News Thursday June 24, 2010

Sunlight can help battle influenza

We all know that sunlight is great for the body in healthy doses. With the summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time for us all to get out side and enjoy the fantastic weather that we have been experiencing. If we ever needed a further reason to enjoy the sunshine researches are telling us that the sun could have another important benefit. Studies this year have shown that soaking up rays could even be a great way to combat influenza.

For years we have known that sunlight is a fantastic and completely natural source of vitamin D. A recent study undertaken at Yale University spearheaded by Dr James Sabetta has shown that getting a healthy amount of sun can also improve your ability to combat influenza and other similar forms of flu.

The study involved one hundred and eighty people who had their vitamin D levels monitored throughout the year. Eighteen of the subjects had high vitamin D levels and were found to be less susceptible to the influenza virus. Equally, those of the subjects who lacked vitamin D were proven to be more likely to suffer from flu related illness.

The findings showed that the subjects who had 38 nanograms of vitamin D per millilitre or more and a fifty percent more chance of avoiding viral infections of the respiratory tract as well as various allergies.

Vitamin D is a very important vitamin for our bodies. In substantial doses it is found in foods such as tuna, salmon and liver oil. It is mainly acquired through sunlight. The vitamin has many useful effects, not only does it help our immune system it can also help reduce inflammation and, when coupled with calcium, can help combat osteoporosis for older adults.

Whilst the effects of vitamin D are obviously good for us, it is important to remember to take care when in the sun and to always use protection when needed.

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