Dr. Jerome Craig, DC, CFMP
I love the sun! The giver of life! The Healer! The best antidepressant! The great waker-upper!
We’ve had an exciting week of summer weather here in Portland – in my neighborhood, we even had a tornado! Overall the weather has been cooler but the sun is out and it is time to remind people of this message especially on July 4th!
DO NOT FEAR THE SUN!
We have become so afraid of the sun to the point that we are damaging our health, BUT...
Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death
Check out some of the findings of this study that followed nearly 30,000 women over 20 years.
This study was supported by the Clintec at the Karolinska Institute; ALF (Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Region Skane); the Swedish Cancer Society; and the Swedish Medical Research Council. Funding was also received from Lund University Hospital; the Gustav V Jubilee Fund; the Gunnar Nilsson Foundation; the Kamprad Foundation; and the European Research Council.
J Intern Med. Published online March 16, 2016.
Another thing to note. Sunscreen does not prevent skin cancer.
Why? Because we use it wrong. Using sunscreen so you can stay out in the sun longer is engaging in risky behavior.
If you are going to be stuck out on a boat or cannot avoid the rays for hours on end have a hat, other clothing that covers you, and yes then sunscreen may have a place.
When using sunscreens opt for a physical block rather than a chemical block.
The effects of the chemical sunscreens on the endocrine and immune system are now up for review as this recent study points out the chemicals are absorbed into the skin and transported around the body in the bloodstream doing who knows what!?
To be fair and not alarmist, just because it is into your blood doesn’t mean it is going cause harm. But there’s NO evidence to say that there is NO danger. The FDA’s proposed regulations state that 12 of those chemical ingredients have “insufficient data” to determine if they’re Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective (GRASE). So while we are waiting for additional data just go without it as much as possible.
BE SAFE BE SMART ENJOY THE 4th
Full disclaimer: I was young and clueless and zorched several times in my youth in the Southern Africa sun - full on festering blisters.
I don’t get burned now but that is fairly easy for 9 months of the year here in the Pacific Northwest. I certainly don’t want to avoid the sun when I have the opportunity.
Were you burned numerous times it your youth? Do you think constant exposure or limited exposure is beneficial as you age? Check out this old study suggesting "that short‐term exposure to unusually intense sunlight increases the risk of melanoma, while long‐term constant exposure has no effect or may decrease risk." More links to interesting reads below.
-Dr. Jerome Craig
LINKS for further reading:
Too little UVB exposure in pregnancy linked with a higher risk of learning disabilities Antenatal exposure to solar radiation and learning disabilities: Population cohort study of 422,512 children’ is published in Scientific Reports
Analysis of Trends in US Melanoma Incidence and Mortality – People now spend more time indoors, use more sunscreen, wear UPF clothing, yet melanoma is on the rise.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170501102258.htm Widespread vitamin D deficiency likely due to sunscreen use, increase of chronic diseases, review finds
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijc.2910350403 Cutaneous melanoma in relation to intermittent and constant sun exposure—the western Canada melanoma study
Sunlight Cures, Fake Light Kills – How sunlight cures everything — yes, you read that right Written by Dr. Stillman