Posted on 01/02/2013

Could Sunshine Help Arthritis?

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Could Sunshine Help Arthritis?

Sunshine is good for you

We all know the positive effect that sunshine can have on our general feelings of health and wellbeing, but new research has shown that it can also reduce crippling rheumatoid arthritis too.

American researchers studied over 100,000 women over a number of years, and compared the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis with the amount of sunshine they were likely to have experienced where they live. The subjects with the highest levels of sunshine turned out to have the lowest levels of the disease – up to 21% lower than those exposed to the least sunlight.

However, before you go moving to sunnier climes, it is worth noting that the results only showed up in the part of the group that has been studied since 1976, with no difference shown in subjects studied since 1989. This is thought to reflect the different attitudes to sun block and other sun protection, which have been used more since the 90s. Unfortunately, that means that in order to get the full rheumatoid arthritis benefits of exposure to sunlight, you would also have to put yourself at significant risk of skin damage from UVB, which can lead to skin cancer.

Researchers think that the added protection against rheumatoid arthritis is due to increased levels of vitamin D, although there has been no conclusive research that vitamin D can be used directly as a treatment for the disease.

Professor Alan Silman from Arthritis Research UK suggests a compromise. “The best thing people can do is to go out, unprotected, into the sunshine for around 15 minutes a day to top up their vitamin D levels.”

Nottingham Rehab Supplies can offer many different ways to help you cope with the crippling affects of rheumatoid arthritis, including kitchen and bathroom equipment with adaptable grips to suit the limitations of the disease.

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