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Sunlight is good for the prevention of Cancer

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Sunlight Provides Vitamin D for Healthy Bones and Prevention of Cancer!


The Independent wrote an article on the 30 May 2009 accordingly titled

“Revealed: the best protection against cancer” and used the sub-heading of

“Global study discovers astonishing power of vitamin made by the sun.”



The ‘vitamin’ that has been making headlines in The Times and The Daily Mail is one of the most researched on Worldwide, it is the Vitamin D. The Sunlight exposed to one’s skin is where most of the intake of the vitamin occurs and not from the foods we consume.



‘The Independent’ was reporting on a research study carried out on 2,570 individuals by scientists, who found that taking vitamin D supplements daily is good for the prevention of cancer (bowel and breast). The Health Editor Jeremy Laurence wrote “the vitamin could do more for cancer prevention than a library full of lifestyle advice”, the reporter went on to report that there have been research studies conducted by the Garland brothers – pioneers on Vitamin D and in 1995 “a series of papers establishing the link between breast cancer and vitamin D” was confirmed.



The reason behind the scientists’ (Dr Cedric Garland) study at D* Action Project is part of an ‘International Health Drive’ to raise the awareness of Vitamin D and allow people to boost the levels of the vitamin they intake. There are recommendations, advice and suggestions available from many of the Authorities involved in the International campaign:



  • The British Medical Journal
  • The NHS
  • The Department of Health in England
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  • The Health Research Forum
  • The Office of Dietary Supplements
  • The BUPA Team
  • The US and Canadian Government
  • The University of California
  • The Canadian Cancer Society
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The Food Standards Agency
  • UCSD School of Medicine and Grassroots Health (Interview with Dr Garland available)   



There are many dangers in having a lack of vitamin D, evidence shows from other studies that the risk in multiple sclerosis is increased if you don’t have enough of the vitamin, it can lead to a failure of the growth of bones – (Rickets: a disease that affects the developing skeletal system of children) and osteomalacia – soft bones in adults.



The Office of Dietary Supplements states; You may need more vitamin D if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or of older age, or of Asian origin, or not having a conscious vitamin D diet; also if you rarely go outside, or are fully-clothed most of the time when you do. If you have a lack of Vitamin D you may be in danger of having too much vitamin A “which causes birth defects, liver abnormalities, reduced bone mineral density all of which may result in osteoporosis”.



Cod liver oil is a source where vitamin D can be found and if you are taking supplements of the vitamin (10micrograms daily recommended), it is advised that you use one source for intake of the vitamin.



It is important to know that toxicity can occur if you are taking supplements in high doses, whereas there is not a danger of toxicity if you have a high intake of vitamin D in your diet, unless and if you take too much cod liver oil.



If you have too much Vitamin D there are dangers of effects on different parts of the body – Kidney Stones, muscle weakness, stomach upsets, thirst, blood pressure, heart rhythm abnormalities, confusion, and can lead to problems of growth in children too much of the vitamin can also lead to vomiting, and constipation.



On a positive note if you want to prevent breast and bowel cancer as Jeremy reports (whilst reducing the risk of heart disease!) all you have to do is spend some time in the Sun. The absorption of UV rays (the darker your skin is the more difficult it is for you to make vitamin D) is good for producing vitamin D! Thus producing calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong, although be warned that too much exposure to Sunlight can lead to Sun-burn and Skin Cancer.



The Office of Dietary supplement says “excessive sun exposure does not result in vitamin D toxicity because the sustained heat on the skin is thought to photodegrade previtamin D3 and vitamin D3 as it is formed.”



You could also eat well, incorporating a healthy Vitamin D diet where the vitamin can be found in many different foods such as oily fish, eggs, beans, nuts, milk, and you can also find it in certain brands of yoghurt, orange juice, margarines and cereals.



The Food Standards Agency is also an informative source on Vitamin D and interestingly says “Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin” – You don’t need to take it everyday, because any of the vitamin your body does not need immediately is stored for future use! 



Evidently if you live in the UK the closer you get to Scotland the less vitamin D you make, whereas those closer to the Sun and nearer the equator you are, the more likely  you are to make more of the vitamin D via Sunlight exposure. If you use Sunscreen lotion then you will find the vitamins A, C, and E within these, (the four star labelled lotions are recommended) and the 8 factor sunscreen blocks out Ultra Violet rays also preventing vitamin D from generating.



This shouldn’t stop you from using Sunscreen as it is often not applied heavily or regularly and there will be areas of the skin where Sunscreen hasn’t been applied properly; The Office of Dietary Supplements reassuringly says that even though you use Sunscreens the “skin will most likely synthesises some vitamin D” depending on the strength of the Sunscreens and the way you apply them.



If you are too busy to have a healthy Vitamin diet or the Sunlight is not available due to the weather, then you could as The Independent reports take “vitamin D drops which are available from the NHS.” A healthy amount of Vitamin D will help to prevent cancer and further research is to be carried out on other benefits of the vitamin. The vitamin will be promoted continually as an agenda of the International Health Drive – (Dr Garland – “It is projected that raising the vitamin serum would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorecteral cancer each year”) – and The International Media with a view for a future that is green and healthier for society!

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:33 am

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