It takes more than second breakfast to win the day.
Two U.K. researchers have discovered the secret to fighting evil might be spending some time in the sun.
In an article published in the Christmas issue of the Medical Journal of Australia, lead author Nicholas Hopkinson of the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit and the Imperial College of London picked his way through J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” to figure out which group got more vitamin D: the good guys or the bad guys.
Often called “the sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients. It can be found in egg yolks, fatty fish, fish oil or by spending time in the sun.
It turns out all the bad guys were seriously lacking some time in the sun.
Hopkinson assigned numbers denoting how much vitamin D characters might be getting from their diet and activities. Turns out the trolls, goblins and a certain pasty-faced Gollum were likely deficient in the vitamin.
The article finds that Gollum clearly was not getting enough sun. However, he did have a diet high in fish.
Though Hopkinson clarifies, "it is not clear whether they are of an oily kind and thus a potential source of vitamin D."
Whether or not Gollum was suffering from a pretty bad case of rickets is not confirmed.
“Sun avoidance is a recurring theme among the evil characters,” writes Hopkins in the article. “Triumph of good over evil may be assisted to some extent by the poor diet and lack of sunlight experienced by the evil characters.”
Hobbits and high elves scored the highest on the vitamin D scale, while goblins, trolls and Smaug the dragon scored the lowest.
If you want to vanquish evil or just stay healthy, remember to eat the right foods and spend a little time in the sun. Just beware of the trolls.