By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute
Babies and their mothers need Sunlight! Research published in October, 2015[i] is supremely important and establishes two important facts:
- Children born in summer are more likely to be healthy when they become adults.
- When women get more sunlight during pregnancy, it leads to a higher birth weight for their babies, and later puberty for girls.
Girls born in the months of June, July and August, according to the research, have a higher birthweight and later puberty, which have profound, positive impacts on overall health in women as adults. And girls born in the sunny months are also taller as adults. Later puberty is associated with a lesser risk of breast cancer,[ii] and it is likely that other health problems are associated with early puberty, which is also closely related to the type of food consumed. Soda pop consumption, for example, is associated with early puberty.[iii] Low birthweight babies also have problems such as increased risk of autism, lower cognitive function and increased risk attention-deficit hyperactivity.[iv]
Anything that can reduce the risk of these disorders should be considered critical to the health of the baby and essential to the progression to adulthood. Sunlight exposure for both the pregnant mother and her newborn should be the sine qua non for child’s wellbeing. Coupled with a decent nutrition program, sans soda pop and junk foods, it can assist the child to a healthful and productive life.
[i] http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/e-cbi100715.php Accessed October 13, 2015
[ii] Ambrosone CB, Zirpoli G, Hong CC, Yao S, Troester MA, Bandera EV, Schedin P, Bethea TN, Borges V, Park SY, Chandra D, Rosenberg L, Kolonel LN, Olshan AF, Palmer JR. Important Role of Menarche in Development of Estrogen Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer in African American Women. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jun 17;107(9).
[iii] Carwile JL, Willett WC, Spiegelman D, Hertzmark E, Rich-Edwards J, Frazier AL, Michels KB. Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and age at menarche in a prospective study of US girls. Hum Reprod 2015 Mar;30(3):675-83.
[iv] Ochiai M, Ichiyama M, Iwayama M, Sakai Y, Yoshida K, Hara T. Longitudinal study of very low birth weight infants until 9years of age; attention deficit hyperactivity and autistic features are correlated with their cognitive functions. Early Hum Dev. 2015 Oct 3. [Epub ahead of print].
By Marc Sorenson, EdD Sunlight Institute
We have previously discussed information indicating that people who received more sunlight had better brain function, and noted the relationship between Alzheimer’s, autism and other mental disorders and lack of sun. A recent study compared cognitive impairment and sunlight in a 15-year residential history of varying degrees of sunlight exposure. It showed that cognitive impairment in persons who were below the median exposure to sunlight was 88% greater than those who were above the median.
The researchers mentioned vitamin D as a possible mechanism by which sunlight positively influenced cognition, but also remarked that regulation of the circadian rhythm by sunlight could be a factor. These same investigators had previously shown that lower levels of sunlight exposure resulted in a 2.58-times higher incidence of cognitive impairment.
So, if you would like to maintain your cognitive abilities, soak up a little non-burning sunlight!
 Kent ST, Kabagambe EK, Wadley VG, Howard VJ, Crosson WL, Al-Hamdan MZ, Judd SE, Peace F, McClure LA. The relationship between long-term sunlight radiation and cognitive decline in the REGARDS cohort study. Int J Biometeorol. 2014 Apr;58(3):361-70.
 Kent ST, McClure LA, Crosson WL, Arnett DK, Wadley VG, Sathiakumar N. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study. Environ Health. 2009 Jul 28;8:34