Sunshine

Got Sunshine Phobia?

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“Avoid sunlight, it will give you skin cancer.”

You’ve probably heard people say it, but it isn’t always good advice. Sunlight is our most important source of vitamin D. The current epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency is largely a result of avoiding healthy levels of sun exposure.Sunshine

The amount of sunshine time we need in order to make enough vitamin D varies from person to person. It is affected by things like skin type, time of day and time of year. Often, just a few minutes of sunshine several times a week is enough.

Getting a normal level of Vitamin D always takes less time than the heavy exposure that leads to tanning and sunburn. It doesn’t need to be difficult to get a balance between enjoying the beneficial effects of sunshine without increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Once a person’s skin makes enough vitamin D, any extra Vitamin D becomes inactive. That means that staying in the sun long enough to get a sunburn doesn’t improve your vitamin D level, it just increases your risk of skin cancer.

Vitamin D synthesis is much lower in winter months in countries at higher latitudes. But studies show that as long as a normal vitamin D levels gets built up in the summer, vitamin D is stored in the fat tissues and will prevent deficiency in the winter.

Author

Dr. Adams is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine. His MPH is from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Adams is retired from the position of Medical Director of Tarrant County Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the developer of the Best Weigh nutrition and weight loss program. He is also the author of the Handbook of Health Evangelism and Jesus Was Thin: So You Can Be Thin Too.