As studies are showing moderate sun exposure can be beneficial, people are starting to consider getting outside to catch some rays. However, as other studies show a correlation between skin cancer and sunscreens, people are becoming increasingly confused about how to safely get the sun exposure needed to allow their bodies to naturally produce vitamin D for optimal health.
Dr. Michael F. Holick, an authority on vitamin D and author of The Vitamin D Solution, recommends moderate daily sun exposure. By carefully following Holick’s advice to get out into the sun and protecting oneself from the sun when exposure has been sufficient, it is possible to safely use the sun as a good source of natural vitamin D. He also recommends about 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen products) during between 10:00AM and 3:00PM in the summer, 20 -30 minutes in the spring and fall and 35-40 minutes in the winter.
Benefits of Sun Exposure over Supplementation:
There are benefits to producing vitamin D through sun exposure versus taking it in pill form. Dr. Holick states “vitamin D garnered from the sun lasts twice as long as vitamin D taken from food sources.” He also points out that there is no monetary cost associated with obtaining vitamin D from the sun. And that people cannot overdose on sun-sourced vitamin D, whereas there is a risk of toxicity when taking the pill form. Other published reports, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicating that people in outdoor occupations are less likely to get the deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, than those who spend most of their times indoors. The danger from the sun, according to the studies, comes with overexposure to the sun and the indiscriminate use of sunscreens that only block out UVB radiation.
The Danger in Sunscreens:
There are indications that some sunscreens do not block out the deeper penetrating UVA radiation that causes melanoma, but only the UVB radiation that causes sunburns and is also the same type of radiation from the sun that causes one to burn. Sunscreens encourage people to spend more time out in the sun. If the sunscreen used does not block out the UVA radiation, then a person will be at risk of developing malignant melanoma from prolonged exposure to UVA radiation. Sunscreens interfere with the body’s ability to tan, and the ability to tan is important in protecting us from getting melanoma. Even though UVB is the primary cause of sunburn, it initiates beneficial responses, stimulating the production of vitamin D that the body uses in many important processes, causes special skin cells called melanocytes to produce melanin, which is a protective. UVB also stimulates the production of Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH), an important hormone in weight loss and energy production.
UVA, UVB and UVC come from the sun. All can be dangerous and all can damage collagen fibers and accelerate aging of the skin. Normally, UVC, the most dangerous UV rays are completely absorbed by the Ozone Layer. Dr. James G. Anderson, who studied the atmosphere for over 40 years, has found that Global Warming is causing strong storms, which lead to thinning of the Ozone Layer over the U.S. This thinning of the Ozone Layer can mean even brief moments in the sun may now put us at greater risk to the most dangerous UV rays –UVC.
Exposure to sun with no protection can lead to greater risk. There is a product called The Ageless Secret Sun Lovers Mist™ that blocks out the UVC rays, reduces the risk of accelerated aging from the sun and does not block vitamin D production. I like that it has no chemicals or preservatives and it leaves the skin feeling silky smooth without feeling greasy.
Dr. Howard Peiper, N.D., nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written several best selling books, including, “The Secrets of Staying Young”.
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