The sun’s effect on the skin has given the fiery star a lot of bad press, but a new theory has highlighted its potential benefits. In an article recently published on Trialsite News, author and Llandudno resident Neil Hellmann suggests that sun exposure could help prevent respiratory infections.
The article, entitled “Can particulates irradiated by the sun help prevent and treat respiratory infections?”, highlights the fact that each cubic centimeter of air contains hundreds and thousands of solid and liquid particles called aerosols or particulates. During the day these particles are irradiated by the sun, and are in an “excited” state, much like a red-hot poker in a fire. When inhaled, these particulates re-radiate the absorbed energy (primarily in the infrared spectrum) – just as the red-hot poker continues to glow and emit energy after it is removed from the fire.
Recent studies from Beijing’s University of Peking have shown that infrared radiation over a few hours causes significant degradation of the influenza and Coronavirus, as well as other infecting agents. According to Hellmann, this data supports the theory that infrared reradiation from inhaled particulates may interfere with — and even destroy — viruses within the respiratory tract.
“Emerging data also shows that radiation in the infrared spectra can reduce lung inflammation, lung fibrosis, pneumonia, acute respiratory disorders and other severe complications of coronavirus infections,” says Hellmann. “In other words, particulate reradiation within the respiratory tract may also have a therapeutic and beneficial effect.”
The concept of sunlight as a healing agent is not new. Prior to the discovery of antibiotics in the 1950s, open air therapy – which would entail a patient being exposed to sunlight — was commonly used to treat respiratory tract infections. Records from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic suggest that open air therapy for dealing with influenza was effective. Put simply, medics found that severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors. There is scientific support for the observation that a combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients, and infections among medical staff.
Data obtained after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic indicated that many patients admitted to hospital for the disease were Vitamin D deficient. This also highlighted the benefits of sun exposure, as the body produces Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is known to enhance the function of the immune cells and is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system, which is the body’s first line of defence against infection and diseases.
As Hellmann suggests, perhaps the focus should be on “lockouts” rather than “lockdowns” to encourage people to spend more time outdoors in the sunshine.
Trialsite News is the only digital media dedicated 100% to transparent and open coverage of clinical research trial sites around the globe. The full article can be viewed at: www.trialsitenews.com/can-particulates-irradiated-by-the-sun-help-prevent-and-treat-respiratory-infections/