Why we all need some sun


☀️Do you find yourself seeking out the sun in winter? Wonder why you feel so much better when the weather is good? ☀️Turns out there is a scientific reason, and it's not just about vitamin d!! ☀️For years low vit D levels have been linked to many diseases, including autoimmune disease, allergies, cancers, cognitive decline, heart disease and even shorter life expectancy ☀️Yet trials supplementing vit d have had disappointing results in these areas - a massive placebo RCT published in the NEJM in 2019 showed no reduction in cancer or heart disease risk ☀️As people become more sun conscious and spend more time indoors, low vitamin d levels are common - so much so that routine supplementation is recommended in many people ☀️However scientists now believe that the suns benefits extend far beyond vitamin d - and that low vit D is a marker of lack of sun, rather than the cause of disease ☀️When skin is exposed to sun, the body produces nitrous oxide - a molecule that: -dilates blood vessels -reduces blood pressure - induces euphoria and wellbeing - improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues - improves insulin sensitivity ☀️Interestingly, nitrous oxide is also produced when you eat fruit and veges and may be part of why these are also so beneficial ☀️Sun exposure also triggers the release of serotonin and endorphins (happy hormones) ☀️Adequate sun exposure is linked to : -reduced rates of diabetes -lower blood pressure and heart disease, and blood clots -lower rates of many cancers -improved mental health -lower rates of autoimmune disease -lower mortality (up to 50% in one study) ☀️An article in J Intern Med found sun avoidance had a similar effect on life expectancy as smoking 😧 ☀️Skin cancer risk is the main (and valid) logic behind avoiding sun, yet there is also evidence that regular limited exposure may lower risk of melanoma (isolated episodes of sunburn increase risk in contrast). ☀️Sensible sun exposure may actually be far more useful than we think - a bonus for anyone who loves the outdoors!! ☀️ I do NOT advise using sunbeds, or not using sunscreen. But you can get out in the sun without burning, especially in winter.13w

thesimplicitydoctor https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26992108/13wReply

thesimplicitydoctor https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(13)70165-7/fulltext (metanalysis of vit d supplementation on health)13wReply

thesimplicitydoctor https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1809944. (RCT of vit d from nejm)

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