I read an article today at news.com.au that I found interesting for a couple of reasons. You can find the article here, but in short, it stated that a study in Australia found the instance of food allergies was higher the farther away a child lived from the equator. Dr. Ray Mullins created a map of Australia that summarized the instances of diagnosed food allergies as well as EpiPen and allergy-free infant formula prescriptions. He also tracked over five years the locations of more than 11,000 children who made emergency trips to the hospital for food allergies. Based on his findings, he believes early childhood vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the increased instance of food allergies in Australia, particularly the southern region. Wouldn’t it be great if he were on to something? It certainly sounds like he is.
Since severe mental illness runs in my family, I have always tried to make sure my children get plenty of vitamin D straight from the best source – the sun! Vitamin D is strongly linked to schizophrenia, and unfortunately, this terrible disease affects my extended family. I try to take my children outside for at least an hour a day when the weather permits and keep their heads uncovered for maximum absorption. I also offer a chewable multi-vitamin with 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D in the winter and when we have long stretches of unkind weather. While this recent study linking sun exposure to food allergies needs more research and clarification, it only underscores for me the importance of vitamin D in maintaining a healthy mind and body.