Year after year, skin cancer research conducted by the science community continues to provide more and more life-saving information about the disease. This is good news especially in light of the high financial costs of this most common type of cancer.
One of the most studied aspects of skin cancer research is skin cancer's relationship to vitamin D. In medical circles, this has been dubbed the Vitamin D Dilemma and for good reasons, too.
What is it?
Vitamin D is naturally present in the body as well as in very few foods. In the body, it is produced when the sun strikes the skin, leading to the process known as vitamin D synthesis.
In foods, it is most abundant in fishes like mackerel, tuna and salmon as well as fish liver oils while smaller amounts can be found in cheese, egg yolks and beef liver.
When you are deficient in vitamin D, you are more likely to suffer from rickets, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases like tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis and even diabetes.
What is its Relationship to Skin Cancer?
This is the question that many scientists want to answer in the course numerous skin cancer research and studies. On one hand, you have advocates of vitamin D as being beneficial in the prevention of skin cancer.
Some have even gone so far as to assert that individuals can use tanning beds and still not get skin cancer so long as they have sufficient vitamin D in their bodies.
However, there is no logic in exposing our skin to harmful UV rays that can lead to skin cancer.
On the other hand, you have professionals who assert that vitamin D is indeed beneficial for the health but getting it from the sun is like asking for the kiss of death. You are better off getting it from food.
It appears that ultraviolet rays coming from the sun nowadays are very dangerous because of the very little ozone protection that we have now. Think of it as little sun, little tan but not little risk of skin cancer.
So, which of these camps should you believe? Well, it will boil down to common sense as well as to moderation. You will need sun exposure to get your vitamin D since supplements and foods are often insufficient for the purpose. However, you must take measures to protect yourself against skin cancer.
You should spend a maximum of only 15 minutes a few times each week under the sun. Even then, you have to make sure that it is done in the very early morning hours when the sun's rays are at their weakest and most beneficial. Think between the hours of 6 to 8 in the morning.
For the rest of the day, you should provide adequate UV protection for yourself like putting on natural sunscreen with SPF 30 about 20 minutes before going out into the sun.
It will also help to avoid skin cancer by wearing sun protection clothing like long-sleeved shirts and pants, sunglasses and hats. Well, if you are not into covering up like a nun in hot weather, then at least wear UV clothing.
Skin cancer research in relation to vitamin D points the way to moderation. Get your sun but get protection, too.
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