Human beings are naturally attracted to the sun. It is synonymous of summer heat, and maybe, sometimes, holidays and mood boost. Most importantly, it allows us to synthesize vitamin D, which is essential to our health. Excluding for red-heads who apparently are the only skin type who can produce vitamin D within their body, everybody else needs to get it from food (but only partially) and mainly from the sun. So our attraction to the sun is a natural one: the sun’s energy is essential to all life on Earth!
We are used to hear scaremongers say that the sun causes skin cancer, which is true when the exposure is so extreme to cause sunburns. What we don’t know is that in the UK, for example, the number of illnesses related to lack of vitamin D is far far superior to that of skin cancer caused by sun exposure.
A Swedish study has been conducted in the past to prove the influence of vitamin D for our health. By studying seriously and in detail the mortality rate of 30,000 women over a 20 year period, the researchers found that those who sunbathed in a reasonable manner lived longer! Another study proved that cancer patients with high vitamin D levels live longer. Last, plenty of sunshine could also help against asthma, another recent Israeli study shows.
The lack of sunlight is related to a variety of illnesses. The study concluded that “avoiding sunlight increases mortality” and “moderate exposure is inversely related to mortality from all causes”. The mortality of women who avoid sun exposure was found to be twice as high as that of women who expose regularly to the sun. So, get some tan and live longer!
According to the aforementioned Swedish study and many others, it is advisable to lounge in the sun regularly. Keeping in mind that excessive exposure can cause skin melanoma, it is a good idea to expose face, arms and legs for at least 20 minutes a day BEFORE wearing any sunscreen, to allow the body to produce the essential vitamin D and be healthy.
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