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Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases
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10/27/10 20:56
joanne H

not registered

10/27/10 20:56
joanne H

not registered

Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

I have been reading about the correlation between auto immune diseases and a lack of sunlight. My Mother suffered from Psoriasis and later on she had RA - she may have had some Dupuytren's as well although she was never diagnosed. - the only thing that worked for her over the years was getting out into the sun. Her psoriasis would vanish almost immediately as would the pain from RA. I strongly believe there is a link between lack of sunlight and many auto-immune diseases we have seen upsurges in over the past decades. I read that kids in Lapland have 400% more diabetes than kids living at the Equator. I even read that when sunlight hits your skin and makes Vit D, it makes it out of cholesterol! Incredible! Anyway, it's an easy enough therapy to experiment with. Just don't over-do it. Supposedly the amount we need for full benefits is only 20-30 minutes a day of strongish sun on 40% or more of your body. I know those living in cold climates may have a hard time of this in the winter...

10/28/10 08:21
wach 

Administrator

10/28/10 08:21
wach 

Administrator

Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

Joanne,

sun light won't be of any help for Dupuytren's disease. Maybe you are in the wrong forum?

I think we will better delete this thread.

Wolfgang

10/29/10 04:24
joanne H

not registered

10/29/10 04:24
joanne H

not registered

Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

Hi Wolfgang, I know this theory might seem a little far-fetched but there is some real science to support it. Many people in Northern latitudes (or who spend most of their time indoors) have chronically low levels of Vit D, which is implicated in diseases from heart disease to diabetes, auto-immune disorders and many cancers. I think it is one of the hallmarks of DC that it affects more people in the northern latitudes, right? Whether or not Duputryen's is one of the disorders related to low Vit D I don't know, but it may turn out that it is one factor. We have been told to avoid the sun for so long now, we tend to forget that sometimes we go too far in avoiding things that we need in small amounts at least. Our immune systems evolved when we lived closer to nature and that included much more sun exposure. As one scientist involved in this research pointed out: "We evolved at the Equator and we were naked-and then we moved North and put on clothes - it's a no-brainer that we are not getting enough Vit D".
It is becoming more widely accepted that Duputrens is probably an auto-immune disease. The Mayo clinic site mentions this , as does recent research from the NIH in England and elsewhere.
Also, anecdotaly, I have a dear friend who suffers from Duputrens and he is a professional musician. He is also one of the palest people I know and spends very little time outdoors. Both sides of his family have history of the disease and yet he has two brothers, neither of whom developed the disease and they both have jobs that require them to spend time outdoors. This isn't proof of anything but I think it is worthy of mention.

10/31/10 16:06
jimh 
10/31/10 16:06
jimh 
Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

Vitamin D has been getting a lot of serious buzz and low levels of it might be an underlying cause of a number of problems. A few years ago I saw a writeup of of a case where treatment with megadoses of D3 had apparently caused a virtual disappearance of a large and dangerous desmoid tumor (a fibrotic condition with some similarity to Dupuytren's).

I think though that the association of Dupuytren's with Northern Europeans has been convincingly tied to a specific genetic variation that seems to have radiated outward from Scandinavia over the last several hundred years.

I'm not a believer in dietary supplements but am considering taking D (possibly D3) because of all the credible-sounding research I'm seeing on its importance.

Edited 10/31/10 16:08

10/31/10 16:36
wach 

Administrator

10/31/10 16:36
wach 

Administrator

Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

Jim,

the tie of Dupuytren's to a specific gene has not yet been established. Scientists are still struggling to identify one or several genes associated with Dupuytren's disease. I think there is little doubt that Dupuytren's, or rather the tendency to develop it, can be inherited and therefore genomics research will probably find one or more genes associated with it.

It is far less certain whether the disease spread out from Scandinavia. There are serious arguments that, for example strong prevalence in Bosnia or Japan, and the first reported case being a 3000 year old Egyptian mummy http://www.dupuytren-online.info/dupuytr...stribution.html. It may well be that Dupuytren's is more frequent in non-European countries than previously thought. Nobody really knows, it just hasn't been researched systematically.

Vitamin D against Dupuytren's is very, very speculative, or rather: there is no indication that it might help. No case reports, no lab studies. I am not so familiar with its effect against cancer but if it were established I am sure there would be more noise about it. I read http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-d-000340.htm and that doesn't sound very convincing, does it? Personally I would not recommend taking Vitamin D against Dupuytren's but I am suspicious about nutritional supplements in general. Maybe Vitamin D helps against winter depression or makes sense for elderly people who are not exposed to sufficient sun light anymore. But otherwise I believe more in not eating too much and eating a large variety of food. The body will then pick from it what it needs. Having said this: I am overweight and I drink too much. Advice is easy, living it is not ...

Wolfgang

11/02/10 05:01
loonsong 
11/02/10 05:01
loonsong 

Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

I am in chronic pain from several sources and also tested for a Vit D deficiency several years ago and was put on a supplement which I still take.

One thing Vit D can help is with pain levels, so I take my supplemnt. Since moving out of the woods into the city I am getting more natural sunlight and my levels of Vit D have returned to normal.

I don't think Vit D would be a cure but one could get their levels checked by their Dr and if they are deficient take supplements. Vit D is a oil soluble vitamin and you can get too much of it. So if deficient it can help with pain levels maybe but that is about all I think, and for some that may be a welcome blessing. It is of course best to get your Vit D from the sun and as the poster mentioned it doesn't take much bright sunshine a day to help us.

