Melbourne, Feb 7: People who are exposed to more sunlight may be less likely to suffer from food allergies and eczema, researchers say.
The study of 7600 Australian children found that those in southern parts of the country were more likely to develop eczema and food allergies than those who lived further north.
Professor Katie Allen said the results support the hypothesis that sunlight, or more specifically vitamin D, may be a contributing factor to the development of food allergies and eczema.
“We know that people in Queensland get more exposure to sunlight, and sunlight produces more vitamin D in your skin,” the Herald Sun quoted Prof Allen as telling a new agency.
“The research lends to the already existing hypothesis that the further you are from Equator the more likely you are to have food allergies and eczema,” she explained.
Australia has among the highest reported food allergy rates in the world and Prof Allen said southern states were struggling to keep up with demand for allergy testing.
“It’s only indirect evidence, but our waiting lists for allergy testing are more significant in the south than the north,” she said.
“It’s really blowing out the medical system’s ability to cope with it in the south,” Prof Allen added.
While the study by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found a possible link between Vitamin D and eczema and food allergies, a causal relationship is yet to be proven. (ANI)