I’ve written before about the importance of Vitamin D (Blog post: Breast Cancer Prevention) in cancer prevention, and there has just been a great article published that examines whether the facts around Vitamin D stand up to the hype: The Vitamin D Miracle: Is It For Real?
There are so many dangers of buying into the “slip, slop, slap” propaganda – besides the fact that Vitamin D is turning out to have a very real role in avoiding cancer, it is vital for preventing oesteoporosis, it can regulate our mood and alleviate depression, and it can play a part in inhibiting auto-immune disorders.
Of course I don’t advocate baking yourself to a crisp in the midday sun, but that 15-20 minutes of sun exposure in the morning and afternoon can go a long way to providing adequate quantities of Vitamin D, and negate the need for supplementation. However in colder climates and even during the winter months in countries such as Australia when we don’t expose our skin to the sun, supplementation and eating foods containing Vitamin D can be necessary.
There have been links established between slathering toxic chemical cocktails on our skin, and then exposing that skin to hours of sunshine -and the free radical damage that may lead to skin cancers. Covering children in sunscreen, long sleeved shirts and hats every time they venture outdoors has led to the development of rickets, a Vitamin D deficiency disorder, in some children in Western society.
My view is to avoid sunscreens unless you are going to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time in the hottest part of the day, or if you are going to be in a situation where burning can happen easily such as on a boat where there is glare from the water, or if you are snow skiing. Then I would use a sunscreen containing pure zinc oxide without any other harmful chemicals.
We all know how happy we feel on a beautiful warm summer’s day, so don’t make an enemy of the sun, embrace it’s healing warmth and enjoy the nourishment that you receive from a sensible amount of exposure.