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"The study suggests that strong light, or even just daylight, might ease the risk of having a heart attack or suffering damage from one," says Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD, an associate professor of anesthesiology, cardiology, and cell and developmental biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "For patients, this could mean that daylight exposure inside of the hospital could reduce the damage that is caused by a heart attack."
The answer lies, perhaps surprisingly, in the circadian rhythm, the body's clock that is linked to light and dark. The circadian clock is regulated by proteins in the brain. But the proteins are in other organs as well, including the heart.
And here's where the circadian rhythm comes in. The study showed that the Period 2 protein is vital for that change in fuel, from fat to glucose, and therefore could make heart metabolism more efficient. In fact, Strong daylight activated Period 2 in animals and minimized damage from a heart attack.
ScienceDaily (May 18, 2011) — Vitamin D, which is primarily absorbed from the sun, plays a role in protection against childhood asthma. Now, a new study led by Valencian researchers has shown that children who live in colder, wetter cities are at greater risk of suffering from this respiratory problem, since there are fewer hours of sunlight in such places.
"Although we need more studies on this issue -- this hypothesis is not even five years old -- it is clear that an average level of sun exposure is important for the assimilation of vitamin D, a compound that is extremely important in preventing illnesses such as asthma, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases," stresses Arnedo-Pena.
Once the benefits of sun exposure are understood, it can be seen that there is a problem in countries at latitudes higher than 40º north, where it is not possible to absorb enough vitamin D during the winter months. "People in these countries should take supplements to ensure they are not at risk," the researcher concludes
There are already established health connections to vitamin D and help with diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, mood and much more. But evidence is mounting that vitamin D could be one of the most important factors in preventing heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S.