You’ve heard all the warnings. Read the endless cautionary tales. And you’ve been adequately scared out of your wits and away from the sunshine.
You avoid the sun whenever you can. And when you do venture out, you practically take a bath in sunscreen first.
The message has come through loud and clear. UV light is dangerous. It will give you cancer. And you’re determined to slash your exposure to those “dangerous” sun rays.
Well, my friend, hold on to your sunhat. Because new research has revealed a major risk factor for one of the nation’s deadliest forms of cancer. And it’s the opposite of what you’ve been told.
It turns out if you don’t get ENOUGH UVB light, you could find yourself locked in a life-or-death battle with colon cancer.
The truth about sun and colon cancer risk
Here’s the truth the anti-sun fanatics never bother to explain. The sun… especially UVB rays… ignites several vital reactions inside your body, including the production of:
- nitric oxide, which helps keep blood vessels open
- hormones that help your body tell night from day
- essential vitamin D
That last one, in particular, is CRITICAL. Vitamin D isn’t just vital for healthy bones. It’s also essential for proper immune function, cancer prevention (including colon cancer), a healthy brain, a strong heart, and more.
When you miss out on sunshine, you miss out on D, of course. This is why nearly half of seniors are deficient.
And that’s also likely why this new analysis of data from 186 countries finds that lower levels of UVB light lead to a higher risk of colon cancer, especially in older folks.
The researchers believe you may be able to cut some of that risk by taking D supplements. Certainly, that’s something everyone should consider. In fact, I take one every day myself.
But it’s also essential to get some daily sun exposure.
Practice smart sun exposure
It’s true too much sun – and the sunburns that come with it – can lead to a higher risk of skin cancer. But here’s what they won’t tell you.
The form of skin cancer linked to sun exposure isn’t the one you need to lose a massive amount of sleep over. The truly deadly form… melanoma… is more the result of genetics than sunlight.
In fact, some studies even show that too little sun not only may increase colon cancer risk it could actually increase the risk of this form of skin cancer too. For example, one study in 2014 found that women who avoided the sun had double the odds of dying from all causes, including skin cancer.
So, sure, you want to be careful. You should avoid burns to reduce your risk for ANY form of skin cancer. After all, whether it threatens your life or not, cancer isn’t something you want to mess around with.
But you also don’t need to treat the sun like it’s poison. Instead, simply be smart about your sun exposure.
For most people, 10-20 minutes of daily sun exposure should do the trick, depending on skin type. It’s typically enough time to stimulate all of those critical reactions – including vitamin D production to protect against colon cancer – without leading to sunburn or other problems.
After that, cover up or seek shade. And if you’re going to be out under the sun longer, look for a safer mineral-based sunscreen. As I just explained earlier this month, your sunscreen could be sending your cancer risk right through