Mozart may have lived longer if he had spent more time in the sun: study

July 13, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report
A portrait of Austrian Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by German painter Johann Edlinger

(Medical Xpress) -- According to a new report published in Medical Problems of Performing Artists, Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart may have lived longer had he spent more time in the sun and allowed his body to produce more vitamin D.

Mozart died in 1791 at the age of 35, and since his passing, many researchers have speculated as what caused his early death. He was buried three days after his death and no was ever performed. Previous literature had noted , strep throat and pink eye as a few conditions he battled toward the end of his life. Between 1762 and 1783, Mozart suffered numerous infections, all of which seemed to occur between mid-October and mid-May.

It was this information that sparked William Grant, a retired NASA atmospheric physicist, and Dr. Stefan Pilz to believe that maybe there was an underlying reason for Mozart’s frequent infection. Their new hypothesis suggests that Mozart was vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for bone health. It could be found back then in oily fish such as salmon. However, it is known as the sunshine vitamin because the body is able to produce the nutrient when the skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B rays from the sun.

Mozart, who lived in a high-latitude home in Austria, lacked exposure to the sun as the area does not provide the opportunity for sufficient exposure for six months out of the year, or the winter months. He was also known to work during the night and sleep during the day so his sun exposure was minimal.

In recent years, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many different medical conditions and greater risks for influenza, pneumonia, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal pain and more. Given that Mozart’s infections seemed to occur at the same time when sun exposure and his vitamin D level would have been at its lowest, it could definitely provide an explanation.

With vitamin D deficiency becoming a widespread health concern today, researchers are hoping this research may act as a wakeup call for other musicians who spend most of their time indoors and do not receive . The researchers pointed to British cellist Jacqueline Mary du Pre who passed away at age 42 from multiple sclerosis, a disease linked to vitamin D deficiency.

The recommendations for vitamin D supplementation are a daily intake of 600 IU, however many researchers believe that 4,000 IU is more accurate and recommended. While there is no way to prove or disprove the deficiency theory in relation to Mozart’s death, it does raise the question if he had had a little more sun, could he have lived a few more years?

More information: Vitamin D deficiency contributed to Mozart's death, William B. Grant, Stefan Pilz, Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 26 Number 2: Page 117 (June 2011)

Dawson's recent extensive bibliographic review of the cause of death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart found that there were a number of hypotheses including poisoning, infection, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease and its complications. Overlooked in any of the papers hypothesizing about his death was a discussion of the likely role of very low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level in contributing to his untimely death.

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3 / 5 (4) Jul 13, 2011
I push Vitamin D3 on friends, family, and strangers I meet. Cholecalciferol is the form one should take. My dose is 5,000 IU's everyday, and I'm as healthy as a horse. I also push Bach and Beethoven over Mozart.
3 / 5 (2) Jul 13, 2011
Mozart was such a prolific composer that had he lived JUST a few more years, we would right now be hearing on the Radio and Net," Oh, Hey! Here is ANOTHER new RELEASE from that wild and wacky guy Herr Mozart: a blast from the king who lived in the past, The composer with the most composure, the original musical Superstar who never owned a car, the prince of the common people, and my next door neighbor, AMADEUS!" Surprisingly, Mozart and Stevie Wonder have strikingly similar bios! Child prodigies, regarded by the mass media and the people, prodigious producers of music beginning at the age of five. Their differences are evident BUT you could change their positions in time and not miss a thing! Can you imagine them TOGETHER! It would be like that overwhelming duet with James Brown and Pavarotti singing 'This is a man's World.' OOOps...oh yeah....vitamin D...yeah, yeah, great stuff...sorry, drifted a bit :-)
4 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2011
Why Northern Europeans are lighter than natives of regions farther North: http://episin.blo...han.html
1 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2011
I push Vitamin D3 on friends, family, and strangers I meet. Cholecalciferol is the form one should take. My dose is 5,000 IU's everyday, and I'm as healthy as a horse. I also push Bach and Beethoven over Mozart.

You advise people to take 5000IU? You do realise that if their health takes turn for the worse, you may get sued?

Hell, why not 10K or even better, 20K? The more the better, right?

2 / 5 (3) Jul 13, 2011
"You advise people to take 5000IU? You do realise that if their health takes turn for the worse, you may get sued?
Hell, why not 10K or even better, 20K? The more the better, right?"
If you read my post carefully, it is me that takes 5,000 IU's everyday. At my suggestion, my 94 year old neighbor takes
2,500 IU's daily, approved by her doctor. She looks much better since she began taking it. Vitamin D3 boosts your immune system, prevents many types of cancer, and deficiency in D3 results in too many diseases to mention. There is an epidemic of D3 deficiency in this country. The dose I take is actually below the new safe parameters of 6,000-8,000 IU's per day. If you want to believe the Government's RDA, that's fine, but I suggest you research it a bit before you lash out like a nitwit.
1 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2011
Who pays for these studies??? I mean the vitamin angle I could probably be OK with, but in the spirit of pinching pennies until they scream and flatten out to the size of jar lids, couldn't they have spared the time and effort on the whole Mozart angle?

Yeah, I miss him too! He was hilarious, a riot at parties, a wonder to behold with the ladies, and had a decent ear.., and if you happened to be a music fan, well then you were in just about the best luck possible if you were anywhere nearby.

But he's been gone awhile. Elvi-, excuse me, Wolfgang has left the building.

I'm pretty darn certain you can sell me on the benefits of Vitamin D without digging him up.

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