The British Weather Could be Damaging Your Health

By Gary Cutlack on at

Government advisors are set to tell us all to start taking vitamin D supplements, as official advice from health experts says it's too cloudy over much of the UK for our bodies to synthesise as much vitamin D as we need.

The findings have been assembled by the scientific advisory committee on nutrition (SACN), which has been rethinking official advice on vitamin D. Previously, young children, pregnant women, the over 65s and people with dark skin have been advised to take extra vitamin D, but that advice could soon change to cover the whole population.

The health risks of not getting enough sunny D are said to include a higher likelihood of heart disease and developing type 1 diabetes and cancers, with the report, currently at draft stage, suggesting that it might be wise to introduce a strategy to augment the diets of the entire population.

The Draft Vitamin D and Health Report [PDF] proposes a  Reference Nutrient Intake level of 10 micrograms of D per day, a level it says is "difficult to achieve" through simple dietary changes -- hinting that some sort of national pill-popping programme might be needed to get us pale indoors types up to spec. [SACN via Guardian]

Image credit: Rain in the UK from Shutterstock