Food in Scotland should be laced with vitamin D to stave off MS, experts sayResidents do not get enough UBV rays from the sun on the skinMany do not eat enough vitamin D-rich food

Scotland”s food supply should be laced with vitamin D in a bid to cut the high rate of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the sun-deprived region, experts have said.

Scotland has some of the highest MS levels in the world and many experts believe vitamin D deficiency is a contributing factor.

Vitamin D deficiency is caused by a lack of sunlight and for half of the year no one living in Scotland gets enough UBV rays from the the sun on their skin to make adequate levels of the vitamin D, it has been reported.

Ray of light Medical experts believe fortifying Scotland

Ray of light Medical experts believe fortifying Scotland”s food supply could tackle high MS levels in the absence of regular sunshine

Gloomy outlook: Scotland has some of the highest MS levels in the world and many experts believe vitamin D deficiency is a contributing factor

Gloomy outlook: Scotland has some of the highest MS levels in the world and many experts believe vitamin D deficiency is a contributing factor

In addition, many do not eat enough of the foods that contain it, such as oily fish, which has led to international health experts calling for the food supply in the Scotlandto be fortified with the vitamin.

Oxford academic Professor George Ebers says the evidence of the link between MS and vitamin D deficiency is so strong it warrants fortifying food with it, the Guardian reported.

Professor Ebers, from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and his team this month published their findings of a genetic link between MS and an uncommon inability for the body to produce vitamin D.

He told The Guardian: “Now the question is, can we finally persuade the public health authorities that they should supplement the population”

There have long been theories that high numbers of people with MS live in areas deprived of sunshine – while low levels of those in countries with year-round sunshine.

Sir Harry Burns: Scotland

Sir Harry Burns: Scotland”s chief medical officer said “broader scientific consensus” was needed

However, the authors of this new report claim it offers strong scientific evidence.

About 10,000 people in Scotland have MS.

Scotland”s chief medical officer said this sort of change would only be considered after “broader scientific consensus”.

Sir Harry Burns told The Guardian: “It is important to remember that dietary supplements can have harmful as well as positive consequences and recommendations need to be made on the basis of evidential benefit in well conducted randomised studies in large populations.

“Mass medication of the Scottish population without such evidence would be considered irresponsible by the public health community.”

The MS Society in Scotland is championing a campaign launched by a 13-year-old boy whose mother had the disease diagnosed.

Shine on Scotland is teenager Ryan McLaughlin”s response to vitamin D deficiency. His mother, Kirsten McLaughlin, is very ill in hospital with MS.

The campaign has seen Ryan meet with Government officials to appeal for vitamin D-fortified food.

The youngsters father, Alan, revealed that the campaign had persuaded Kellogg”s to add the vitamin to cereals.