Sun Exposure, Pneumonia, Influenza, Health. Embrace the Sun!

Sun Exposure, Pneumonia, Influenza, Health. Embrace the Sun!

By Marc Sorenson, EdD  Sunlight Institute…. Sun exposure and more

One of the more interesting research studies on sun exposure is one from the Philippines, It  assessed the quantity of sun exposure as compared to the risk of childhood pneumonia.[1] Each one-hour increase in sun per day lowered the risk of contracting pneumonia by about 33%. Why would people keep their children out of the sun and increase the risk of this killer disease?

Research such as this is very impressive in that it provides a formula against this potentially fatal disorder. People who spend their lives working outdoors in the sun have protection against pneumonia. It is interesting to surmise that those who receive three hours of sun per day might have 100% protection. Is the same true for adults? No one knows, but I would bet that the results would be identical.

Pneumonia is often a result of influenza and is also highly seasonal, with the lowest rates in summer, an increase in fall and a peak in winter,[2] [3] [4] indicative of an influence of sunlight as a prophylactic against the malady. Research has also established that low UVB exposures correlate directly to periods of low UV radiation, and indicate that such a correlation may be responsible for the seasonal variation in pneumonia and for the spike in winter cases.[5] The researchers state that, “The mechanism of action of diminished light exposure on disease occurrence may be due to direct effects on pathogen survival or host immune function via altered 1,25-(OH)2-vitamin-D metabolism.”

Whatever the mechanism, we can be sure of one thing: sun exposure reduces the risk of innumerable diseases, and those who advise us to reject sun exposure are approaching criminality by setting us up for poor health and early death. Safe sun exposure (non-burning) is one of the master keys to success in health and in life. Don’t miss your share!

[1] Paynter S, Weinstein P, Ware RS, Lucero MG, Tallo V, Nohynek H, Barnett AG, Skelly C, Simões EA, Sly PD, Williams G; ARIVAC Consortium. Sunshine, rainfall, humidity and child pneumonia in the tropics: time-series analyses. Epidemiol Infect. 2013 Jun;141(6):1328-36.

[2] Dowell SF, Whitney CG, Wright C, Rose CE Jr, Schuchat A. Seasonal patterns of invasive pneumococcal disease.  Emerg Infect Dis 2003;9:573-9.

[3] Talbot TR, Poehling KA, Hartert TV, Arbogast PG, Halasa NB, Edwards KM, Schaffner W, Craig AS, Griffin MR.  Seasonality of invasive pneumococcal disease: temporal relation to documented influenza and respiratory syncytial viral circulation.  Am J Med 2005;118:285-91.

[4] Dowell SF, Whitney CG, Wright C, Rose CE Jr, Schuchat A.  Seasonal patterns of invasive pneumococcal disease. Emerg Infect Dis 2003;9:573-9.

[5] Alexander NJ White, Victoria Ng, C Victor Spain, Caroline C Johnson, Laura M Kinlin, and David N Fisman. Let the sun shine in: effects of ultraviolet radiation on invasive pneumococcal disease risk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  BMC Infect Dis 2009;9:196

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