Medical studies show that moderate exposure to sunlight is crucial for the maintenance
of good physical and psychological health. In fact, for most people, it may be riskier
to avoid sunlight than to tan moderately, according to new research.
:: your source for vitamin d ::
UV-B rays are the main source of Vitamin D for our bodies, which helps to promote healthy
bones and the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the body.
Sunlight is the body's only natural and reliable source of Vitamin D. Studies suggest that
this vitamin - linked to the prevention of breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancers -
cannot be reliably supplemented in our diet.
:: reduce your risk of heart disease ::
- Holick, Dr. M., et al. "Sunlight Regulates?" Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 68:882, 1989.
- Matsuoka, L., et al. "Suntanning and Cutaneous Synthesis of Vitamin D3" Journal of Clinical Medicine. 116:87, 1990.
Exposure to sunlight may have similar effects as exercise; decreased blood pressure, lower
resting heart rate, a 39% increase in the output of blood. UV light is also known to help
:: beat the "winter blues" ::
- Falkenbach, Dr. A., et al. "Heart Rate Fitness Variability?" Biological Effects of Light. New York, Walter de Gruyter, 1992.
70% of patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) show improvement after UV treatment,
the only known cure for the "winter blues".
:: increase your metabolism ::
- Wirz-Justice, A., et al. "Light Therapy in Seasonal Affective Disorder is Dependent on Time of Day or Circadian Phase" Arch Gen Psychiatry. 50:929, 1993.
Sunlight stimulates the thyroid gland, which boosts your metabolism.
:: minimize your risk of osteoporosis ::
- Hollwich, Fritz, The influence of Ocular Light Perception on Metabolism in Man and in Animal. New York: Springer Verlag, 1979.
Because UV exposure produces Vitamin D which helps in the absorption of calcium into bones,
you could decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis.
:: reduce specific types of cancer ::
- "Interim Report and Recommendations for Osteoporosis", World Health Organization's Task Force for Osteoporosis, November 4, 1999.
Many types of cancer - including breast, colon, prostate and ovarian - are slowed or inhibited
by increased exposure to sunlight. More than 138,000 Americans die each year from breast, colon,
ovarian and prostate cancers. One 1993 study claims that the wide spread public adoption of regular,
moderate sun exposure could prevent 30,000 breast and colon cancer deaths each year.
:: reduce common colds by 40% ::
- Garland, Dr. C., et al. "Calcium and Colon Cancer: Clinical Nutrition. July/August pgs. 161-166, 1986.
Ten minutes of exposure to ultraviolet light 1-3 times per week reduces the
frequency of colds up to 40.3%.
:: other important health facts ::
- Kime, Dr. Z. Sunlight. Penryn, CA: World Health Publications, 1980.
As taken from the Smart Tan Network's Tanning Facts, March 15, 2000:
- The significant risks involved with ultraviolet light are attributed to over-exposure -
not to moderate tanning. No study has ever linked moderate tanning - indoors or outdoors -
as a causative factor of any kind of permanent skin damage. Sunburn and heredity, on the
other hand, are the main risk factors for skin damage.
- Surveys have shown that indoor tanners are less likely to sunburn when they are outdoors.
- Indoor tanning units are designed to help you minimize your risk of sunburn.
- Indoor tanners are 80% less likely to sunburn outdoors than non-tanners.
- Cancer rates are higher in sun-deprived areas of the world and decrease
significantly as one gets closer to the equator. A 1994 study shows that Northern
women have 5 times greater risk of ovarian cancer than Southern women who receive more
direct sun exposure.
- Malignant melanoma skin cancer is most common in people who do not receive regular
sun exposure, and most frequently develops on parts of the body that are not regularly
exposed to sunlight.
- Like so many of life's pleasures, tanning should be enjoyed in intelligent moderation.
Avoid sunburn at all costs!