March 17, 2010 C’mon Spring!!! Show your pretty face. I’ve been saying that for awhile, and now it looks like I may have my wish on this most Irish of holidays….53 degrees in the Big O today! I am excited for three reasons. First, I love corned beef and cabbage. Second, my grandma’s maiden name is Walling so this is MY holiday. Third, my kids are convinced that since they are 1/8 Irish, that they won’t get pinched today. I am looking forward to some stories on that later.
I am also excited because April is coming, the days are getting longer, and we will be able to make Vitamin D naturally by being outdoors in the fresh spring air. Vitamin D is made naturally in our skin through exposure to sunlight. It is necessary for health and vitality because virtually every cell in our bodies has a Vitamin D receptor. Scientists are beginning to understand now that Vitamin D isn’t just for bone health….it actually reduces the risk of cancer by a staggering 77%, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, lowers blood pressure, prevents MS, diabetes, osteoporosis, autism, and more. If this powerhouse nutrient were able to be bottled and sold by Big Pharma, believe me…we’d all know about it’s benefits!
Unfortunately for us, the anti-sun lobby, the dermatologists, have us so scared of skin cancer that we avoid the sun and apply ample amounts of toxic chemical sunscreen to our bodies. This has caused not only epidemic Vitamin D deficiencies, but it’s also led to an increased incidence of melanoma skin cancer. This is because many sunscreens contain toxic, cancer-causing ingredients. So…what should we do this summer? I can tell you what I will do with my kids. They will be allowed out in the sun unprotected for about 20 minutes a day for Vitamin D production and for them to build a good base tan to protect them from sunburn. Then, they will use zinc oxide on areas that are susceptible to sunburn, as zinc oxide is about the only safe sunscreen product out there. I will probably keep them indoors between 11am and 2pm until they have good tans. And, I will supplement them with astaxanthin, which is a potent carotenoid, which protects against UV damage to the eyes and skin. Not only does astaxanthin protect against UV damage, but also offers antioxidant protection and is a potent anti-inflammatory. Since it’s a fat soluble vitamin, I will also give the kids fish oil with this supplement.
To research sunscreens and choose the best option for you, please visit the Environmental Working Group’s website here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/
Yours in Health,