Vitamin D and a jobless recovery

There is increasing evidence that Vitamin D deficiency contributes to a variety of medical problems from mental illness, to cancer, to tooth decay, to susceptibility to influenza.

Apparently, according to John Cannell, MD, the US RDA for Vitamin D may be about ten times too low for most people. And with more people spending more time indoors at screens, driving more instead of walking and bicycling, and avoiding the sun from (increasingly controversial) advice from dermatologists, Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome is becoming a global epidemic in industrialized societies (especially ones very far north or south). The darker your skin, and the further north or south of the equator you live, the greater chance you will be Vitamin D deficient. For example, consider, for October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the USA this blog post by Curtis Duncan: Why Michelle Obama is More Likely to Die From Breast Cancer than Hilary Clinton

When someone in the USA loses their job, they often fairly quickly lose their health insurance too, even with COBRA. Taking vitamin D3 supplements (cheap) or getting enough sunlight (free) is no substitute for comprehensive medical care, but every little bit helps. It certainly seems a cost-effective investment in your health.

Another aspect of this is that if everyone got enough Vitamin D, then it is possible that global health care costs might drop significantly, which would of course mean less jobs in health care, thus making the jobless recovery situation worse. Should people then get cancer to do their part to remedy a jobless recovery? Of course not. We need other approaches, like a basic income, a transition back to a gift economy, more government spending on infrastructure and research and the arts, and/or increased local subsistence. Unfortunately, much of mainstream economic measurement is some variant of the “broken window fallacy” where everyone who gets cancer or schizophrenia is seen as contributing to the GDP. We need other ways of measuring genuine progress for encouraging people to get enough Vitamin D to make mainstream economic sense. Also, we need to somehow remedy the fact that in US society a wonder drug like Vitamin D is not promoted very much because it is not very profitable to do so, given sunlight is free. Thankfully, other countries are beginning to see the light.

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