Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Gratitude And Sunshine
Now that I have returned from my brief sojourn to the south coast of England, I would like to thank OldRightie, Edward, TediousTantrums, John Souter and Apogee for providing excellent posts during my absence. Gentlemen, I am extremely grateful.
It was quite sunny in the deepest south for the past week. Windy too. However I've no wish to bore you about the contrasts in weather between south and north Britain, but to examine the effect of sunshine on our wellbeing and ask why our health providers aren't doing more to ensure everyone receives the correct intake of vitamin D.
While I was away I met with two of my oldest friends and both said their GP had contacted them when they became 60 and suggested a yearly 'flu inoculation and a vitamin D test. Neither have yet taken up the offer of the 'flu vaccine but both accepted the vitamin D test. Because they live where sunshine is (usually) more common than it is here 500 miles further north, they thought their vitamin D levels would be fine but one was informed hers was too low for her age and a couple of years ago started taking the vitamin - which I understand is actually a hormone, so why it's referred to as a vitamin is bewildering.
If GPs in the south of England are spending money on the vitamin in a preventative care package, why isn't Scotland considering this? We have the highest number of MS cases in Europe and it's been proven that a lack of vitamin D, owing to the lack of sunshine, is a major cause of this debilitating disease. I'm not suggesting anyone should rush to the chemist a buy bottles of the supplement as it has to be carefully monitored and monitoring is expensive, but surely in the long term it would be money well spent. I intend to see what my new GP has to say about it.
Even if we lack sunshine in this lovely part of the world, certain foods can provide us with around half our needs. I didn't realise mushrooms were a rich source did you?