Now, a new study led by Valencian researchers has shown that children who live in colder, wetter cities are at greater risk of suffering from this respiratory problem, since there are fewer hours of sunlight in such places.
"Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause cancer, but it's also dangerous to avoid it. There has to be a balance between the pros and cons", Alberto Arnedo-Pena, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Centre in Castellón and lead author of the research, which is part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), led by Luis García Marcos of the University of Murcia, tells SINC.
In fact, 90% of our vitamin D is synthesised through exposure to the sun. This vitamin, which can be found in various cell receptors, is usually found at lower levels in people with asthma. The study results show that there is a higher prevalence of this illness among children in wetter places with less sun (northern Spain).
The research, carried out on more than 45,000 children and teenagers from nine Spanish cities and published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, shows that climatic conditions, above all solar radiation, can in many cases explain the high geographical variation in the prevalence of asthma in Spain.
"Although we need more studies on this issue – this hypothesis is not even five years old - it is clear that an average level of sun exposure is important for the assimilation of vitamin D, a compound that is extremely important in preventing illnesses such as asthma, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases", stresses Arnedo-Pena.
The solar vitamin
In northern countries (where there are fewer hours of sunshine than in the Mediterranean), the advice is to spend 20 to 30 minutes' in the sun each day, although not at times within the highest risk period (from noon to 4pm). For now, no similar advice exists in Spain.
Once the benefits of sun exposure are understood, it can be seen that there is a problem in countries at latitudes higher than 40º north, where it is not possible to absorb enough vitamin D during the winter months. "People in these countries should take supplements to ensure they are not at risk", the researcher concludes.
Alberto Arnedo-Pena; Luis García-Marcos; Jorge Fuertes Fernández-Espinar; Alberto Bercedo-Sanz; Inés Aguinaga-Ontoso; Carlos González-Díaz; Ignacio Carvajal-Urueña; Rosa Busquet-Monge; Maria Morales Suárez-Varela; Nagore García de Andoin; Juan Batlles-Garrido; Alfredo Blanco-Quirós; Angel López-Silvarrey Varela; Gloria García-Hernández. "Sunny hours and variations in the prevalence of asthma in schoolchildren according to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies (ISAAC) Phase III in Spain". Int J Biometeorol (2011) 55:423-434.
SINC Team | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences