Got Rickets?

Health experts are warning sun-starved Iowans about the dangers of vitamin D deficiency, according to Radio Iowa:

“While the cold winter weather may put you in a bad mood and keep you indoors, one group says it can also have an adverse health impact. Tim Miller is a spokesman for the U.V. Foundation and says many people in Iowa and other Midwestern states aren’t getting enough sunlight.

“Miller says that results in vitamin D deficiency, which he says can lead to increased risk for colon, prostate and breast cancer, M.S. and an increase in children reporting rickets. Miller says there are a lot of remedies including supplements and tanning beds. He says the recommended level of vitamin D is one-thousand units per day.

“He says you can look on the side of the supplement bottle to see how much that is. Miller says one serving of salmon has 900 units, so that would cover a day. One glass of milk is 400 units, and five to seven minutes twice a week in a tanning bed would cover the need.”

My wife, our two children and our dog, Clover, stumbled out into the sunlight on Sunday morning, squinting at the giant, magical orb as we trudged around north Marion, where sidewalk clearing is, evidently, optional. For us, it was a last-ditch effort to stave off madness, but it turns out we also avoided a nasty case of rickets. Bonus.

Scurvy was already covered, thanks to the limes in my gin and tonic. And if there’s some disease cured by loudly swearing at falling snow, I’m also immune to that. Very immune.

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