Sunshine Good, Sunburn Bad

By Dr Karen Coates

Even our medical experts are starting to rethink the advice of “Slip Slop and Slap” as telling only half the story.

Recently overwhelming evidence has shown that Vitamin D, our sunshine vitamin, is required to prevent all major human diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of all known cancers, heart disease & stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and thyroid disease, to name a few. In fact we just cover up and don’t source this essential vitamin from another source like oily fish and then ironically the risk of skin cancers including melanoma is increased due to Vitamin D deficiency!

Maintaining healthy thyroid function is essential for good health into older age. Vitamin D and iodine deficiencies may account for a large number of women diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

Some people and health professionals overestimate how much Vitamin D can be converted by brief sun exposure. In winter, for example, it would take one hour of exposing 25% of the body without sunscreen to adequately replenish Vitamin D stores. So hanging the washing out in the early morning is unlikely to be adequate for optimally healthy Vitamin D levels. This can also contribute to a winter depressive disorder which doctors label as “seasonal affective disorder” (or in layman’s terms, the Winter Blues).

So if you are going to cover up from the sun, then be sure to get that amazing Vitamin D from a reputable food source, or supplement with Vitamin D3 in liquid or capsule form.

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