Exposure to UV Rays Boost Vitamin D, May Protect Against Auto-Immune Disease. Living in sunny locations and spending time outdoors may raise the risk for skin cancer, but a new study led by UC San Francisco and the Australian National University shows that in children and young adults, sun exposure may protect against multiple sclerosis. The study follows previous work by other researchers that has demonstrated an association between increased ultraviolet exposure in childhood and lower odds of adult MS.
The study included 332 participants aged between 3 to 22, who had had MS for an average of seven months. Their locations and amount of sun exposure were matched by age and sex to 534 participants without MS, the researchers reported in their study, which publishes in the online issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
In questionnaires filled in by participants with MS or their parents, 19 percent stated that they spent less than 30 minutes daily outdoors during the previous summer, compared to 6 percent of those who did not have MS. When the researchers adjusted for MS risks, like smoking and female sex, they found that the participants who spent an average of 30 minutes to one hour outdoors daily had a 52 percent lower chance of MS, compared to those who spent an average of less than 30 minutes outdoors daily.
Limited sun exposure and/or low levels of vitamin D have been associated with other conditions. These include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, as well as schizophrenia and other auto-immune diseases like Type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and lupus.
Release date: 08 December 2021
Source: University of California – San Francisco