Weather and Health
The discipline called Human Biometeorology is studying theeffects of weather to human health. It has proved that the atmosphericconditions significantly change the way we feel, both physically and mentally.
In most countries, winter time is when doctors have to dealwith increased number of depressive patients and other, more physical problems.Also, suicide attempts are most common during the winter months.
Most people are eager to leave their homes after the winter.Studies reveal that sunshine attracts people to be outside, to smile and relax.Sun brings color to the cheeks and encourages socialization. This phenomenonhappens literally everywhere, regardless what part of the Earth you are livingon.
Sunlight for Health
After the exposure to the sun (particularly UV B light formthe sun) skin produces vitamin D. Then, this vitamin goes to the liver, and getsconverted into calcidiol and calcitriol. Calcidiol and especially, calcitriol areactive forms of vitamin D, responsible for every effect of this vitamin.
Human body needs vitamin D. It is necessary to maintain thegood health of bones in the body. It regulates growth and modification of the bones,prevents rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. This vitamin also affects immune system, neuromuscularfunction, and many genes in the human organism.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with heart problems,allergies, cancers, obesity, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
It can be found in the milk and liver oil, but the type ofvitamin D from the sun is absorbed and used more easily and quickly. Synthetic formof vitamin D is D2 (or ergocalciferol) and the natural vitamin D is known asvitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). D3 is absorbed and used by the body 5 timesquicker than vitamin D2.
Usually, normal diet regime (in the United States) providesabout 100 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per day. However, it has been proven thatour body needs at least 2 times more and that after 50th birthday, those needs areincreased to 400 to 600 IU per day. So, watch your diet or even better, go getsome sunshine.
Some peopleare avoiding sunlight because the possibility to develop skin cancer. Recent studieshave shown that the positive effects outweigh the negative (including skin cancer).
Effects of the sun light, like increased socialization and happinessare more visible in the people living in climates where the weather changesrapidly, form dark and very cold in the winter, to the hot and sunny in thespring and summer time. Living in the LA, for instance, won’t make you happy allthe time. People living in LA have a constant temperature of about 25C all yearround and many sunny days, and it seems that they have become indifferent tothe weather.
Sungazing or solar yoga has become very popular these days. Hira RatanManek (HRM), claims that he hadn’t eaten since 1995, becausethe sunlight provide everything his body needs. He and other advocates of sungazing believe that sunlight increasethe energy of the human body and decrease the appetite. Scientific studies,however, haven’t confirmed their claims.