Dr Michael Mosley says he's taking 2p pill to stop dementia and cancer

Dr Michael Mosley says he now takes vitamin D supplements every day and will continue to do so all year round
Dr Michael Mosley says he now takes vitamin D supplements every day and will continue to do so all the year round -Credit:BBC

Healthy eating guru Dr Michael Mosley has said he’s going to be taking a pill which works out at 2p per day for the rest of his life. The dieting expert, aged 66, who is known for his 5:2 and Fast 800 eating plans said that it was especially important to take Vitamin D as you get older.

Writing in the Daily Mail Dr Mosley said he doesn’t normally like supplements because a good diet should give you all the vitamins you need.

However in the case of Vitamin D your body becomes less able to absorb it when you get older - and it is crucial for stopping dementia and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Previously Dr Mosley said he only took it in winter months when the sun is weaker but had decided to change. The NHS also advocates people taking a daily pill - and at about £8.99 for 400 it works out at about 2p a day.

He said: “I eat a lot of oily fish and eggs, both rich in vitamin D, and I also go outside for lots of walks, so my vitamin D levels should be well topped up. However, this year I am going to keep taking those supplements.

“That’s partly because, surprise surprise, each year I get older and studies have shown that as we age our bodies become less effective at absorbing vitamin D from food and our skin also becomes less efficient at converting sunlight into this nutrient.

“That, and the fact older people tend to spend more time indoors or in the shade, means that vitamin D deficiency is very common in the over 60s, even in the summer months, particularly if you have darker skin.”

Dr Mosley said there was differing advice as to the dosage people should take, with the NHS advocating 10 micrograms (mcg) — or 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. He said the National Institutes of Health” in the US recommends 15 mcg — and 20 mcg if you’re over 70, but added: “I take 25 mcg (1,000 IU), which is within the limits of what’s considered safe (anything under 100 mcg a day for adults or 50 mcg for children, according to the NHS) but closer to the sort of doses studies show you need to take to ward off infections, cancers, and maybe even dementia.”

He explained vitamin D’s best-known role has been to keep bones healthy by increasing the body’s absorption of calcium. He added: “In recent years, scientists have discovered that there are vitamin D receptors in nearly all our cells, suggesting that its usefulness extends far beyond the bones.

“But there’s mounting evidence that to enjoy the benefits in these areas, such as preventing colon cancer and maintaining brain health, you need bigger doses than routinely recommended. For instance, when it comes to cancer, a very recent study, published in the journal Science, showed that one of the ways taking large doses of vitamin D might work is by boosting the sort of gut bacteria that are particularly good at preventing the growth of bowel cancers. “