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The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health

Vitamin D and sunshine

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many other biological processes. Lower levels of Vitamin D increase the rates of almost every disease like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions and more.

Vitamin D is a hormone manufactured by the skin when you are in the sun. It is difficult to obtain enough through diet. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health

The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health

https://www.outsideonline.com/2380751/sunscreen-sun-exposure-skin-cancer-science

outsideonline.com

7

Key Ideas

Vitamin D and sunshine

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many other biological processes. Lower levels of Vitamin D increase the rates of almost every disease like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions and more.

Vitamin D is a hormone manufactured by the skin when you are in the sun. It is difficult to obtain enough through diet. 

Vitamin D supplementation

Getting vitamin D through supplementation shows zero benefits. A study over a period of 5 years found supplementing with Vitamin D had no impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

A number of researchers now argue that people with high vitamin D levels are healthy not because of the vitamin, but because they get plenty of exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is just a marker of that fact.

Sunlight is good for you

A dermatologist discovered our skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a molecule in the body that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

He exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen. The result? The nitric oxide levels in the volunteers went up, and their blood pressure lowered. Because of the connection of high blood pressure to heart disease and strokes, this discovery can prevent millions of deaths globally.

Sun rays and skin cancer

Sun rays do increase the rate of skin cancer, but for every one person that dies of skin cancer, over 100 die from cardiovascular disease.

  • People who get carcinomas tend to be healthy people that get plenty of sunlight. Carcinomas are seldom fatal.
  • Melanoma, the deadly type of skin cancer, accounts for 1 - 3 % of new skin cancers. The most significant cause of melanomas is sporadic sunburn.

More sunlight benefits

Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and endorphins. It reduces the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. It reduces inflammation and decreases autoimmune responses.

Current sunscreen guidelines 

They are problematic. The SPF rating in sunscreen refers only to the UVB rays that cause sunburn but not the UVA rays that cause skin cancer. Many users may be absorbing far more UVA radiation than they are aware of.

Many sunscreen ingredients have hormone disruptors that can be detected in users' blood and breast milk. The worst, oxybenzone, is killing coral reefs by mutating the DNA of corals. It has been banned in Hawaii.

Experts are changing their opinion

Cancer Council of Australia states that ultraviolet radiation from the sun is beneficial to human health but that a balance is required between excessive sun exposure and enough sun exposure to maintain adequate vitamin D levels and gain the many other benefits sunlight has to offer.

New Zealand signed on to similar recommendations, and the British Association of Dermatologists stated that people should enjoy the sun safely while taking care not to burn.

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“Detoxes” work

Your body can detoxify itself, provided you have a healthy liver and kidneys.

Detox diets may even harm you. Juices high in sugar can increase your blood sugar level. A juice fast may also lead to malnourishment.

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They are generally well regulated by the body, but there are a few diet and lifestyle changes you can make to boost your levels naturally:

  • Eat lots of protein
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Big business, little evidence
Big business, little evidence

More than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. 

But even though supplements are popular, there is limited evidence that they offer any signi...

Supplements don't replace a healthy diet

Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet.

And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.

Dietary supplements

This is an umbrella term that includes everything from vitamins and minerals to botanicals and biosimilar products. 

For the most part, though, people use "supplement" to refer to an individual vitamin or mineral preparation or a multivitamin. 

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Biohacking

It can be described as citizen or do-it-yourself biology.  For many,  this consists of making small, incremental diet or lifestyle changes to make small improvements in your hea...

Popular types of biohacking
  1. Nutrigenomics focuses on how the food you eat interacts with your genes and how different nutrients affect how you feel, think, and behave.
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When to Wear Sunscreen

Sunburn happens when you're exposed to a lot of UVB rays from the sun. It only occurs in the middle part of the day in the summer.

When the sun's angle is below 35 degrees, you don't have to ...

Who Needs Sunscreen

The darker your skin the less likely you are to get sunburn or skin cancer. However, dermatologists recommend using sunscreen anyway.

Safety of sunscreen

Science has not found any serious threats to your health from using sunscreen.

The chemicals in sunscreen, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are dangerous to coral reefs, which is why Hawaii has banned them.

There aren't any effective alternatives to sunscreen besides avoiding the sun.

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The frequency of food allergy nowadays

The frequency of food allergy has increased over the past 30 years. It is thought that allergies and increased sensitivity to foods are probably environmental, and related to Western lifestyles. Factors may include pollution, dietary changes and less exposure to microbes, which change how our immune systems respond.

Your body needs dark too
Your body needs dark too

While we are starting to pay attention to how important sleep is, the need for dark is still mostly ignored.

Being exposed to regular patterns of light and dark regulates our circadian ...

Our sleep and wake patterns

On its own, the circadian rhythm takes almost 24 hours. Our bodies rely on the Sun to reset this cycle and keep it at 24 hours, the length of our days. Light and the dark are important signals for the cycle.

During the night, body temperature drops, metabolism slows, and the hormone melatonin rises dramatically. When the Sun comes up in the morning, melatonin has already started falling, and you wake up.

Our bodies in the dark

During the dark, levels of the hormone leptin (hunger control), go up. This means we do not feel hungry while low levels make us hungry.

Ans research found that sleep disruption and turning on lights lowers leptin levels which makes people hungry in the middle of the night.

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Individual Supplement Studies

Looking at individual studies won't determine if vitamin supplementation is good for you. They're scientifically dense and the conflicts of interest can be very hard to spot.

"Systematic revi...

Research Reviews’ Results
  • If you are healthy, and have a modern balanced diet, taking multi-vitamins and high-dose antioxidants may shorten your life.
  • There’s no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention of diseases.
  • Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A.
  • Antioxidant supplements need to be considered as medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.
  • The functions of minerals and vitamins are understood largely by their deficiency diseases so there’s no certainty what they all do or how they interact.
  • Antioxidants soak up toxic, chemically-reactive by-products of metabolism called free radicals. These free radicals, left unchecked, can cause damage to DNA and may be linked to cancer.
  • Your body's immune system fights infections by using free radicals to kill bugs. Several of the minerals and vitamins in excess can cause damage.
Supplement Usage Recommendations
  • Folic acid for the women thinking of having a baby and pregnant women up to week 12 of the pregnancy.
  • Vitamin D for all pregnant and breastfeeding women, those aged six months to five years or over 65 and for people who are not exposed to much sun.
  • Vitamins A, C and D supplementation are recommended for all children aged six months to four years, especially those not eating a varied diet.
  • If they are prescribed to you for a medical condition.

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  • Wholefoods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean red meat, and seafood, provide nutrients that are important for optimal brain function. 
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Reduce your vices

People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.

Stopping smoking is an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood. 

Prioritize rest and sleep

Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. 

They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep),  limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.

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