Over the years, I have been skeptical of the safety and value of vitamin suppkements. However, a new study in the Medical Journal of Australia has finally set me straight. I’m off to stock up on Vitamin D tablets!
Hopkinson JA. Hopkinson NS. The Hobbit: An unexpected deficiency. Med J Austr. 2013;199(11):805-6.
Objective: Vitamin D has been proposed to have beneficial effects in a wide range of contexts. We investigate the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency, caused by both aversion to sunlight and unwholesome diet, could also be a significant contributor to the triumph of good over evil in fantasy literature.
Design: Data on the dietary habits, moral attributes and martial prowess of various inhabitants of Middle Earth were systematically extracted from J R R Tolkien’s novel The hobbit.
Main outcome measures: Goodness and victoriousness of characters were scored with binary scales, and dietary intake and habitual sun exposure were used to calculate a vitamin D score (range, 0–4).
Results: The vitamin D score was significantly higher among the good and victorious characters (mean, 3.4; SD, 0.5) than the evil and defeated ones (mean, 0.2; SD, 0.4; P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Further work is needed to see if these pilot results can be extrapolated to other fantastic situations and whether randomised intervention trials need to be imagined.