I’ll admit it’s hard to not let the messaging sink in.
For decades now, we’ve been brainwashed into thinking the sun is our mortal enemy. We’ve been told sunshine will GIVE us cancer.
We’ve been taught to hide from sun. And told to slather ourselves from head to toe in the highest SPF sunscreen we can get our hands on before stepping a foot out the door.
You’ve no doubt heard all the warnings. Maybe even read the many sunshine horror stories. And the messages have come through loud and clear.
- UV light is dangerous.
- It will give you cancer.
Well, my friend, you might want to hold on to your sunhat. Because not only is all the sunshine fearmongering wrong, it could also be backfiring on us in the worst way possible.
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 from sunshine you could find yourself locked in a life-or-death battle with cancer.
The surprising sunshine link to colon cancer
Here’s the truth the anti-sun fanatics never bother to explain. Sunshine… 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 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 reduce 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 sunshine whenever possible.
Embrace the sun AND common sense
It’s true too MUCH sunshine – 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 typically isn’t the one you need to lose a massive amount of sleep over. The truly deadly form… melanoma… is more often the result of genetics than sunlight.
In fact, some studies even show that too little sun could actually increase the risk of this form of cancer. For example, one study in 2014 found that women who avoided sunshine had double the odds of dying from all causes, including skin cancer.
So, sure, you DO 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 sunshine like poison. Instead, simply be smart about your sun exposure.
For most people, 10-20 minutes of daily sunshine should do the trick, depending on skin type, location, and the time of year. 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 in the sunshine longer, look for a safer mineral-based sun block. As I’ve explained before, your sunscreen could be sending your cancer risk right through the roof.
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