Healthy sunbathing for teens

Vitamin D can prevent cancer in teenagers, according to a new research.

Cancer Society, however, as always, remains sceptical.

“Keep Siesta. Use a hat. Turn off a tanning bed.”

Cancer Society frequently warns against the harmful effects of the sun, and no European is in doubt that UV rays can cause skin cancer.

However, a new Canadian research proves that young women who enjoy sunbathing, have a 35% lesser risk to develop breast cancer later in life.

Vitamin D, which we develop through sun exposure, has been proven to protect against breast cancer.

Breast tissue forms during adolescence, and therefore the long-term beneficial effect is the greatest for the 10-19 year olds. There is no effect to sunbathers over 45 years old.

It is unlikely that Cancer Society will turn down the warning lights. “It’s definitely important to get vitamin D, but it can also be received through the diet. The sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer after all,” – says Ms. Anja Philip, the project manager at the Danish Cancer Society.

Do not sunbathe intensly

Vitamin D is the center point of intense research and debate. The vitamin regulates multiple functions in the body and it is the only vitamin the intake of which can be boosted through two completely separate channels: the sunlight and the food. Vitamin D is found in dairy products and fish.

According to Ms. Anja Philip teens and others should still not sunbathe intensely.

“Evidence suggests that vitamin D, to some extent, protects against, say, breast cancer and bowel cancer, but we essentially lack any large studies. You should be able to get sufficient vitamin D through diet and with some sun, but never between 12:00 and 15:00 when the UV radiation is the most dangerous, “she says.

The idea that sunlight has a preventive effect against cancer, was launched already in the 1940s, where there was an opinion expressed by many that it provided immunity against the disease.

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