By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
April 27, 2016
- Why you shouldn’t hide from the sun
- A lack of sunshine is as bad as smoking
- Want to live longer? Here’s how to get started
When it comes to your risk of skin cancer, there are two schools of thought.
One of them urges everyone to avoid the sun to prevent skin cancer.
The other suggests that not getting enough sunshine actually increases your chances of developing almost all types of cancer; including melanoma… and that it also increases your risk of many other age-related diseases.
Now, if you’re worried about skin cancer, you probably fall solidly in the first camp. Once summer rolls around it’s a good bet you slather yourself with sunscreen and huddle in the shade every time you go outdoors.
But here’s the thing.
Today, we’re finding that people who sunbathe regularly live longer than folks who hide from the sun. They’re also less likely to experience heart problems, cancer and other age-related diseases.
Avoiding the Sun is as Bad as Smoking
Here’s a real eye-opener. Scientists are now saying that avoiding the sun is a risk factor for major causes of death.
In fact, it turns out that staying out of the sun is just as bad as smoking. People who don’t smoke in middle age – but avoid the sun – have about the same life expectancy as smokers who get the most sun exposure.
However, in later years, smokers who enjoy the sun actually have a greater life expectancy than their non-smoking, non-sun-loving counterparts. They gain about two extra years of life.
None of this is news to me. That’s because I’ve reviewed mountains of solid, high-quality evidence that shows getting out in the sun is much more protective than it is damaging.
For example, sunlight increases the levels of nitric oxide (NO) in your skin and blood. This compound lowers blood pressure and is absolutely crucial to ensure blood flow to your heart, brain and other organs.
This is likely the reason sun-lovers have lower rates of heart disease.
Additionally, regular sun exposure reduces your risk of skin, breast and prostate cancers – along with a very long list of other cancers.
Plus, sunshine is the best source of vitamin D on earth. And if you’re afraid of getting out into the sun, you have a three out of four chance of being deficient in this nutrient.
A shortage of vitamin D could increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by more than 50%. It messes with your insulin, blood sugar and hunger hormones – so low vitamin D levels can cause you to pack on the pounds. Deficiency is also strongly linked to depression.
How to get out in the Sun without Burning
With all of this in mind, it makes sense to stop hiding from the sun.
But this doesn’t mean you should suddenly start spending hours outside without any protection at all. After all, you’re skin is probably pretty delicate if you don’t normally sunbathe. And the last thing you want to do is get a sunburn or sun poisoning.
However, there are a few natural ways to protect your skin from UV rays.
One of my favorites is astaxanthin. It’s a natural carotene pigment found in marine algae.
Taking 4 mg of astaxanthin daily for about two weeks before sun exposure can give you more time outdoors without burning. It also protects your skin from DNA damage and reduces signs of aging caused by overexposure to the sun.
Another great choice is GliSODin. This is a superoxide dismutase (SOD) formula that allows you to spend more time in the sun without turning red. And if you do burn, it can help reduce redness faster and allow you to recover more quickly.
Start taking about 500 mg. of GliSODin daily for four weeks prior to sun exposure.
Now, the amount of sun protection these nutrients provide depends on the individual. So until you know how they’re going to work for you, keep a close on eye your skin. If it looks like you’re going to burn, there’s no shame in taking cover in the shade.
Lindqvist, PG et al. Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort. Jnl Int Med. First published online Mar 2016.
Here comes the sun to lower your blood pressure. Univ of Southampton. News Release, Jan 2014.
van der Rhee H, et al. Is prevention of cancer by sun exposure more than just the effect of vitamin D? A systematic review of epidemiological studies. Eur J Cancer. 2013 Apr;49(6):1422-36. Epub 2012 Dec 10.
Grant WB. Ecological studies of the UVB-vitamin D-cancer hypothesis. Anticancer Res. 2012 Jan;32(1):223-36.
Littlejohns TJ, et al. “Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease.” Neurology. 2014 Sep 2;83(10):920-8.