Letter: A nation shrinking without its vitamins

Sir: I am appalled that in the case against Dr Robert Woodward at the Shrewsbury Court, so many of the Medical Profession said that vitamins were of no help to children unless they were on a very bad diet ('Health food firm fined pounds 1,000 over IQ claim for pills', 14 October). Surely the Profession must be aware that very few people in this country have what is called 'a balanced diet' and everybody all over the world has now woken up to the fact that we can benefit by the addition of vitamins and minerals.

I am 91, and I have just broken the record (Guinness Book of Records) by writing more books - 570 - than any other English author. The previous record was 564. I have also achieved the world record by writing, for 17 years, an average of 23 books.

I would not have done this without vitamins.

All my children and grandchildren have taken them. My eldest grandson passed the difficult examination for chartered accountancy with honours. My second grandson won the debating cup at the Bar, and my third passed so highly into Oxford that they offered him any college of his choice.

They all say they owed this to the vitamins I gave them.

The doctors must be aware that children do not get a 'balanced diet' but eat 'junk food'. They must know we have had to reduce the height of the army and the height of the police. This is because they have not eaten enough meat in their so-called 'balanced diet' to give them B12.

It has now been proved that without B12 you cannot become tall and strong, like the Germans who eat an enormous amount of meat. The Japanese are aware of this and have started a campaign to raise the height of the average Japanese by six inches. They are doing this entirely by making them, for the first time, eat meat.

There are a great number of other vitamins which are absolutely essential to the human body but which are not available in the average diet.

I started the National Association for Health in 1964. Just before the recession we had reached a total of pounds 600m turnover, with one-third going in export. I was answering more than 30,000 letters a year from people all over the world who were concerned about their health.

In other countries in Europe they are producing vitamins, and I opened in 1988 in India the largest health resort, of 100 acres. I have also recently received vitamin products from Romania. America has for years been well in advance of us with their vitamin output.

It is utterly ridiculous to say that children of all ages do not require vitamins when the reports from our state schools are so appallingly bad at the moment. It is, in my opinion, due to the fact that most children are not properly nourished. In fact, they need the vitamins which are not obtainable in their ordinary diet.

It is time for the British Medical Association to wake up and understand what is happening in every other intelligent country. In the meantime it is terrible to think that a great number of people will deprive their children because of this unjust and unfair case brought by the Shropshire Trading Standards Officers.

Yours faithfully,

BARBARA CARTLAND

Hatfield, Hertfordshire

14 October

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