An infant may return to the sun due to exciting new research from Australia. The researchers surmised that vitamin D deficiency might explain the high rates of infant allergic diseases. They specifically measured infant eczema. Eczema and other allergic diseases are common in areas of industrialization and high latitudes. Thus, eczema could indicate low vitamin D levels. The researchers made this statement: “Suboptimal vitamin D levels during critical periods of immune development have emerged as an explanation for higher rates of allergic diseases associated with industrialization and residing at higher latitudes.” That seems like wisdom, yet, as you’ll see, they turned out to be wrong.
The infant study: UV light or vitamin D?
So, the researchers set out to determine the effects of early-life vitamin D supplementation on infant allergy prevention. In addition to supplementation, they also outfitted some infants with a dosimeter to also measure UV exposure. This group was compared to a placebo group. In addition, each infant was assessed from birth until age six months. This was done because about 90% of vitamin D is produced by sun exposure to the skin. Vitamin D is an important photoproduct of sunlight. And I opine that sun exposure is of much greater importance. Why? Because sun exposure and its UV light lead to the production of many essential photoproducts beyond vitamin D. Also, a high vitamin D level may simply be a surrogate measurement for sun exposure in some cases. Consequently, other photoproducts such as nitric oxide, serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, BDNF and many others may be the health givers. (For a list of more photoproducts, see my last blog, called Holistic Sun). An infant may need all that the sun can provide, including vitamin D.
The results for infant eczema risk
The results were surprising to the researchers but not to me, based on the facts stated in the above paragraph. So, infant vitamin D levels were greater for the supplemented group than the placebo group.at three and six months, That seems like an expected outcome. Most noteworthy, however, was that there was no difference in eczema incidence between infant groups. And also especially relevant was the fact that those who showed the most UV (sun) exposure had the least risk. In addition, the children with eczema had only a bit over half the UV exposure. Vitamin D simply made no difference to eczema.
The researchers’ conclusion regarding infant eczema
Therefore, the researchers wrote the following: “This study is the first to demonstrate an association between greater direct UV light exposures in early infancy with lower incidence of eczema and pro inflammatory immune markers by 6 months of age. Our findings indicate that UV light exposure appears more beneficial than vitamin D supplementation as an allergy prevention strategy in early life.”
In conclusion, UV exposure from sunlight, tanning lamps or tanning beds is far more important that vitamin D per se. And sun exposure also produces vitamin D in the way God (or nature if you prefer), intended. Why should we accept one pill containing vitamin D, when we can obtain the entire package of photoproducts with UV-containing sunlight? For more information on sunlight, eczema and psoriasis, read my new book, Embrace the Sun, Available at Amazon. Also read my previous blog, Holistic Sun.
 Rueter K, Jones AP, Siafarikas A, Lim EM, Bear N, Noakes PS, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Direct infant UV light exposure is associated with eczema and immune development. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print]
By Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight Institute…
Acne is a plague among teenagers, and many who are older also suffer. Can sunlight and vitamin D play a role in preventing it? Perhaps so. A new (August 25) study shows that vitamin D deficiency was detected in 48% of patients with acne, but in only 22.5% of healthy controls (no acne). This would indicate that sun exposure has a prophylactic effect on acne. The level of vitamin D was also inversely associated with the severity of the disease, meaning that it was probably the mechanism, perhaps by strengthening the immune system, by which the disease was thwarted. Improvement in the inflammatory lesions caused by the acne was also noted with a vitamin D supplementation program.
This reminds me of a young man, with terrible acne, who attended our health institute in Sunny Southern Utah. Our area is blessed with about 300 days per year of sunlight. After three months, his acne disappeared. Sunlight is known to cure psoriasis, eczema and other skin diseases. Why not acne? Of course, our nutrition program may also have helped him.
One more reason to safely embrace the sun.
 Lim SK, Ha JM, Lee YH, Lee Y, Seo YJ, Kim CD, Lee JH, Im M. Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 25;11(8):e0161162.
By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute
In an online Newspaper, Irish Examiner, there is a provocative headline: Why a sunscreen can put your health in the shade. Helen O’Callaghan, the author, starts out well by talking about how sunscreens block vitamin D production from sun exposure. She then progresses through a series of diseases that are related to vitamin D deficiency: bone weakness, compromised immune system, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, adverse pregnancy problems and allergies.