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Sunbathing for cancer prevention

In this post, we are continuing from a previous post, looking at the benefits of sun exposure. In that previous post I explained that the benefits of regular, responsible sun exposure vastly outweigh the risks, and I explained the responsible bit, which I suggest you go back and read again! The goal is to spend some time outside every day, exposing some skin and making vitamin D naturally. The goal is not to stay inside for 50 weeks of the year and then burn for two weeks on holiday! And tanning beds are not the answer either!

I’m pretty much going to just repeat that message (it is worth repeating, in my opinion) in this post, but before you close this and stop reading, we’ll add a fair bit more detail and back it up with a little bit more science.

Multiple studies show than overall, adequate levels of vitamin D have a protective effect against several common cancers, including some of the most common, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the most common cancers in women and men (respectively) in the UK.

Personally, I think it is important to remember that while skin cancers are quite common, they are also among the easier cancers to detect and treat, so survival rates are high. Skin cancer mortality in the UK is very low compared to breast, prostate and bowel cancer. In my opinion, if good high levels of vitamin D offer proven protection from breast, prostate and bowel cancer, then the small risk of occasionally burning and possibly promoting skin cancer is a risk well worth taking. Especially if we factor in all the other benefits of sun exposure and good vitamin D levels.

As an aside, it’s also worth noting that while adequate levels of vitamin D are recommended for cancer prevention and many other benefits, it’s not always a case of ‘more is better’. There seems to be no evidence so far that excessive vitamin D offers any proven benefits, and indeed at extremely high levels, vitamin D can prove toxic. I don’t want to sound like I am saying Read more

It’s not just about weight loss…

A permanent and sustainable healthy lifestyle is about a lot more than just losing a few unwanted pounds.

Mother Nature’s Diet is a permanent, sustainable healthy lifestyle. It’s about a whole lot more than just “eat less sugar, get more exercise and you’ll lose those unwanted extra pounds.” I mean, sure, it is about losing the unwanted pounds through an improved diet and more regular, varied exercise, but that’s most definitely not the whole story.

The 12 Core Principles of other Mother Nature’s Diet encompass broad healthy lifestyle advice aimed at helping the majority of people to improve their lives through healthy living. Weight loss, improved feelings of energy and vitality, better fitness and athletic performance, resisting the signs of ageing and resisting ill health.

Beyond the obvious

Looking beyond the popular topic of weight loss, beyond the obvious subjects of nutrition and exercise, there are other areas that demand demand our attention for a complete, balanced, sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Firstly, this piece in The Guardian running under the headline UN experts denounce ‘myth’ pesticides are necessary to feed the world is something you really should read. The headline is of great interest to me as I read a lot about population growth and sustainable agriculture, but there is much more of interest to this story than the headline suggests. I urge you to read the article, where you will find the following statements:

A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.

And –

“The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning.”

Wow! This is huge, and if there are 200,000 deaths from acute poisoning, I can only imagine the number of deaths from chronic poisoning, or from pesticides as a ‘contributing factor’, which are yet to be proven. Such data is of staggering significance.

Pesticides contain compounds knows as POPs, Persistent Organic Pollutants. These are chemical compounds that can bioaccumulate in humans, animals and fish, and the effects of this bioaccumulation over many years are very hard to study. POPs have been linked to obesity, hormone function, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more.

The article continues – Read more

Get yer kit off!

Strip off, that’s my advice!

It’s August, the summer holidays are finally here and the weather forecast for the UK for the summer break is generally excellent. Most people will probably be taking some time off work and getting away for some rest. So make the most of it and get your skin exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is an immensely important nutrient, which actually converts to a steroid hormone inside our bodies. That hormone then plays many important roles, it helps to regulate hundreds of genetic, cellular and metabolic functions, including playing an important role in bone mineral density and it helps our bodies to regulate a number of anti-cancer activities.

We can get vitamin D from some foods, such as oily fish, fortified orange juice or free range egg yolks, but skin exposure to sunlight remains the absolute best way to get plenty of vitamin D. In fact, taking your top off for just 10 to 15 minutes in the middle of the day and getting warm summer sun on your skin will give you as much vitamin D as eating over three pounds of fresh salmon!

The aim of the game is RESPONSIBLE sun exposure.

I find so many people get all caught up on this idea of sun exposure, through years of scare mongering about skin cancer. Let me help you with this.

‘Responsible’ sun exposure means little and often, and spending time outside every day all year round.

Irresponsible sun exposure means spending 350 days of the year inside an office, sat inside watching TV, and wearing long trousers and long sleeves, then flying 2000 miles south for a fortnight and laying out for hours in blazing midday sun in a bikini. That’s just dumb and you’re going to get burned.

But responsible sun exposure, and then going into the shade or covering up when you start to go pink, telling you that you’ve had enough, is highly beneficial. Research points out that worldwide, the anti-cancer benefits of a lifetime of adequate vitamin D far outweigh the small risks of skin cancer.

So enjoy the summer, and enjoy the sun, responsibly!