Why we need more sunshine in our lives

burnt toast

Since prehistoric times, we’ve grown and developed with the sun. Now, in a vain attempt to counter the increased risk of skin cancers  — particularly melanoma — we are depriving our children of all contact with the sun. Kids in schools are covered head to toe with clothing at all times, and now every sensible parent swaddles their children so that no sun ever reaches them.

No wonder Vitamin D levels have plummeted, since sunshine is necessary for humans to develop this vitamin in the skin. Incidentally, a strange thing has happened here — every person tested for Vitamin D levels is consistently below average, so where does this “average” come from?

All this sunshine avoidance is another tinkering with natural systems and it’s occurring as osteoarthritis levels are booming.

The 1980s “slip/slop/slap” campaign  — slip on a T-shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat  — was very successful in making much money for advertising agents and overseas drug companies.

The drug companies, by the way, decided to panic people by constantly revising the amount of UV radiation their sunscreens blocked and it has gone from 20 to 30 to 50 and now more. Good old zinc cream and coconut oil would do the same and are much cheaper, have no nano-particles (though scientists from the drug companies, of course, have declared nanoparticles safe), and no chemicals linked to cancer and skin allergies.

There are now many cases of melanoma which aren’t linked to sun exposure. A moderate amount of sun is essential for your well-being — too much and too little produces problems.

It is the same with food, alcohol, smoking and drugs where your genetic make-up determines what is right for you.

Another old saying: Cover up between 11am and 3pm, but for the rest of the time, let the sun bathe you. It feels good too.

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About the author

Robert Gosstray is a retired pharmacist and the resident health writer for Midlifexpress. He is the author of The Pharmacist's Secrets: Drugs, lies and money.


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