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Allergies and Eczema Linked to Lack of Vitamin D

Allergies and Eczema Linked to Lack of Vitamin D | Mr Vitamins
A recent study involving several Australian Hospitals has uncovered a link between the amount of time that children are exposed to sunlight and the risk of developing Food Allergies and Eczema. Australia is particularly well suited for this type of study because of the nearly 5000 kms from Queensland to Tasmania. This creates large north-to-south variation in climate, day length and sun strength that could be used by the researchers to make the necessary comparisons.

Increased risk of Vitamin D deficiency for children in southern Australia

The research team investigated the rates of Food Allergy, Eczema and Asthma using data from Australian children, and realised that there were important variations depending on the where the children grew up. Surprisingly, they found that children in the south of the country were twice as likely to develop Eczema compared to those of the north. In addition, they also observed a link between latitude and allergies to egg and peanut. Exposure to the sun is believed to be responsible for this variation, since locations that are closer to the equator receive on average more sunshine. However, the leader of the research team that carried out the study, Dr Nick Osborne, remarked that several other reasons besides latitude could actually affect the total amount of sunlight that you get. These reasons include local variations in the climate as well as your personal habits. If you have the tendency to stay indoors, for example, your levels of exposure to the sun will be low regardless of where you live.

The link to low levels of Vitamin D

Being exposed to the sun on a regular basis is important for your health because it triggers the production of Vitamin D in your skin. It is possible that the higher incidence of Allergies and Eczema observed in children from the south could be explained by a lack of Vitamin D in their systems. (Low levels of Vitamin D have already been associated with many other health conditions, including vascular and autoimmune diseases.) This makes lack of Vitamin D the likely cause for these health challenges, but this possibility has not been directly tested in the study. Other factors such as temperature or infectious diseases may be playing a role as well, and future studies are being planned to clarify this matter. It should also be emphasised that exposure to the sun must always be in moderation, since an excess of UV rays increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

The role of  Vitamin D supplements

Assuming lack of Vitamin D is proven (which seems likely), this will be one more reason to consider taking Vitamin D supplements on a regular basis. Vitamin D supplements are safe and inexpensive, making them a good option for those who live in the south or do not get enough exposure to the sun for any other reason. Don’t forget to  ‘Ask a Naturopath’, when you come into the Mr Vitamins store, they will advise you on which Vitamin D supplement is the best one for you and especially your children.