Seasonal sun exposure plays an important role in recovery process after a person undergoes weight loss surgery, finds a study by Johns Hopkins University. The research based on the assessment of over 930,000 patient records reveal interplay among vitamin D status, seasons, geography and surgery outcomes.
The researchers were surprised to know the close link between sun exposure, vitamin D and surgical results. “Sun exposure is critical in the synthesis of vitamin D, so the notion that people living in less sunny northern states may suffer from vitamin D deficiency is not surprising”, said study’s lead researcher Leigh Peterson from the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery.
Patients, who undergo weight loss surgery in America during winters (from January to March), the time of lowest vitamin D levels, fared worse than patients who underwent bariatric surgery in summers, noticed the researchers. They have also found that patients who undergo surgery in the north faced more complications than those in the south.
In the study, the researchers have gone through records of more than 930,000 bariatric operations carried out in American from 2001 to 2010. The researchers have noticed there were fewer complications. But those who were from north fared worse than patients who were from areas falling in south.
Adverse outcomes, like non-healing wounds, wound infections; wound separation and delayed wound health in colder seasons were blamed owing to less exposure to sunshine. The researchers have mentioned that the research findings do not mean that vitamin D supplements are a way to reduce risk of postsurgical complications. There is a need to conduct more research on the matter.
As per experts, people should get needed amount of vitamin D from regular sun exposure, healthy diet and if required, supplements. But excessive intake of vitamin D can lead to nausea, constipation, confusion and abnormal heart rhythm.
The researchers have also pointed out that obesity is a known factor for vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, patients planning to undergo weight loss surgery should be checked for it.