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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gabby Logan on Radio 5 - today' s vitamin supplements discussion

This programme missed the opportunity to do a great deal of good by giving information that is not widely known. Instead it rehearsed the usual distinctly disputable message that if you eat a good balanced diet you will get all the vitamins you need and the usual warning that if you take too high a dose you could harm yourself. The panel of speakers did correctly mention that certain groups, e.g. the housebound, need extra vitamin D, since food alone does not provide sufficient vitamin D. But I felt the tone of much that was said was on the lines of criticising people for eating poor diets and so it was their choice of poor diets that caused their nutritional deficiencies. We were also patronisingly told that staff in health stores will be trying to sell you supplements you may not need. I can't say that that has been my experience.

I did not hear anyone mention that prescription drugs often seriously deplete the body of nutrients. I wrote about this very recently: Medication often causes nutritional deficiencies. Dr Hilary Jones was one of Gabby's panel of speakers. I wonder whether he himself did not know much about this. Few doctors do. And few patients do. It would have been a good idea to have on the programme a doctor with a special interest and expertise in nutrition, e.g. Dr John Briffa.