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Sunshine Vitamin Fights TB, Study Finds

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Australian researchers reported this week that vitamin D deficiency is linked to significantly higher rates of tuberculosis — a finding they say means the sunshine vitamin may help prevent and treat TB.

Dr. Katherine Gibney, of the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, reported the findings in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases this week with her colleagues.

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In the early 20th century tuberculosis patients were commonly referred to “solaria” to treat their diseases. Sunshine, of course, is the body’s natural source of vitamin D, accounting for 90 percent of natural vitamin D production. Gibney’s work added credibility to the belief that the vitamin D mechanism was the important trigger in preventing and treating the disease.

Vitamin D deficiency is now linked to greater incidence of more than 20 forms of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disorders and even the flu.

“These findings add to the mountain of research that again show that the positive effects of regular, non-burning sun exposure easily outweigh the manageable risks that are associated with sunburn and overexposure,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “It’s amazing that anyone could think otherwise, because the amount of UV most of us need to elevate vitamin D levels is so obviously more consistent with what the professional tanning industry has been teaching for years: sunburn prevention.”

“With new vitamin D messages coming out almost daily, the sun abstinence message needs to be buried as dinosaur mentality. There really is no debating this point.”

Click here for Reuter’s coverage of the story.


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