International experts are calling for food in Scotland to be fortified with vitamin D, in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS levels in Scotland are the highest in the world because for almost half a year people in Scotland do not get enough UVB rays from the sun on their skin to make adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D deficiency is a contributing factor for MS.
Professor George Ebers of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University believes that the evidence of the link between MS and vitamin D deficiency is strong and good enough to justify dosing the entire population with vitamin D.
However, Scotland's chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns said, "It is important to remember that dietary supplements can have harmful as well as positive consequences and recommendations need to be made on the basis of evidential benefit in well conducted randomized studies in large populations. Mass medication of the Scottish population without such evidence would be considered irresponsible by the public health community."