Sunlight and Lice are Your Friends
Everyone needs a little vitamin D, but now scientists think low levels of it may contribute to asthma severity in kids. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, so the link raises a few questions for me:
1. The kids in the study who had severe asthma and low levels of vitamin D – did they not get outside much?
2. Or is awareness of skin cancer and the need for sunblock (an otherwise healthy modern development) to blame?
3. Or both?
The researchers studied children in Costa Rica, which gets plenty of sunshine. Which also explains this sentence:
The authors note that because vitamin D deficiency can also be seen in warmer climates with abundant sun exposure, other factors likely also play a role.
(That bears out in my own child, too. I don’t know if AG has a vitamin D deficiency, but I do know she’s spent her whole life in the sun, having lived in coastal Florida from birth up to a few months ago and always loved the outdoors.)
In other news, lack of exposure to lice may play a role in asthma development and other autoimmune disorders. The basic premise here – humans have always lived with lice (and other immune system challenges) up until recent history, so our systems evolved to deal with that environment and not the one we actually live in today.
Anytime I read about new asthma research, I find myself picturing science fiction-esque treatments for future generations. Vitamin D pills? Parasite therapy?