Sunlight and VitaminsJuly 11, 2010
Dr. Julian O’Dea proposes an interesting theory as to why ethnic groups living in the rainforest are often very small. Adult Pygmy males, for example, are less then 150cm on average. According to Dr. O’Dea this could be because of the near absense of ultraviolet light in the gloomy atmosphere of the rainforest. O’Dea: “I used an ultraviolet light meter to take readings in rainforest at Kuranda and nearby regions in North Queensland in August 1994. The readings in the open – outside the rainforest – during fine weather ranged from 70 to 245 units. The readings inside the rainforest ranged from 0 to 5.” Ultraviolet light of the B type (UVB) helps the body make vitamin D, an important building block in the growth of bones and cells. It would explain why children always seem to grow so quick during the summer holidays and it’s yet another reason to stay out of the sun.