What a Dreadful Oversight
There is a condition called nonceliac gluten intolerance. I have it. And it means I can’t uptake vitamin D effectively from food. I can only get the doses I need from ultraviolet exposure.
Now I know the medical advise was terrible. All of my life I sought to lie in the sun at every opportunity. And now I know why. I have a picture of me lying in front of a snow drift in the sun in January. I hoped for help but now know if your shadow is not shorter than your height you cannot get much help from sun exposure at that time of the year.
In graduate school I read a book which was a study of suicide in northern Europe. They sought every possible explanation and came up with nothing. I think I know why. The suicides were related to an inherited deficiency like the one that runs in my family. And so the suicides in northern Europe clustered in villages and, of course, was related to families and limited exposure to sunlight.
I go to a tanning booth regularly and it lifts my mood immediately. The dose of vitamin D in a tanning booth is rather large and the effect for me is immediate. My mood alters so the world is bright and brimming with hope and physiologically I feel ever so much better. I call my tanning salon Mother’s after the 60s drug dealer who sold things which made people feel great. Of course drugs are not the answer but the sun is legal.
What Took Them So Long
Until the year 2000 there were almost no studies of vitamin D deficiency which is why my search for information led nowhere productive. Since 2000 researchers have begun to take a look. I know what they will find when they shed their medically induced denial. They probably found nothing in the study of suicide in northern Europe because it may have been a familial disease related to vitamin D deficiency and they never looked into that possibility.
I won’t go into the research in depth but it is available online. Among the results are indications that vitamin D will cut cancer risks for such things such as colorectal cancer and prostate cancer by 30-50 percent. It decreases the risk of heart attacks by 50 percent and reduces the risk of dying from a heart attack by an even larger percentage. It is also linked to dementia.
No, I do not put sun screen on when I leave the house. Yes, I understand there is a cancer risk. I also understand there is a suicide and cancer risk and dementia risk if I do not get the ultraviolet rays on my skin.
A Flawed Set of Medical Models
Am I pleased I traced the source of my vulnerability? Yes, and I find it deeply unsettling. Time and time again I have seen the myopia, and prejudice in medical research. Over the decades I have been less and less impressed by the medical model and see our wellbeing impaired by the influence of big pharma in marketing drugs. (“Tell your doctor if you have been to a place where there are certain fungal infections.” Seriously?). And too often it seems that medical people don’t believe anything unless it is printed in a medical journal.
We wrestle with outdated “mental health” issues and now at long last some people are looking at Vitamin D deficiency but it should have been on the radar before the year 2000. At least at a personal level, concerning mood and for prevention, we can do our own research. The personal study is strikingly simple. Anyone with winter depression can do three things sequentially. Take oral vitamin D, try broad spectrum light therapy and after ending both other tests go to a tanning booth. The cancer and dementia prevention is implicit. Oh yes. Getting sunburned is still not a good idea.
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