Health & Medicine

Influence of Sunlight on the breakdown of medicines in the body

Note from Winnerscience: Dear friends, we all know that sunlight is very essential for our body especially for the bones. Now in a new study conducted by the researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute has proved that the sunlight can influence the breakdown of medicines in the body. Therefore, the breakdown of medicines can vary with the seasons that are it will be different in winters than the summers. Let us elaborate it further:

The research is based on nearly 70,000 analyses from patients who have undergone regular monitoring of the levels of drugs in their blood. The drugs, tacrolimus and sirolimus, taken by these patients are used to suppress the immune system in association with organ transplants. Samples taken during the winter months were compared with those taken late in the summer.

The research will be published in the scientific journal Drug Metabolism & Disposition (The Journal of Digital Investigation is published by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics . It covers important research in pharmacology (Do you know what it is, if not then read our article on it) and toxicology and is a valuable resource in drug design, drug metabolism, expression of drug metabolizing enzymes, and regulation of drug metabolizing enzyme gene expression. It has impact factor of 3.743).

Research showed that the concentrations of drugs to prevent rejection following transplantation, vary throughout the year in a manner that closely reflects changes in the level of vitamin D in the body. The ability of the body to form vitamin D depends on sunlight, and the highest levels in the patients taking part in the study were reached during that part of the year when the levels of the drugs were lowest.

The connection between sunlight, vitamin D and variations in drug concentration is believed to arise from the activation by vitamin D of the detoxification system of the liver by increasing the amount of an enzyme known as CYP3A4. This enzyme, in turn, is responsible for the breakdown of tacrolimus and sirolimus.

One of the reserarchers, Jonatan Lindh said, “If the breakdown capacity increases, then higher doses of a drug are normally required in order to achieve the same effect. More research will be needed to confirm the results, but CYP3A4 is considered to be the most important enzyme in drug turnover in the body, and the results may have significance for many drugs”.

This study shows for the first time that the mechanism can play an important role in the pharmacological treatment (Do you know what it is, if not then read our article on it) of patients, and it shows for the first time that variation in exposure to sunlight may affect the sensitivity of individuals to drugs.

News Source:

The above news is edited by the winnerscience staff and it is originally provided by the Karolinska Institutet, through

Journal reference:

  • Seasonal variation in blood drug concentrations and a potential relationship to vitamin D’, Lindh JD, Andersson ML, Eliasson E, Björkhem-Bergman L., Drug Metab Dispos, online ahead of print 24 February 2011, doi:10.1124/dmd.111.038125.
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