An Excerpt from –
The Annual Caroline Walker Lecture by Oliver Gillie; November 16, 2010
“… science should not be discussed just in technical monotone. Nutrition and
food policy is everybody’s business, and I believe, as did the founders of the
Royal Society, that the most vital scientific issues need dynamic expression and
vigorous debate in plain language. Everybody concerned with the sustenance of
the whole living world now and in the future, is in a battle against dark forces.”
Geoffrey Cannon – The Fate of Nations – Caroline Walker Trust Lecture 2003
In this lecture I attempt to go beyond the scientific monotone referred to by
Geoffrey Cannon and, indeed, to tackle dark forces of a kind. To avoid the
technical monotone I have brought in celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and
Jacqueline du Pré whose illnesses illustrate the consequences of vitamin D
deficiency. Critics may say I have wasted time on this when I should have been
delving further into significant differences and meta-analysis but I make no
apology. The data on vitamin D and disease is now very extensive, yet it remains
little known. So I have attempted to stimulate interest and arouse curiosity in the
hope that you will search for more evidence and apply your own critical
Dark forces lie behind the pandemic of illness caused by insufficient vitamin D.
Not, perhaps, the forces Geoffrey Cannon had in mind, but nevertheless powerful
changes that affect the way we live, movements which individuals cannot easily
control. As cities grew, smoke from domestic fires and industry polluted the
atmosphere, blocking out the sun which is our major source of vitamin D.
Rickets, the tragic disease that distorts the growth of children, emerged in
epidemic form in 19th century Europe. It was the surface reflection of much more
sickness and of pitifully brief lives, recorded by Dickens in his literary records of
life in our city slums.
Air pollution is the first of the dark forces that block out the sun. In the UK the
Clean Air Acts of the 1950s did much to remove the most obvious smog and bring
sunshine into our cities. Only now are we beginning to understand the depths of
sickness and deprivation caused in the past by air pollution and insufficient
sunshine. Scientific evidence now links insufficient vitamin D with some of our
most common diseases: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and multiple
sclerosis are among them.
Other secular changes limit the amount of sun we get. Most important are the
desk jobs that keep us indoors all day and the TV programmes and computer
activities that keep us inside at the weekend. Instead of warming ourselves in the
sun outside our cottages as of old we stay indoors because our work keeps us
there and our houses are more comfortable and better heated than they have ever
been. Fashion is another secular force with dark effects: schoolboys no longer
wear short trousers and girls wear leggings in the summer. Overuse of suncreams
and everyday use of cosmetic foundation blocks the UV that makes vitamin D in
skin. And there is another force which I hesitate to call dark: people have been
wrongly told to avoid the sun when simple exposure to sunshine is beneficial if
burning is avoided.
These secular forces are dark not only because they block out the sun but
because their full effects on health have been unrecognized, hidden. Now, as a
result of many years of scientific investigation, we can comprehend their effect in
shading us from the sun which is our natural source of vitamin D. Understanding
mechanisms of disease has led to great hygienic reforms in the past. In the 19th
century modern sewers were built when the spread of cholera in infected water
became understood for the first time. In the 20th century major changes in our
habits have come from demonstration of the ill effects of smoking. In this century,
understanding the importance of sunshine and vitamin D may be expected to
bring further benefits.
We know sufficient now about vitamin D to forge new policies that will save many
lives. We need vigorous debate. A scientific monotone is not enough. We must
engage the public and policy makers if we are to contend effectively with the
forces of darkness.
Health Research Forum,
London, October 2010
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If you ask the media, the answer is: Sure, everyone knows that! You’ll get the same answer from the medical elite. But what does the hard data show?
A recent study from the annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal “Clinical Toxicology,” found no deaths from vitamin/mineral supplements. Once again, that is ZERO deaths.
A friend of mine collects data for both pharmaceutical-related deaths and natural supplement-related deaths. Several years ago, he found that there were about 100,000 deaths per year for pharmaceutical drugs and none for natural supplements.
To put this into perspective, over a 10-year period, pharmaceuticals kill 1 Million people — that is, more than all the Americans killed in World War I, Wold War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War — combined.
Despite this glaring disparity, the government and the medical elite think we need to outlaw over-the-counter, natural supplements because they are just too dangerous. For more information on the dangers of medical care by elites see the book “Death by Modern Medicine” by Carolyn Dean.
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