Health Research Forum
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Advanced industrial societies all over the world face a massive epidemic of chronic
disease caused by insufficient vitamin D. Modern life keeps us indoors away from the sun
which supplies 90 per cent of the vitamin D which we need.
A billion or more people in Europe obtain insufficient sunlight and vitamin D putting
them at increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and
the common cancers including cancer of the bowel, breast, prostate, ovary and lymph
glands as well as diseases of bone.
This epidemic of chronic disease caused by insufficient vitamin D is probably as large as
the epidemics caused by smoking and obesity, but the importance of vitamin D for health
is still not properly recognised by governments.
This report of a meeting in London at the House of Commons, chaired by Ian Gibson MP,
examines the evidence for the D-deficiency epidemic and considers how policy on fortification
of food, sunbathing, and use of supplements might be changed to provide more
vitamin D and better protection against chronic disease in the 21st century.
Previously published by Health Research Forum:
Sunlight Robbery – Health benefits of sunlight are denied by current public
health policy in the UK. Author: Oliver Gillie
Available as a free download from
A report of a conference held at the
House of Commons in November 2005,
organised by the Health Research Forum ISBN 0- 9553200- 0- 3
9 780955 320002
Health Research Forum
Editor: Oliver Gillie
Health Research Forum Occasional Reports: No 2