The Guardian summarizes a new research monograph by Stephen Pilz and William Grant:
The researchers give us a simple theory. When exposed to sunlight, people’s skin naturally produces vitamin D. Mozart, toward the end of his life, was nearly as nocturnal as a vampire, so his skin probably produced very little vitamin D. . . .
[Scientists] Pilz and Grant explain: “Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48º N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about six months of the year. Mozart died on 5 December, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.
(The Guardian cheekily notes that if Stefan Pilz plays his cards right, he “will hereafter be known as “Vitamin” Pilz.” Not bad.)