By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute
In an online Newspaper, Irish Examiner, there is a provocative headline: Why a sunscreen can put your health in the shade. Helen O’Callaghan, the author, starts out well by talking about how sunscreens block vitamin D production from sun exposure. She then progresses through a series of diseases that are related to vitamin D deficiency: bone weakness, compromised immune system, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, adverse pregnancy problems and allergies.
Then the discussion turns to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and the author states the following: “A number of studies link low sunlight exposure — and consequent low vitamin D production — to a higher risk of developing MS. A study of 79 pairs of identical twins found that the twin who had MS had significantly lower exposure to the sun during childhood.” That statement is detrimental as it leads the readers to believe that MS is caused by vitamin D deficiency. And whereas D deficiency may be a contributing factor, it is now known that sunlight exposure suppresses MS independently of vitamin D.
Unfortunately, as the article progresses, a dermatologist is quoted as saying that no amount of sunlight is good for the health; that lie is followed by a statement that Irish researchers are trying to determine how they can use a food-based method to bring vitamin D levels higher. All of these ideas to increase vitamin D are of value, but one is still left with the thought that food sources and supplements are superior to sunlight in promoting health. Nothing could be further from the truth. The sunlight has multiple and remarkable health benefits beyond vitamin D production. Embrace the sun, but do it safely.
Click this link to read the article. http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/healthandlife/yourhealth/why-a-sunscreen-can-put-your-health-in-the-shade-330779.html