Can safe sun exposure boost your immune system? New research from Georgetown University Medical Center digs deeper into the sun’s health benefits.
Sun exposure on your skin is essential to vitamin D production and also produces other benefits not related to vitamin D.
Just like plants, we need sun exposure to be healthy, and the full spectrum of light that comes from the sun is perfect for our bodies.
The Georgetown researchers conducted a study using cells in petri dishes. Their study shows that exposure to blue and ultraviolet light increases T cell activity. T cells are the white blood cells responsible for the immune system and for fighting infections.
This is the first study to show the impact of sunlight on T cells, so more research is needed to reinforce these results.
In the study, light helped stimulate hydrogen peroxide production, which boosted T cell activity.
As noted in a news report:
“Given the large surface area of human skin, all of the T cells present in skin could potentially benefit from this phenomenon through exposure to blue light, the researchers suggest.
Note that vitamin D is only produced in the body via exposure to UVB rays, which can be harmful in cases of prolonged sun exposure.
If blue light from the sun’s rays is capable of energizing infection-fighting T cells, it could be a potential means of treatment for boosting immunity in many patients, the researchers conclude.”
Although sunlight clearly has benefits, it is important to be safe when getting sun exposure. Take a look at our tips on how to select a sunscreen that is right for you.
Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.
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1. “How Sun Exposure Improves Your Immune Function.” Mercola.com. Mercola.com, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
2. “Researchers Have Found a New Way Sunlight Might Boost Immunity.” Newsweek. Newsweek, 16 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
3. “Intrinsic Photosensitivity Enhances Motility of T Lymphocytes.” Nature.com. Macmillan Publishers, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.