“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in Divine power-these are the true remedies”- Ellen White.
Is Sunlight Still A Good Thing?
As Adventists part of our health message has always been that exposure to sunlight is a great thing. In today’s world though, we don’t hear a lot of positive messages about the sun. We are told to put on (chemical laden) sunscreen and avoid sun exposure to limit our chances of skin cancer. But, are there positive aspects of sun exposure? Well, we know that everything needs some sunlight to live right? That’s a pretty important aspect of our sun!
It Lower Blood Pressure
You might not know that sunlight can lower you blood pressure reducing your risk for heart disease! Researchers found that 30 minutes of sun exposure significantly lowered blood pressure and raised the levels of nitric oxide in the blood stream. Although skin cancer is real risk of UV radiation, heart disease kills many more people then skin cancer does. Martin Feelisch, a professor of experimental medicine at the University of Southampton feels that we need to talk about balancing sun exposure instead of eliminating it completely. Researchers are currently working on discovering the best levels of sunlight exposure for reducing heart disease without significantly increasing skin cancer risks.
Sun Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
Another little known fact about sun exposure is that it can lower your blood sugar.
Studies have found that Vitamin D can help to lower glucose levels. Research has shown that Vitamin D (sunlight exposure) can be an indicator on whether or not you will develop type 2 diabetes. People who are exposed to the sun, or take quality vitamin D supplements have lower incidences of type 2 diabetes.
It Even Converts Your LDL Cholesterol To Vitamin D
People with high (LDL) cholesterol should also be out in the sun! UVB- one type of radiation found in sunlight actually interacts with cholesterol and changes it into vitamin D. With this being said, it’s important to eat lots of good cholesterol so the sun can convert it into vitamin D. Too little cholesterol=too little vitamin D.
Not Enough Sun?
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to so many other health issues such as…
Low Immune System
Seasonal Affective Disorder
So, perhaps sunlight isn’t such a bad thing! While people should be aware of the risk of skin cancer, they should also be aware of the risks of not having enough sun exposure!
It may be possible to decrease the risk of skin cancer while still getting some exposure. People who advocate for sun exposure recommend starting with 5-10 minutes and working your way up to 20-30 minutes. If you have lighter skin you will as much time in the sun as people with darker skin. Also, remember that it’s important that you don’t burn so after a few minutes put on a (chemical free) sunscreen to protect yourself.
Sources: Martin Feelisch, Ph.D., professor, experimental medicine and integrative biology, University of Southampton, United Kingdom; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, medicine, and associate chief, division of cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine; Jan. 20, 2014, Journal of Investigative Dermatology http://www.livestrong.com/article/322339-how-long-does-it-take-for-vitamin-d-to-lower-glucose-levels/ http://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm http://lifestylelaboratory.com/articles/hobday/sunlight-prevent-problems.html http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623092023.htm