References . . . . .73

Index . . .. . . . .91

Summary from the introduction to the book

People living in Scotland have a lower average level of vitamin D in their bodies than people in England and a higher incidence of several common chronic diseases. The difference in vitamin D levels is a result of Scotland’s northerly location, which allows less opportunity for exposure of the skin to sunlight. A healthy person in Europe or North America obtains more than 90% of their vitamin D by exposure of skin to the sun. The low levels of vitamin D in the Scottish population can explain, at least in part, the higher levels of certain chronic diseases and the higher death rates found in Scotland compared to England and most other Western European countries.

While health has been improving in Scotland, the advance is not as fast as in other European countries, and at the present rate Scotland will never catch up. This report calls for urgent action by Scotland’s government to take new measures that will give the country its best chance of improving health and of catching up with other European countries that have more favourable climates.

Insufficient vitamin D is an important factor increasing the risk or severity of several chronic diseases including several cancers, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes (types 1 and 2), and arthritis as well as bone disease and fractures that frequently lead to death in old people. Most of these, and certain other ills, occur more frequently in Scotland compared with England – a difference that may be accounted for large- ly by the difference in available sunlight between the two countries. Looking at multiple sclerosis alone, Scotland has a higher percentage of sufferers than any other country in the world, and the second highest percentage for Crohn’s disease.

However successive reports on the state of Scottish health have failed to recognise that insufficient sunlight and vitamin D are important risk factors for health in Scotland. The purpose of this book is to draw attention to this gap and show how major gains in Scottish health can be expected from relatively simple preventive measures.

Multiple sclerosis, diabetes type 1, and Crohn’s disease are autoimmune diseases which have become much more common in Scotland during the last 30 years or more. It is no exaggeration to say that Scotland is in the grip of a serious epidemic of autoimmune disease. Similar increases are occurring in other countries but the epidemic appears to be more extensive in Scotland than elsewhere and may be caused in large part by insufficient vitamin D.

The vitamin D status of the Scottish population could be boosted by making supplements available cheaply and/or by fortifying food with vitamin D. A relatively small investment might reduce personal misery of very large numbers of people as well as save large sums presently spent on illness and disability in Scotland. The problem of vitamin D insufficiency requires the same urgent attention from government as smoking, alcoholism or obesity.

Vitamin D status can be improved without the personal denial or discipline needed by smokers, drinkers, or dieters who attempt to give up cigarettes, or reduce alcohol or food intake. The principal factor preventing improvement in vitamin D levels at present is lack of government action in facilitating the availability of vitamin D supplements together with lack of knowledge of the problem among health professionals and the public.

Mistaken advice from government in London and from Cancer Research UK to avoid exposure to the sun between 11am and 3pm can only have pushed down average levels of vitamin D in the past. Official advice needs to be brought up to date so that the public is encouraged to sunbathe without burning, since burning appears to be the major risk factor for skin cancer rather than sun exposure itself.

Health Research Forum advisors (as reported in Scotland's Health Deficit and a plan -2008 )

Director and founder: Oliver Gillie

Scientific advisors:

Moray Campbell, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
William Grant, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC) San Francisco
Michael Holick, Boston University, School of Medicine, Boston
Julian Peto, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
Joy Townsend, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
Reinhold Vieth, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto and Mt Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada

Advisors on production and publicity:

Michael Crozier – Editorial Director of Crozier Associates Ltd, formerly of The Independent and The Times
Jim Anderson – freelance journalist, formerly of The Sunday Telegraph



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