Moderate exposure to the sun has many benefits. Perhaps the most important of all is synthesis of vitamin D, a hormone-like substance that helps boost immunity and protect bone. Nearly 75 per cent of the body’s vitamin-D supply comes from exposure to the sun – and sunscreens can drastically lower the body’s production of this essential nutrient.
People who don’t get enough vitamin D may be more prone to develop certain cancers, such as of the prostate, breast and colon (Cancer Res, 1995; 55: 4014-22), a number of immune disorders such as type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS) (Toxicology, 2002; 181-182: 71-8; Lancet, 2001; 358: 1476-8) and bone disorders such as rickets and osteoporosis.
Many of us shun the sun these days because we are afraid of the skin damage that overexposure can cause. But sunburn, photoageing and skin cancer are not inevitable if you adopt certain common-sense measures while outdoors……..Read More