Sunshine can prolong life
The fear of skin cancer should not cause people to avoid sunshine. Too little sun weakens the immune system and, therefore, also resistance to cancer.
Despite the risk of skin cancer sunshine is healthy. A little more sunshine can increase health and reduce the risk of other cancers, according to a new research.
The sun causes the body to produce vitamin D, which is essential for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Therefore, vitamin D helps prevent a number of diseases such as rickets, osteoporosis and diabetes. A research team from the Institute of Cancer Research in Oslo warns against hiding away in the shadow out of fear of developing skin cancer. “It’s a bad idea, especially for Scandinavians”, – they believe in the light of a new study.
Sunshine is the main source
The risk of skin cancer is real, but the positive health effects, you get with the sunshine, far outweigh the risks. Even a moderate exposure to sunshine provides enormous health benefits, says the leader of the study Mr. Johan Moan.
You can also obtain vitamin D from the diet, but sunshine is still the main source, and it is crucial you make effort to spend time in the sun and daylight. This is particularly true for people who live far from the equator such as the Danes, for example.
The immune system
The study reveals that people living in northern Australia, not far from the equator, produce almost five times more vitamin D than people in Scandinavia. Since vitamin D supports the immune system, it might explain why cancer sufferers in sunny countries have a greater chance of survival, – according to the researchers.
Mr. Johan Moan estimates that if Norwegians got twice as much sun exposure, the Norwegian death toll from skin cancer would increase by 300.
However, according to Mr. Moan, this could reduce the current death rate from other cancers by 3000.