Sunshine offers protection - even without vitamin D
The effect of UV rays on the immune system is much more significant than the effects of the "sunshine vitamin"
In their study, the group of researchers investigated to what extent the immunoregulatory effects of UV irradiance are exclusively exerted by the production of the “sunshine vitamin” via the skin. The scientists compared the results of studies that focused on the effects of vitamin D against studies that concentrated on exposure to the sun or UV irradiance. The results of their review reveal that the effect of UV irradiance on the immune system far exceeds the effects of the “sunshine vitamin”.
“For the immune system to fully benefit from the effects of UV irradiance, it is essential to have regular, but moderate, exposure to the sun or to visit a solarium”, explains Ad Brand from the Sunlight Research Forum (SRF). He adds that avoiding sunlight wherever possible and satisfying vitamin D requirements primarily through dietary supplements seems to be the wrong approach, according to the latest research.
Prue H. Hart, Shelley Gorman, John J. Finlay-Jones: “Modulation of the immune system by UV irradiance: more than just the effects of vitamin D?” in: Nature Reviews Immunology 11, 584 (2011)
Über Sunlight Research Forum
The Sunlight Research Forum (SRF) is a not-for-profit organisation based in The Netherlands. SRF's aim is to help bring to the fore, the latest medical and scientific information on the effects of moderate UV exposure on man. It takes time, often decades, for new scientific ideas to be accepted and assimilated, first into the general body of scientific knowledge and finally into policy. We want to reduce this time to a minimum so that the benefits of research can lead to a better understanding of UV effects on man and will become available to the public without any unnecessary delay. We hope to provide policy makers with correct information on which to base national health policy and individuals with better information on which to base choices about their lifestyles.
New research and well founded ideas on moderate UV exposure both indoor and outdoor will be presented and discussed in the Sunlight Research Forum by people working in the health disciplines, by academics and by journalists.