The citizens of Scotland have a very poor health record and a life expectancy that is one of the lowest in the Western world. This poor health record holds true for all social classes.  It is now known that living in Scotland also results in extreme Vitamin D deficiency due to chronic lack of sunlight. (164) While deficiency in the UK is widespread the situation in Scotland is worse than for the rest of the country.

Scotland receives 30-50% less ultraviolet radiation (UVB) from the sun than the rest of the UK due to its high latitude and persistent low cloud cover. Vitamin D levels are consistently found to be even lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK. (168)(165)(166) (167) 

Indeed, Glasgow, with one of most cloudy climates receives a similar amount of UVB as Kiruna in Northern Sweden which is way above the Arctic Circle.

Experts in Vitamin D now suggest that Scotland's poor health record is a direct consequence of Vitamin D deficiency particularly in childhood.

Even being born in Scotland is enough to increase the risk of early death.  Scots moving to England still have a higher risk of death than those who were born and raised in areas further south.(169)

This strongly suggests that some factor in early life may influence ones longevity.  Vitamin D levels during pregnancy and early life are now believed to be the factor.  This finding is in keeping with data showing that males exposed to the sun in early life have a lower incidence of prostate cancer,  (138, 139) and children given Vitamin D supplements early in life have a dramatically lower incidence of diabetes later in life. (103) This is now also thought to be true of multiple sclerosis. (118)

Even in the summer, 75% of Scots have been shown to have vitamin D levels that are less than optimal. This rises to 92% in the winter. (168)

Multiple studies have suggested a connection between low vitamin D levels and increased incidence and death from cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes etc, etc. Indeed vitamin D deficiency is believed by experts to account for the very poor state of health in Scotland rather than smoking, alcoholism, poverty and poor diet that had previously been offered as an explanation.(165)

Health care workers were unaware until recently of the consequences of vitamin D deficiency and its role in chronic disease. Many internationally recognized experts now accept that vitamin D deficiency is a major risk factor in a long list of chronic diseases.

To maintain an adequate level of vitamin D in Scotland there is little choice but to take supplements. Normal levels of Vitamin D cannot be achieved through diet alone.

The extent of vitamin D deficiency in Scotland and its dramatic effect on the countries health profile has been the subject of a book ‘Scotland’s health deficit: An explanation and a plan’ by Oliver Gillie.

The book can be downloaded free of charge here.

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  Vitamin D3 Deficiency in Scotland