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Outside for Eyes

Category: Well, Let_s Talk!
Posted: 2009-01-15 14:11

Wow! This is is an eye opener! So much health, from the OutsideIN!

Outdoor activity reduces the prevalence of myopia in children

Objective: To assess the relationship of near, midworking distance, and outdoor activities with prevalence of myopia in school-aged children.

Design: Cross-sectional study of 2 age samples from 51 Sydney schools, selected using a random cluster design.

Participants: One thousand seven hundred sixty-five 6-year-olds (year 1) and 2367 12-year-olds (year 7) participated in the Sydney Myopia Study from 2003 to 2005.

Methods: Children had a comprehensive eye examination, including cycloplegic refraction. Parents and children completed detailed questionnaires on activity.

Main Outcome Measures: Myopia prevalence and mean spherical equivalent (SE) in relation to patterns of near, midworking distance, and outdoor activities. Myopia was defined as SE refraction < or = -0.5 diopters (D).

Results: Higher levels of outdoor activity (sport and leisure activities) were associated with more hyperopic refractions and lower myopia prevalence in the 12-year-old students. Students who combined high levels of near work with low levels of outdoor activity had the least hyperopic mean refraction (+0.27 D; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.52), whereas students who combined low levels of near work with high levels of outdoor activity had the most hyperopic mean refraction (+0.56 D; 95% CI, 0.38-0.75). Significant protective associations with increased outdoor activity were seen for the lowest (P = 0.04) and middle (P = 0.02) tertiles of near-work activity. The lowest odds ratios for myopia, after adjusting for confounders, were found in groups reporting the highest levels of outdoor activity. There were no associations between indoor sport and myopia. No consistent associations between refraction and measures of activity were seen in the 6-year-old sample.

Conclusions: Higher levels of total time spent outdoors, rather than sport per se, were associated with less myopia and a more hyperopic mean refraction, after adjusting for near work, parental myopia, and ethnicity.

Source: Ophthalmology. 2008 Aug;115(8):1279-85.

Natural Sun Protection

Category: Food & Your Health
Posted: 2009-01-07 11:32

Let's face it, we are all looking for an answer like: "Eating green peas every day will help me live better...longer .... protect me from...."

The truth is there is no magic cure-all that will absolve us from taking charge of what we eat and how we live - both of which have consequences for our bodies and therefore our health.

Natural sun protection is one area that is particularly in need of attention. The lovely chemical-laden creams that are sold through splashy, colourful magazine ads are not the healthiest of options.

Yes, we can reduce our exposure to the noon-to-3pm sun. We can chose to not sprawl ourselves out in the ritual sun-worshiping prone posture, deluded that the golden gift will have some positive impact....somehow.

We can also eat what our body requires to encourage the maximum strength of natural sun-protection it was designed to provide. We can make choices, including castor oil treatments, that nourish our skin and improve our internal health.

In an article by Dr. G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN, there are some internal supplements that are good for us and have proven to improve our body's natural sun protection.

Studies on single antioxidants1,2 have failed to demonstrate a protective effect against the sun. However, when studied in combination doses,3,4,5 vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids can slow the formation of sunburn cells and can increase the time it takes for UV irradiation to cause visible erythema.

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