A new scientific study, with perhaps a superficial touch of astrology, purports that the solar activity during the year of one’s birth might be affecting certain aspects of one’s life. The effects are said to span into adulthood, brushing on survival, fertility and life-span.
The environment in which we are born, live in and develop into adults, undoubtedly exerts particular effects on us throughout our lives. We are not immune to the parameters governing our immediate surroundings. Scientists have stated that environmental stressors leave an impact on us during our early development itself. For instance, the exposure to high levels of UV radiation varying with solar activity affects might be causing damage by acting through the DNA and cellular mechanisms.
This subject remains foggy though, as no definite evidence as to how does high UV levels negatively affect us has been generated.
The authors of the new study gathered demographic information of 9 000 individuals from Norway over two centuries –from 1676 to 1878 – together with that relating to the respective solar behaviours, correlating the two sets of data.
Solar activity is measured in terms of number of dark blemishes seen on the surface of the sun. It is said to vary over time, mostly in an 11-year cycle, with low activity occurring over a period of 8 years (the solar minima), and with 3 years of high activity (the solar maxima). The latter is characterised by an increase in sun spots, with the presence of solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
When comparing the information gleaned, the scientists found that those people born during the solar maxima period lived 5 years less than those born during the solar minima period. Another finding was that survival might be affected as well: babies born during high solar activities were less likely to survive to adulthood than their counterparts.
Females born during this period were seen to have lower fertility rates. But, this variable might also be affected by the incomes of the women; those having lower incomes possibly spend more time outside for work purposes.
The apparent correlations are not proof enough to purport that solar activity affects us without the least doubt. But, the scientists state that there could be explanations to support their findings. They claim that high UV radiation levels might be degrading a type of vitamin B (known as folate), the lack of which then impacts negatively on the process of cell proliferation during pregnancy. Other studies might be used to substantiate these arguments: it was previously observed in other works that nutrient shortage before birth is associated with the greater rates of diseases onward during adulthood.