Low sunlight may put kids at risk of allergies, eczema: Study 0
Children living in sunshine-lacking areas have a greater risk of developing food allergies and eczema than kids in sunnier regions, a new study suggests.
Researchers studied Australian children and the varying rates of allergies, eczema and asthma depending on how far north or south they lived.
On average, children who lived in the south of the country — where there's less sunlight — were twice as likely to get eczema than kids in the north. The study also found a link between latitude and allergies to peanuts and egg.
"We're now hoping to study these effects at a much finer scale and examine which factors such as temperature, infectious disease or vitamin D are the main drivers of this relationship," Dr. Nick Osborne, who led a team of researchers in the U.S. and Australia, said in a statement Friday.
Sunlight helps the body create vitamin D.
Osborne cautioned that sunlight exposure can differ for more reasons than just the proximity to the equator, such as how long the kids spend outside. He warns that too much sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer.
The findings have been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.