Food Allergies Linked with Lack of Vitamin D and Sunshine
Research is confirming that deficiencies in sunshine and vitamin D are associated with increased food allergies.
We already knew that sunshine and vitamin D was important to health – given the over 70 diseases now associated with their deficiency. Now research is proving their role in food allergies.
Clinical research on childhood food allergies
Researchers from the University of Melbourne have determined that children who are low in vitamin D are more likely to have multiple food allergies.
The researchers tested 5,276 one year-old children. They gave the children skin prick tests to determine their allergies to peanuts, eggs, sesame, cow’s milk or shrimp. They also analyzed blood samples from 577 children, of which 344 had food allergies and 74 more sensitized but tolerant.
Australian children with parents who were vitamin D deficient were over 11 times more likely to have peanut allergens and nearly four times more likely to have a the allergies when compared to those who had healthy levels of vitamin D.
Overall, infants who were vitamin D deficient were over 10 times more likely to have multiple food allergies – meaning being allergic to more than two foods.
The researchers quantified vitamin D deficiency as having less than 50 and nmol/L of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood, as measured by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry.
The researchers wrote in their conclusion:
“These results provide the first direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency may be an important protective factor for food allergy in the first year of life.”
Yes, direct evidence for sure, but this is not the first connection made between food allergies and vitamin D.
As discussed in my book on food allergies (below), there are several studies that have illustrated the direct effect between vitamin D and sunshine and food allergies:
Researchers from the University of Western Australia and the Princess Margaret Hospital (Jennings and Prescott 2010) reviewed the clinical data regarding diet and environmental changes with respect to autoimmunity and food allergies. They concluded that vitamin D along with other nutrients, stimulate and assist immune function and inherently decrease the risk of food allergies.
A European study of 17,280 adults from different countries by researchers from Australia’s Monash Medical School (Woods et al. 2001) found that among developed countries, food allergy rates were higher among those living in Northern Europe as compared with Southern European countries.
Researchers from the Children’s Hospital Boston (Rudders et al. 2010) studied allergic emergency room visits throughout the United States. They found that those living in Southern regions had significantly lower incidence of food allergies and far fewer hospital visits for food allergies. The Northeast region had 12% more food allergy emergency visits per thousand than in the South. This difference was even greater when the analysis was restricted to food sensitivities. The risk of food sensitivities was 33% higher for those living in the Northeast than those living in the sun-drenched South. The researchers concluded that: “These observational data are consistent with the hypothesis that vitamin D may play an etiologic role in anaphylaxis, especially food-induced anaphylaxis.”
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (Vassallo et al. 2010) researched the connection between the season of birth and the contraction of food allergies. The records of three Boston food allergy clinics were reviewed. In all, 1,002 patients with food allergies were studied. Forty-one percent of children with food allergies were born in the spring or the summer. Fifty-nine percent were born in the fall or the winter time. Children born in the fall or winter had a significantly higher risk of food allergies. The researchers proposed that the findings indicate that greater levels of UV-B exposure near birth and subsequent vitamin D production best explained this occurrence.
There is enough evidence now to relate food allergies to vitamin D and thus safe levels of UV-B exposure. Certainly the rise in food allergies correlates with the mass panic – caused by conventional doctors – to stay out of the sun rather than find the real causes for skin cancer.
Allen KJ, Koplin JJ, Ponsonby AL, Gurrin LC, Wake M, Vuillermin P, Martin P, Matheson M, Lowe A, Robinson M, Tey D, Osborne NJ, Dang T, Tina Tan HT, Thiele L, Anderson D, Czech H, Sanjeevan J, Zurzolo G, Dwyer T, Tang ML, Hill D, Dharmage SC. Vitamin D insufficiency associated with food allergy in infants. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Apr;131(4):1109-16, 1116.e1-6.
Other studies found in:
Adams, C. Natural Solutions for Food Allergies and Food Intolerances: Proven Remedies for Food Sensitivities. Logical Books, 2012.