This is good news for expectant mothers out there. A recent research have shown that sunshine decreases a child’s risk of asthma when the mother gets enough of it.
The sun can provide many health benefits in various ways. While there may be some reasons that unsafe sun exposure causes cancer, it is not just as simple as that. It is a fact, that various studies have shown that exposure to the sun reduces cancer risk. Also skin cancer is not just simply an issue of sun exposure.
There are various benefits of sun exposure and one of them relates to asthma risk for children. According to statistics, one in ten children in the U.S. were suffering from asthma and one in twelve of the whole U.S. population suffers from asthma.
The question is, is there anything a mother can do to reduce the risk of asthma in her children?
Science research says yes, there are a number of proven strategies to reduce asthma risk in children. One of this is:
A Mothers’ Sun Exposure Helps Reduce a Child’s Risk of Asthma
The researchers from Harvard University and University of Kansas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducted analyses of hospital discharge data, which were derived from 2 states and compared them with national data.
The researchers investigated the timing of births among different states and compared the sunlight data among those different states. They stated that, they are not looking at sunny places versus non-sunny places. They looked the relative differences of the level of sunlight at a particular place and at a particular time of year.
The researchers found out that those times and regions that were sunniest during the mother’s second trimester, resulted in fewer asthma cases among those children. This relates specific to the year, month and part of the country. This is because sunlight levels can vary in the same month from year to year.
They also concluded that if the place is relatively more sunny during the second trimester,they found relatively lower rates of asthma.
Why on the Second Trimester?
The second trimester lasts from the 14th week to the 16th week gestational or the 12-14 age of the fetus. This is the period wherein the baby is developing sweat and lymph glands and the pancreas and liver, begins to produce fluids.
This is the time wherein the baby’s mucosal and immune system is developing. Asthma is a condition of the mucosal membranes.
The Vitamin D
The researchers assumed that the benefits were based on the vitamin D that the body produces as a result of sunlight exposure. This could be the case, but the sun’s effects on the body is much more complicated than just production of vitamin D.
Many concluded that vitamin D supplementation is the solution. But the question is whether supplemented vitamin D will have the same result as vitamin D produced by the sun.
Many women take prenatal vitamins, including that of vitamin D. These are taken regardless of sunlight exposure. If it was vitamin D, then there would be no conclusive effect on the exposure to the sun. This is because vitamin D is included in all prenatal vitamins, taken across the U.S.
Vitamin D can be acquired from dietary supplements, but the prenatal vitamins pregnant women take already contain vitamin D and women may not be getting the full benefit from them.