According to a study published in The Independent, researchers found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day. The study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years, and found that the mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure, compared to the highest exposure group. This led researchers to conclude that avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure may be doing more harm than good.
You’re probably wondering, “How does that make sense?” Well, avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen both block the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D3 from the sun’s rays. Sunlight is by far the best form of Vitamin D that the body can get, and a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a slew of health problems.
It’s estimated that around 85% of Americans have a Vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, among other health conditions. The body must have Vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. Vitamin D plays an important role in:
- Maintaining the health of bones and teeth
- Supporting the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system
- Regulating insulin levels and aiding in diabetes management
- Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health
- Influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development
While exposing yourself to too much sunlight can result in skin cancer, being deficient in Vitamin D can also lead to skin cancer. A study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggested that optimal blood levels of Vitamin D offer protection against sunburn and skin cancer.
Bernard Ackerman, MD, wrote an article featured in The New York Times in 2004, titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach.” He wrote that the link between melanoma and sun exposure is unproven. He advised others to stay out of the sun if they want to avoid premature aging of the skin, and for those who are fair-skinned, he said that avoiding sunlight will help to prevent squamous cell carcinoma, but to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen to prevent melanoma would be a mistake. He noted that the areas where melanoma appears on many people are hardly the most sun-exposed parts of the body.
In Dr. Elizabeth Plourde’s 2011 book, “Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste,” she documented the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens, to both humans and the environment. She provided proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with sunscreen use over a 30-year period, and emphasized that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
Dr. Plourde went on to detail how sunscreen chemicals have polluted water sources including oceans, rivers and drinking water, and she released test results revealing that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood! Dr. Plourde also included a chapter on the importance of Vitamin D3 to health, writing that widespread Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to overuse of sunscreen combined with sun avoidance.
Along with the health benefits of Vitamin D, sunshine also allows serotonin levels to remain high for a natural mood-boost that reduces the risk of developing Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression. For years we’ve been told to stay out of the sun, and if we need to be in the sun, we should re-apply sunscreen every few hours. While sunburns are of course a concern, scientists are now looking at the other side — how staying out of the sun and using too much sunscreen can prohibit our bodies from producing Vitamin D, an essential vitamin for keeping us healthy.
Learn more here!
While too much sun exposure can cause a lot of damage to your body, did you know there’s a process known as “sun gazing” that can energize it?
David shares the details in this video.
h/t: real farmacy