The linkage between a lack of vitamin D and depression is not new, although there is no consensus yet on whether the deficiency is a cause or symptom of the disease. Either way, you would think that it wouldn’t be a problem here in Malaysia, where we are not so much sun-kissed as gagging on its tongue.
But you’d be wrong. At least according to researchers from the Julius Centre in Universiti Malaya, who found that 70 percent of the Malaysian urban women surveyed in their study were Vitamin D deficient—with levels less than 50 ng/mL—and self-reported as being depressed.
According to lead author Moy Foong Ming, "It is worrying to observe that the majority of urban Malaysian women had vitamin D deficiency and at risk of depression,” adding that these women will also be more susceptible to postmenopausal osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases later in life.
The researchers also found that the Indian and Malay women in the study had lower levels of Vitamin D, which can probably be attributed to higher concentrations of melanin, more conservative clothing styles due to cultural constraints, and a preference for fairer skin.
With 2016 likely to smash global temperature records, climate change approaching the point of irreversibility, and season six of Game of Thrones past the half way mark, it seems particularly apt to say: a winter (of discontent) is coming.