Does Where You Live Influence Food Allergy and Eczema?

People with food allergy and eczema pay attention. Where you live might have an influence on your condition.  A study published in the March issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology finds that the closer you live to the equator the less likely you are to have food allergies or eczema (you can read the entire study here http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2812%2900079-6/fulltex

This raises the possibility that there is a relationship between vitamin D levels, ultraviolet light exposure and food allergy and eczema.  The researchers found that there was a latitude gradient for both peanut and egg allergy and eczema, but not for asthma.

In the children studied, those that lived furthest from the equator were more likely to have each of food allergy and eczema. In the 8- to 9-year-old cohort, the odds of having a peanut allergy were 6 times greater and the odds of having eczema were twice as great in children living the greatest distance from the equator as those residing in the closer latitudes. The report also showed that while there is a relationship between food allergy, eczema and latitude of domicile the same was not true of asthma and latitude of domicile.  In fact, latitude was not a factor in the prevalence of asthma.

It is hypothesized that solar irradiance and its associated effect on vitamin D status might be the agent at work.  Could it be that our fear of skin cancer and ultraviolet light are causing us to have decreased exposure to sunlight and as a result lower levels of vitamin D?  Does vitamin D play a role in protecting children against food allergy and eczema?

We aren’t advocating roasting in the sun and if you are going to be outside you certainly want to protect yourself with some VaniCream SunSport 35, however, if your child has food allergies or eczema, you might want to discuss vitamin D levels with your child’s physician. You can find out more about how you can get eczema here.

Til Next Time!

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