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Somehow, we made it into 2021, which, given the events of last year is understandably no mean feat. There can surely be no doubt that all of us are thankful that 2020 is now behind us. Quite a lot has happened here in Europe since the last issue but, unfortunately, not all of it is good news. So, if ever there was a time to be firmly adopting a positive mental attitude, that time is surely now.
One issue still dominates, for businesses and indeed in our personal lives and that is, of course, coronavirus. Throughout Europe, transmission levels have risen to new highs and governments have had to make very difficult decisions on restrictions, including complete lockdowns across many European countries.
I have to wonder why or who would want to see the role of vitamin D challenged or undermined and equally, who would have the influence to do this?
Tanning salons, along with other service industry sectors referred to as personal care services and non-essential retail, are now closed in many countries including Germany, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium and much of Spain. For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, salons in The Netherlands have had to close. Salons in the Republic of Ireland are closed again, along with those in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and most of England (unfortunately, it is very likely to be all of England by the time you get to read this).
I remember thinking back in the early summer of 2020, as we were able to emerge from our first national lockdown, that it could be no coincidence that the summer sunshine was clearly having an effect on COVID-19 transmission levels or, at the very least, on people’s ability to fight off the virus. At that time, I also understood that if sunshine was having a positive effect, then it must surely follow that the onset of winter would come with increased transmission levels. Of course, this is how events have unfortunately transpired; yet, never in my life have I wanted so much to be proven wrong.
It seems incredulous to me that there still remains any level of denial or at the very least suspicion about the role that vitamin D status has in this pandemic. New studies that demonstrate links between vitamin D status and the ability to fight off coronavirus symptoms – and, ergo, reduce demand on our overwhelmed health services and ultimately, the number of deaths from this virus – are amongst the most searched for studies online. Some governments have already started funding vitamin D supplementation to vulnerable groups (albeit dosage levels are insufficient) and sales of vitamin D supplements have rocketed.
So, who are the naysayers? Vitamin D supplements are very cheap to produce, with little to no profit for pharmaceutical companies that fund medical research and charities. With the establishment of vitamin D optimization as a route to good health, this must surely be good news; although, again in the wider picture, perhaps not for pharmaceutical companies that manufacture drugs to make us better and that fund medical research and charities. So, I have to wonder why or who would want to see the role of vitamin D challenged or undermined and equally, who would have the influence to do this?
It’s all a puzzle to me.
With UV light being the most natural source of ensuring optimum vitamin D status, I think I’ll just keep on tanning. I mean, it’s not as if anyone has anything against responsible tanning … right?
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary is Managing Director of the UK subsidiary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products and spray systems. He is also Chairman of the Media Committee for the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
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