TALK ABOUT rubbing salt in the wounds.
Anyone who’s ever lived in Ireland—or even spent a few days on the island—will be able to tell you that we don’t get enough sunshine.
Ireland already has an abnormally high level of depression—the highest in Europe, in fact-- and many blame the notoriously bad weather as a contributing factor.
Now a study performed by Letterkenny University has shown that our rainy climate could actually be making us physically as well as mentally unwell.
Donegal-based GP Doctor Martin Coyne studied 10,000 samples of Vitamin D results from people in Donegal and found that over 75% of people had detrimentally low levels of ‘the sunshine vitamin’ in their blood.
A further 12% were also deficient in the vitamin, though not as severely low as the 75%.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to bone pain and muscle weakness, including muscles in the heart, as well as cognitive impairment in older adults. It can cause diseases such as osteoporosis, a condition which an estimated 300,000 people in Ireland suffer from.
Donegal is the most northerly point in Ireland and suffers from some of the worst weather. Scientists who assisted in the study were so alarmed by the results that they initially believed their equipment had malfunctioned.
Dr Coyne has advised people to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine each day—but as many people will tell you, sometimes that simply isn’t possible.