Got Allergies? Get Some Sun
As reported by Medical News Today (2/12) Sunshine May Help To Prevent Allergies And Eczema-
Increased exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of both food allergies and
eczema in children, according to a new scientific study. Researchers from the
European Centre for Environment & Human Health, along with several Australian institutions, have found that
children living in areas with lower levels of sunlight are at greater risk of
developing food allergies and the skin condition eczema, compared to those in
areas with higher UV.
The research team used data from a study of Australian children and analysed how
rates of food allergy, eczema and asthma varied throughout the country. As well
as finding a link between latitude and allergies to peanut and egg, the results
showed that on average children in the south of the country are twice as likely
to develop eczema as those in the north.
The report builds upon existing evidence that suggests exposure to the sun may
play a role in rising levels of food allergy and eczema. Sunlight is important
because it provides our body with the fuel to create vitamin D in the skin, and
locations closer to the equator typically receive higher levels of sunshine.
Australia is a particularly good place for this type of study as it spans
nearly 3000 miles from north to south, with a large variation in climate, day
length and sun strength - from Queensland in the north to Tasmania in the
Dr Nick Osborne, who led the research, believes these findings provide us with
an important insight into the prevalence of food allergies and eczema, which
appear to be on the increase. Dr Osborne also cautioned that exposure to
sunlight can vary for a host of reasons beyond latitude, such as local climate
variations and behaviours, and these factors will also need to be considered.
He said "This investigation has further underlined the association between food
allergies, eczema and where you live. We're now hoping to study these effects
at a much finer scale and examine which factors such as temperature, infectious
disease or vitamin D are the main drivers of this relationship. As always, care
has to be taken we are not exposed to too much sunlight, increasing the risk of
Reduce Heart Disease And Diabetes
As reported by ScienceDaily (2/10) High Levels of Vitamin D in Older People Can Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes
Middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their
chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, according to
researchers at the University of Warwick.
A team of researchers at Warwick Medical School carried out a systematic
literature review of studies examining vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders.
Cardiometabolic disorders include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes
mellitus and metabolic syndrome. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is
naturally present in some foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from
sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Fish such as salmon,
tuna and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D, and it is also available as a
Researchers looked at 28 studies including 99,745 participants across a variety
of ethnic groups including men and women. The studies revealed a significant
association between high levels of vitamin D and a decreased risk of developing
cardiovascular disease (33% compared to low levels of vitamin D), type 2
diabetes (55% reduction) and metabolic syndrome (51% reduction).
The literature review, published in the journal Maturitas, was led by Johanna
Parker and Dr Oscar Franco, Assistant Professor in Public Health at Warwick
Medical School. Dr Franco said: "We found that high levels of vitamin D among
middle age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease
in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. "Targeting
vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current
epidemics of cardiometabolic disorders."
All studies included were published between 1990 and 2009 with the majority
published between 2004 and 2009. Half of the studies were conducted in the
United States, eight were European, two studies were from Iran, three from
Australasia and one from India.