Giving Vitamin D on NHS in Scotland is ruled out

The Scottish Government yesterday ruled out a move to provide Vitamin D supplements on the NHS to make up for a lack of sunlight and to help combat chronic disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Experts recommended that Scotland should become the first to fund the free Vitamin D supplement for everyone – which could cost up to £15 million.

Professor George Ebers, Professor of Clinical Neurology at Oxford University, was one of those who made the call during a one-day summit examining the possible link between multiple sclerosis and vitamin D deficiency.

The meeting in Clydebank was inspired by campaigning Glasgow schoolboy Ryan McLaughlin, whose 35-year-old mother Kirsten, a former European Taekwondo champion, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago.

The vitamin is naturally created in the body by exposure to the sun but in Scotland there is only enough sunlight of the necessary UVB wavelength for about half the year.

The Scottish Government said yesterday: “We take our advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and as far as they are concerned there isn’t enough evidence to justify giving everyone free Vitamin D.”

Mr Ebers, who works in clinical neurology, said that, although not proven, the evidence was strong enough for all Scots to gain the benefit from the supplement.

He said: “Scotland has the highest prevalence of MS in the world.

“We know that if Scots moved to places where it is sunny such as Queensland their MS risk drops sixfold or even higher.”

Herald Scotland

Leave a comment