The positive and negative effects of vitamin D supplements have been the cause of much debate in the media recently, but could vitamin D supplements be the solution to the re-emergence of the tuberculosis disease which is threatening industrialized countries everywhere?
Vitamin D is naturally created within our bodies when we’re exposed to sunshine. In other words, vitamin D makes for healthy bones.
When a person suffers from a vitamin D deficiency it can lead to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rickets, and tuberculosis.
Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to prostrate cancer and the more aggressive forms of skin cancer.
A major study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden actually concluded that women who sunbathe everyday actually have a longer life expectancy than those who never sunbathe.
It also suggests that wearing sunscreen may be doing more harm than good because it prevents the required levels of vitamin D from being produced.
As cases of rickets have rocketed in the last 15 years due, some suggest, to the increased popularity of sunscreen, there will also be new research presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) this week that there is a direct link between low levels of vitamin D and tuberculosis.
Globally, around 9 million people are affected each year by tuberculosis. Known as the silent killer, it is most prevalent in underdeveloped countries. Yet it remains the second-largest infectious killer worldwide, claiming the lives of 1.5 million people every year.
An alarming number of cases of tuberculosis have been reported in major European cities such as London, Barcelona, and Brussels, leading experts to speculate that there is a direct link between tuberculosis infection and the role vitamin D plays in the immune response.
Researchers have recently gone on record commenting that vitamin D supplements won’t protect healthy, middle-aged adults from osteoporosis.
Worse still, it’s been suggested that taking vitamin D supplements when you don’t need them may actually increase the chance of death from other diseases.
Yet if the rise in tuberculosis is due to a general vitamin D deficiency in the Western world, can vitamin D supplements actually help or even prevent it?
A spokesman for the Department of Health in the UK told The Telegraph: “We recognize the importance of Vitamin D for good health. Most people in the UK can get enough vitamin D from sunlight, but those at risk of vitamin D deficiency should take daily supplements.”