Is the Sun There to Kill You?

According to much of the published information today, the sun is directly responsible for the current all-time high rates of skin cancer among developing nations.  Recently I found a website that warned against even being in indirect contact with sunlight.  Their mantra is ‘if you can see sunlight, hide!’ Seriously!

We’re doomed!  Why God would put this dangerous fireball in the sky to simply mutilate our bodies is beyond me……

But that last statement makes me look far, far deeper into the problem.  For example, a study published in the Feb. 2, 2005 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that exposure to sunlight actually REDUCES the risk of skin cancer!  You probably haven’t heard much about this particular study, or others like it.  I’ll leave it to you to conclude why not.

Sunlight affects our bodies in a number of positive ways.  Perhaps the most important benefit comes from the fact that our bodies produce Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Recent studies have shown how most Americans are grossly deficient in this important nutrient, and in the last 10 to 20 years the problem has become continually worse.  Vitamin D is a major player in the proper function of our immune systems, and a number of current studies stress Vitamin D’s role in cancer prevention.  So if your immune system isn’t working right, you get sick easily and have a greater chance of developing cancer.

A major problem today is that we typically live an ‘indoor’ lifestyle.  To get proper amounts of Vitamin D, a caucasian individual needs about 20 to 30 minutes of full body (that means naked) sunlight each day.  Darker skinned persons require far, far longer exposure…. As much as 30 times longer to produce the same levels of Vitamin D. Unless you happen to be a nudist, this probably isn’t happening.

I’m not suggesting, that there is now an open season on tanning. Sunburns are indeed destructive to our health, so we need to expose ourselves to sunlight in a sensible fashion. If you’re going to be out in the sun all day long, protective clothing like long sleeves and a hat are a must.

It’s becoming more and more accepted that for optimal health, humans need 5,000 to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.  Forget getting this from your diet….. It would take 50 glasses of Vitamin D fortified milk to get 5,000 IU of Vitamin D.

It’s a simple matter to supplement with Vitamin D, as it is one of the cheapest supplements on the market.  Make sure you take the safer Vitamin D3 form (D2 is not as safe).  Vitamin D3 is readily available in 5,000 IU capsules, and taking one of these each day is sensible insurance against not getting adequate sunlight.

So now once again, you’ve heard that the sun will kill you. IF you don’t get any!               

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