Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Sun (and Vitamin D) Might Actually Be Good For You

Spend time in the sun or not?  Too much could lead to cancer.  Too little could lead to cancer.   Pardon?

Your body gets vitamin D from the sun, but the rays may be harmful.  What do you do to protect your health?

At Smart Money, July 30, 2010, an article titled "10 Things Dermatologists Won't Say," there's reference to the pros and cons of wearing sunscreen:

"The official word from the American Academy of Dermatology is that there's no such thing as safe sun exposure, which is why the organization recommends wearing sunscreen every time you go outside.  Pennsylvania dermatologist Brod adds that people should avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and wear UV-protective clothing.  "You have to play it smart when it comes to sun exposure," he says.

On the other side:

Michael Holick, an endocrinologist and professor at Boston University Medical Center, and the author of  The Vitamin D Solution, is one of a number of doctors and researchers who think such an anti-sun position is a "Big Mistake"

Our bodies produce vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight; Holick says high levels of vitamin D - gained from even moderate exposure - have been shown to boost the immune system, increase bone density and decrease the risk of hypertension.

And he says, vitamin D deficiencies can have a hand in ailments like chronic fatigue, depression, heart disease, cancer and diabetes - which outweigh any increased risk of skin cancer from moderate sun exposure.  Dermatologists "have to moderate their position on this," he says."

Personally, I try to get 15 minutes of sun without sunscreen each day, and then apply it, even indoors.  As well, I take pharmaceutical grade vitamin D supplements from Usana Health Sciences to top up my intake.

There's just too much science indicating we are deficient in vitamin D to ignore the evidence and not take extra precautions.  What do you think?

Deanna Waters "Insights for Your Health and Wealth Journey"


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