Sunshine and Asthma

I have always maintained that sensible exposure to sunshine is great for your health. Sadly, because of the general paranoia surrounding sunshine, fueled in part by sunscreen manufacturers, it means that most people do not get enough exposure to the health giving benefits of sunshine.

Apart from the fact that this leads to a Vitamin D deficiency in a significant proportion of the population, there are many people who could overcome or relieve some of their health problems if they �exposed� themselves to the sun on a regular basis.

One such example of a health issues which I have known sunshine helps is asthma. However, all the evidence was anecdotal. BUT�now there is evidence!

The �Australian� newspaper recently ran an article about a study just completed by the Perth Telethon Institute for Child Health Research who have established that asthma sufferers could benefit by regular exposure to sunlight.

Here are some of the highlights.

�Scientists used mice to test the effects of ultraviolet light on the development of asthma-type signs like inflamed airways and lungs. Preliminary results show that if the animals had a 15-30 minute dose of light before being exposed to a common allergen their chance of developing symptoms was “significantly reduced”.

Research leader Prue Hart said UV exposure produces a cell type in a mouse that, when transferred into other mice, suppresses the immune reactions and halts symptoms.

“We measured the response of the airways and if the mice had been radiated beforehand they had very little responses to those allergens,” Professor Hart said.

She said the research was the first to prove sunlight was among the environmental and genetic factors that influence the chronic disease.

It was a “hugely exciting” development and could explain why asthma rates were high at a time when people aren’t getting as much sun exposure as they did 50 years ago, she said.

“We are now working to better understand that mechanism with the aim of generating new ways to prevent and treat it.”
But Professor Hart cautioned the theory had yet to be tested on humans.

And given that overexposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer, sufferers should not rush out to sun bake.�

Rmember, as I said�sensible exposure to sunlight is the answer. That basically means not going beyond some �pinkness� on the skin and avoiding further exposure until the pinkness has gone and the skin has naturally tanned in that area.

by Warren Matthews of Xtend-Life

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