Researchers from Edinburgh University have recruited Orkney islanders to take part in a study of how sunlight affects health.
More than 2000 people in Orkney have agreed to have their levels of vitamin D assessed to see if there are links between vitamin D deficiency and multiple sclerosis.
The North Sea island has the highest rate of the debilitating disease in the world and there are many scientists who now believe that lack of vitamin D due to low levels of sunlight, may have a role to play in this and other diseases.
Dr Jim Wilson, the project leader, said: “It has been known for a long time that vitamin D is important in bone health, but it looks like it might also be important in diabetes, multiple sclerosis, some cancers and heart disease.
“In Scotland, there is not enough UVB radiation to make any vitamin D at all during the winter months and the cloudy Scottish summer often blocks much of the UVB from the sun.”
Read the full article in the Edinburgh Evening News
Spirit of Orkney – Learn more about the unique and magical islands of Orkney
Vitamin D Society – A Canadian non profit group aiming to increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency.
BBC News – Feature about how the use of sunscreen may be causing vitamin D deficiency.
Gardening for Health – Gardening Boosts Vitamin D