Monday, April 25, 2011

A-Z Challenge - 'U'

Today's topic for the a-z challenge is 'ultraviolet light.' This is a bit of a two-fer for me as UV light is the primary source (or, should be) of vitamin D. The kicker is that UV light is also implicated in causing skin cancer. It is a fine line that we walk between getting adequate vitamin D and being at risk for skin cancer! One thing that I have been a lot more aware of is sun exposure. As a part of my journey to wellness, I have been trying to get some more activity outdoors - gardening, walking the dog, playing with the kids - whenever the sun is shining. Here in the Northeast, sunshine is sometimes hard to come by.

The important thing to remember is that we don't need to suffer sunburn in order to get adequate vitamin D production - all it takes is about 15-20 minutes in the sun around noon. Of course, the use of sunscreen will negate the vitamin D production so unless you are planning on spending hours in the sun, don't use them (have you ever considered the fact that more cases of cancer have been reported since we began using sunscreen than in the years previous to it?). One guideline for getting out of the sun is to watch your skin coloration. Once it just starts to turn pink, you are done - tanning is not required for adequate vitamin D.


Linda H. said...

Hmmmm....I'd never made a correlation between skin cancer and sun screens but I do know that whatever we put on our skin, some of it gets absorbed by our bodies. That means an unnatural ingredients make their way in, so I guess what you said makes sense.

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Jeffrey Beesler said...

Thanks for the tips on UV light! I know I haven't been getting my fair share of vitamin D as of late. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that I live in cloudy Washington State!

Greg Johnson said...

@Linda That is one thing that most people don't consider. Our skin is the biggest organ in the body. We shouldn't put anything on it that we wouldn't eat.

@Jeffrey I have the same problem living in the northeast...sun exposure during the winter months is limited.