I’ll admit it — I’m an avid sun lover.
I absolutely despise winter weather. And I don’t shy away the sun. I like my vitamin D served up the natural way. And being blessed with a Mediterranean background, I almost never burn. (Though I realize that a lot of fairer-skinned people aren’t so lucky — and if you fall into this category, I’m certainly not recommending that you start sunbathing anytime soon.)
Despite all that, I still sometimes feel a little guilty about the time I do spend in the sun. I guess even I’m not completely immune to the mainstream hysteria over sun exposure. As you know, mainstream advice basically has everyone running for cover the minute the sun rises. And the “experts” have led everyone to believe that the only way to stay safe when you are outside is to slather yourself in sunscreen and cover up head to toe in protective clothing.
So I really did enjoy the study I want to share with you today…
Results appeared in the Journal of Internal Medicine. As part of this study, researchers followed almost 30,000 Swedish women for more than 20 years. And ultimately, they found that when it comes to your health and your mortality risk, hiding yourself away from the sun is just as dangerous as smoking.
Women who smoked and got a lot of sun enjoyed lifespans on par with non-smoking women who avoided the rays. And overall, the women with the highest sun exposure had a life expectancy up to two years longer than women who avoided sunshine.
That’s not all. In this study, sun-seeking women were also at lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and lung disease than their sun-avoiding counterparts.
The best part is that these results were dose-dependent — the benefits of sunshine increased with greater exposure.
Researchers did find a higher rate of skin cancer in the women who got the most sun. But overall, these cases were actually less aggressive — and carried better prognoses — than the cases of cancer among women without as much sun exposure.
Again, let me be clear: I am not suggesting we go back to the old days where we used baby oil and aluminum foil to get a better tan. My point is that we have become so paranoid about exposure to the sun that we forget underexposure may be just as dangerous. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that we are actually starting to see cases of rickets again — a condition associated with severe vitamin D deficiency, which doctors thought we eradicated years ago.
In other words, we’ve completely thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
The mainstream devotes a lot of time to talking about lifestyle factors that erode public health — like smoking, being overweight, and not exercising. It would be nice if they could admit that avoiding sun exposure belongs on that list as well.
As for me, I always knew I felt better in the sun. Now I know why — and I won’t feel guilty about it ever again. And you shouldn’t either.
There’s no need to avoid the sun altogether. This chronic obsession with zero sun exposure is typical American medical dogma. And a classic example of making an industry out of vilifying things that are largely benign.
Twenty minutes a day of full-skin, head-to-toe sun exposure isn’t just safe — it could be life-saving. But there is a catch…
Unless you live in the southernmost parts of Florida even that still isn’t enough to keep your vitamin D levels where they need to be.
That’s why I also recommend taking at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3, every day, all year round.