Tag Archives: pneumonia

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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Sunshine could save lives of pneumonia patients: research

While it’s long been known that a little sunshine can spread happiness, researchers in New Zealand have found that it can also save the lives of pneumonia patients.

Medical scientists have found that vitamin D, which is absorbed through the skin and produced with exposure to sunlight, is a major factor in the survival rate of pneumonia patients.

Researchers at Waikato University collaborated with doctors at Waikato Hospital, both Hamilton-based institutions, to study blood samples of 112 patients admitted to the hospital with pneumonia during the winter.

They found that those with severe vitamin D deficiency 17 of the patients were more likely to die within a month, compared with patients with normal or slightly low vitamin D levels.

Dr Bob Hancox, of the hospital’s department of respiratory medicine, said five of the 17 died, a 29-percent mortality rate, compared with four deaths among the 95 patients with higher vitamin D levels, a 4-percent mortality rate.

“The analysis confirmed that the difference in mortality rates between the two groups was very unlikely to be due to chance,” Hancox told Xinhua.

Vitamin D deficiency was a concern around the world, Hancox said.

“Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, so it tends to be a winter problem in temperate climates when people spend a lot of time indoors. But it occurs in all countries and vitamin D deficiency is believed to be a major problem worldwide.

“There is accumulating evidence that we need vitamin D to help fight infections, such as pneumonia as we have shown, as well as improve bone health,” he told Xinhua.

“What is not yet clear is whether we can do anything about it. We don’t know whether treating people with vitamin D supplements would help to prevent or treat respiratory infections. This is what we need to find out now.”

Dr Ray Cursons, of the Biological Sciences department at Waikato University, said patient age, sex, additional health conditions, and other prognostic factors did not affect the research outcome, although researchers still could not establish a causal link between vitamin D deficiency and mortality in the patients.

Waikato Hospital D respiratory specialist Dr Noel Karalus said it was not yet known whether giving patients vitamin D supplements after their admission to hospital with respiratory tract infections would alter outcomes.

“It may transpire that vitamin D helps us avoid infection rather than cure it once established.”

Cursons said the best source of vitamin D was sunlight as dietary sources such as fatty fish and cod liver oil did not contain enough vitamin D.

“There is still some controversy regarding the optimal daily allowance of vitamin D. How much we absorb through the skin depends on sun exposure, skin type and geographical latitude. M ori and Pacific Islanders absorb less because of their darker skin, and people in colder climates also have lower levels of vitamin D. ”

Pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide, killing an estimated 1.6 million children under the age of five each year, according to the World Health Organization.

The research findings are published in the journal Respirology, published by the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, this month.

Link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/health/2011-05/13/c_13873372.htm

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Vitamin D, Sunlight and Pneumonia

A new analysis of vitamin D levels among winter pneumonia patients has produced some very interesting observations:

1. Those admitted to the Waikato, New Zealand hospital with severe vitamin D deficiency were more likely to die within a month compared to those who had normal or only slightly low levels.

2. The overall death rate was 29% for those with severe D deficiency, and only 4% for those with higher levels. This could indicate that vitamin D deficiency causes a 700% increase in the risk of death by pneumonia. Follow this link to read more about the research: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/health/2011-05/13/c_13873372.htm

The authors noted that sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, and that winters in Hamilton, New Zealand area, like most temperate areas of the world, do not allow sufficient sunlight to stimulate vitamin D production. They also state that pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide, killing about 1.6 million children under the age of five each year.

What a horror that so many countries, by means of their health departments and dermatological societies, are frightening children and their parents away from the sunlight during the seasons of the year when it is available. This ensures that vitamin D deficiency will ensue in winter. Also, at the very least, supplementation of vitamin D3 should be recommended during winter—supplementation of about 1,000 IU for every 25 pounds of bodyweight.

This is not the first time the relationship between pneumonia and sunlight has been observed. In 2003, Dr. Dowell and his colleagues showed that the disease is seasonal, with the lowest rates in summer, an increase in fall and a peak in winter.[1] This relationship exactly mimics the quantity of sunlight exposure available in different seasons. Other research has pointed out the same relationship,[2] [3]and still other studies have shown the importance of vitamin D in prevention of pneumonia and related infections to it,[4]

A popular fitness guru used to scream the slogan, “Stop the insanity!” I agree with her advice as it relates to sunlight exposure and would like to scream that it is insane for medical and governmental organizations to frighten their citizens out of the sunlight. Sunshine has become one of our most critical health needs, and those who would have us avoid it at all costs have blood on their hands.

Link: http://drsorenson.blogspot.com/2011/05/vitamin-d-sunlight-and-pneumonia….




[1] Dowell, S. et al. Seasonal patterns of invasive pneumococcal disease. Emerg Infect Dis 2003;9:573-9.

[2] Leow L, Simpson T, Cursons R, Karalus N, Hancox RJ. Vitamin D, innate immunity and outcomes in community acquired pneumonia. Respirology. 2011;16(4):611-6

[3] White AN, Ng V, Spain CV, Johnson CC, Kinlin LM, Fisman DN. Let the sun shine in: effects of ultraviolet radiation on invasive pneumococcal disease risk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. BMC Infect Dis. 2009 Dec 4;9:196.

[4] Oduwole AO, Renner JK, Disu E, Ibitoye E, Emokpae E. Relationship between Vitamin D Levels and Outcome of Pneumonia in Children. West Afr J Med 2010;29(6):373-8.

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