Friday, February 03, 2006

Now lack of sun can cause schizophrenia: "Women thinking of becoming pregnant have been urged to ensure they are getting enough vitamin D, as findings suggest deficiency in pregnancy may cause the baby to develop schizophrenia in later life. The results, unveiled at a conference in Sydney yesterday, suggests vitamin D - previously associated mainly with building strong bones and preventing rickets - may have a far wider role than experts thought. Vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Some foods - mainly oily fish and some fortified milk and dairy products - also contain the nutrient, which can also be taken in dietary supplements. Lead researcher Darryl Eyles, of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, said that because the latest results were based on work on rats, a link between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia in humans remained to be proved. "However, there are compelling indicators that women considering becoming pregnant should ensure they have moderate exposure to sunlight, or supplement their diets with vitamin D-fortified dairy products before they conceive," he said. "It is becoming clearer that low developmental vitamin D is a candidate risk factor for later onset neuropsychotic disease (such as schizophrenia) and degenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis. This research clearly has emerging implications for public health interventions."

A sheepish Prince: "The Prince of Wales did not feel in the least sheepish about donning a black tie, leaving his wife at home and going to the inaugural dinner of his new club at the Ritz last night. Ever the friend of the struggling farmer, the Prince has become patron of the Mutton Renaissance Club, a body dedicated to restoring elderly sheep meat to its rightful place on the national menu. You can probably guess what they had to eat. John Williams, head chef at the Ritz, conjured up Trilogy of Mutton Prince of Wales, three ways of cooking two-year old Ovis aries using meat from the Prince's own farm at Highgrove and from producers in mid-Wales and Cumbria. A sheep is regarded as a lamb until it is about 10 months old. It then becomes a hoggett, and at the age of 2 its flesh becomes mutton. Most of us can take or leave mutton, the meat of old England until it was usurped by roast beef in the 18th century. The Prince takes it, even telling a group of schoolchildren this week that it was his favourite food".

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