Sun rays can protect against some cancers

Sun rays can protect against some forms of cancer

It has been a mantra the world over to stay out of the sun to avoid getting skin cancer. However a new study suggests that the health benefits that vitamin D provides when it is produced by skin exposed to the sun, justify spending moderately longer in the sunshine.

The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, proved that people who had higher levels of vitamin D in their body were more likely to survive colon, breast and lung cancer.

‘Increased sun exposure may lead to improved cancer prognosis and, possibly, give more positive than adverse health effects,’ stated the study’s researchers.

The new results add to the growing belief that vitamin D can protect against illnesses from colon, lung and ovarian cancers to cardiovascular disease and boost immune function.

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said that the study did not conflict with the worldwide message to stay safe in the sun.

‘It’s becoming increasingly clear that vitamin D does have some benefits in terms of reducing people’s risks of cancer. [But] the amount of sun exposure it takes to produce enough vitamin D is always less than the amount it takes to tan or burn.

‘There should always be an achievable balance between getting enough vitamin D to reduce your risk of [cancer], while not getting enough sun exposure to tan or burn and thus increase your risk of skin cancer.’

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