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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

why Northern Europeans are lighter than natives of regions with less sunlight

Fish and meat are a source of vitamin D but grains are not. In regions so far North that it is impractical to cultivate crops and little to forage grows, fish and meat is a staple of the natives. When Northern Europeans adopted agrarianism they were forced to evolve de-pigmentation so that they could get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight.

In regions closer to the equator there is so much sunlight that natives evolved pigmentation to protect their bodies from UV rays. They still got plenty of vitamin D even though their pigment blocked a lot of the sunlight that hit their skin from penetrating deep enough to react 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D.*

But Northern Europe is so dark that you can have pale skin and still barely get enough exposure to sunlight to make sufficient vitamin D. Mozart had much more infections during the part of the year when there was less sunlight; he eventually died from one of these infections.** Vitamin D is also necessary for fertility, a healthy pregnancy and building and maintaining bones.***

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7-dehydrocholesterol
**http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-07-mozart-longer-spent-sun.html
***https://sites.google.com/site/miscarriageresearch/vitamins-and-miscarriage/vitamin-d http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D#Bone_health

3 comments:

  1. Finally, a logical theory.

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  2. Also keep in mind that further to the north the ground is covered in snow/ice longer than north Europe. I'd wager a bet that it's easier to synthesize d-vitamin in a -5 centigrade area than a 5 centrigrade area.

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  3. Austria is not in northern Europe

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