I do not drink milk which adds Vid D as I am lactose intolerant and on a dairy free diet from my Dr/nutritionist.

loonsong

11/04/10 01:51
jimh 
11/04/10 01:51
jimh 
Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

I thought that at this point a genetic basis for at least the majority of Dupuytren's cases was seen as almost a certainty. As this website itself reports:

"Recently it was claimed that the dominant gene for Dupuytren's contracture has been located on the genome (F. Z. Hu et al. "Mapping of an autosomal dominant gene for Dupuytren's contracture to chromosome 16q in a Swedish family" Clinical Genetics 68/5 (2005) p 424 Dupuytren's_genome)"

Here's a summary of recent research we says in part "We have essentially identified a single small region within the vast human genome where the gene for this disease exists. Efforts are now underway to identify the gene itself."
http://healthfully.org/medicalscience/id13.html

That report also alludes to hereditary and non-hereditary forms of the disease: "Though the hereditary form of Dupuytren's contracture is most prevalent in Scandinavia and among Scandinavian immigrant populations, the disease is found among all ethnic groups."

Edited 11/04/10 01:58

11/04/10 05:24
tam1 
11/04/10 05:24
tam1 
Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

Jim, thanks for posting the link to the fascinating article on Dupuytren's genetic research. The health site where you found it is also very interesting.

11/04/10 09:32
wach 

Administrator

11/04/10 09:32
wach 

Administrator

Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

Jim,

I believe researchers are chronically optimistic because they need more funding (being a physicist myself I have watched fusion energy research announcing breakthroughs now for 40 years and still without industrial results). This article says "Efforts are now underway to identify the gene itself", so it hasn't yet been identified. In Miami we had several papers on genomics and each identified different genes involved in Dupuytren's. So there is still a lot of work to do and the situation possibly complex with several genes involved. As a result of the Miami conference British, Dutch and German research groups are now pooling their efforts to get reliable results based on higher sample numbers but that will probably still take years.

The article also says "Better understanding of the genetics of this disease will hopefully move us in the direction of a more effective therapeutic approach". I would share this hope but for the time being it is only hope. I guess we need to rephrase our web site a little ...

I believe that the prevalence statement is misleading. High prevalence has also been reported e.g. in Bosnia, Flanders, and Japan. One might speculate about Viking immigrants in Flanders but certainly not in Bosnia or Japan. Degreef writes "However, only few studies on the prevalence of Dupuytren's disease have been preformed in non-Scandinavian areas. Nevertheless, in every study that has been been conducted, the disease does appear to be present in the population that was examined and this is seen all over the world." (Degreef and L. De Smet "A high prevalence of Dupuytren’s disease in Flanders" Acta Orthop Belg 2010, 76: 316-320, see also http://www.dupuytren-online.info/dupuytr...stribution.html).

Wolfgang

jimh:
I thought that at this point a genetic basis for at least the majority of Dupuytren's cases was seen as almost a certainty. As this website itself reports:

"Recently it was claimed that the dominant gene for Dupuytren's contracture has been located on the genome (F. Z. Hu et al. "Mapping of an autosomal dominant gene for Dupuytren's contracture to chromosome 16q in a Swedish family" Clinical Genetics 68/5 (2005) p 424 Dupuytren's_genome)"

Here's a summary of recent research we says in part "We have essentially identified a single small region within the vast human genome where the gene for this disease exists. Efforts are now underway to identify the gene itself."
http://healthfully.org/medicalscience/id13.html

That report also alludes to hereditary and non-hereditary forms of the disease: "Though the hereditary form of Dupuytren's contracture is most prevalent in Scandinavia and among Scandinavian immigrant populations, the disease is found among all ethnic groups."

11/04/10 19:04
joanne H

not registered

11/04/10 19:04
joanne H

not registered

Re: Lack of sunlight and auto immune diseases

The thing about genetic diseases is that they quite often have secondary environmental triggers. Diabetes, cancer, auto-immune diseases all seem to have tendencies to be inherited but not everyone will develop them or develop them at an early age. The difference is quite often triggers within our control such as diet, exercise and possibly how much time we spend outdoors getting fresh air and sunlight etc. We all have the genetic cards we are dealt, it's probably how we play those cards that decide whether we get sick or stay well. Supplements are good if you can't /won't get the nutrients from natural sources, but there are micro-nutrients you get from fresh foods that you won't get in vitamins. D3 supplements likewise - when you get Vit D from sunlight it has other interactions with the body that we can't second guess, like perhaps lowering cholesterol since that's what it manufactures the Vit D from. Also, although you can over-do sun exposure you will never get too much Vit D that way. The body only manufactures what it needs. Vit D in high doses orally can be somewhat toxic I think. The other thing that sun exposure does is suppress the immune system. This is why it may have importance in halting auto-immune diseases because the immune system is over-reacting and attacks the bodies own tissue as if it were foreign. The sunlight/Vit D controls the immune system just enough to keep it from doing damage. This is why you don't want to overdo sun exposure either because you just need enough to keep your immune system from running amuck. Like all things in life , moderation seems to be the key! I believe many of the expensive RA drugs that have to be injected are immune suppressors if I'm not mistaken? Wouldn't it be great if you could get the same effect by sitting out in your backyard in a sunny spot for 20-30 minutes in your shorts??
It's fine waiting and hoping for science to cure a disease, but in the meantime it makes sense to act on our own behalf when we can.

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sunlight   misinformation   disease   Dupuytren   ens-contracture   differentiation   dupuytren-online   research   Vitamin   credible-sounding   diseases   auto-immune   contracture   autoimmune   non-Scandinavian   vitamin-d-000340   mitochondrial   medicalscience   fibroproliferative   micro-nutrients