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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 25th October
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
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Tuesday 25th October 2005
Oranges

Full programme transcript >>

Vitamins

Vitamins are essential for health, but how much of them is good for us?

In this week's episode of Case Notes, Dr Mark Porter finds out if some vitamins could be doing more harm than good.

Mark's guest in the studio is Dr David Bender, lecturer in biochemistry at University College London.

Osteoporosis and Vitamin A

The Food Standards Agency recently issued advice for people who are at risk of osteoporosis about taking supplements containing vitamin A and eating liver.

As Dr Alison Tedstone, Head of the Nutrition Branch of the Food Standards Agency, explains, eating too much vitamin A can increase the risk of fracturing bones.

Liver contains much higher levels of vitamin A than any other food, and eating it more than once a week as well as regularly taking cod liver oil and vitamin supplements takes you over the recommended daily amount of 1.5mg per day.

Osteoporosis can affect one in three women over 50 and one in ten men.

Vitamin B and the Heart

Caroline Swinburne reports on recent studies which suggest that people who take vitamin B supplements and folic acid might have a higher risk of heart attacks.

It has been thought that these drugs might be useful by lowering levels of a blood substance called homocysteine which has been linked heart risk.

But two studies have now found that people who take these supplements are actually at a higher risk, especially if they use both together.

Vitamin D and children's bones

Vitamin D is vital for the development of bones as it enables the metabolism of calcium throughout the body.

It's essential that young children receive enough vitamin D so that their bones grow properly.

Vitamin D is found in dairy products, fish oils and egg yolks, but the main source is the action of sunlight on the skin.

Dr Nick Bishop, Professor of Paediatric Bone Disease at Sheffield University, explains how his research shows low levels of vitamin D in newborns.

He suggests that supplementation could prevent problems in later life.
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