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Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Aug;15(4):350-7. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0000000000000177.

Sunlight, vitamin D and food allergy.

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aDivision of Asthma and Allergy, Department of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Hospital, Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island bDepartment of Emergency Medicine, and Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



The role of vitamin D in the development of food allergy is unclear. We summarize recent data on the epidemiologic link between sunlight (UVB) and food allergy, and evidence for and against a specific role for vitamin D status.


Since 2007, most epidemiologic studies have supported low sunlight (as measured by season of birth and latitude) as a risk factor for food allergy. Investigators have also looked directly at vitamin D status (as measured by serum 25OHD level) and its potential role. Although conflicting, the vitamin D studies suggest a more complicated association than a linear dose response in all individuals, with some studies indicating different associations based on host characteristics (e.g. concominant eczema, genetic polymorphisms, country of birth). Most studies have not fully examined the myriad effects of sunlight but have instead focused on a single maternal, neonatal or childhood 25OHD level.


Many studies have linked sunlight with the development of food allergy but whether this is directly related to vitamin D status or a myriad of other sunlight-derived, seasonal and/or geographic factors remains uncertain. More studies are needed to investigate the role of sunlight and vitamin D status in food allergy because of their potential for primary prevention and disease modification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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