This Advice is as Dangerous as Smoking

Another Plus for Sunshine

In the previous article, you learned how sunshine can lower blood pressure.

Now there is a study showing that lack of sunshine is dangerous.

How dangerous? Avoiding the sun is as bad for you as smoking.

The result came from a Swedish study published March 21 in the Journal of Internal Medicine. They studied nearly 30,000 women for 20 years. The study observed smoking and sun exposure. And because it was done in Sweden, you can assume most of these women were fair skinned.

The non-smokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers who got the most sunshine.

Of course this goes against the modern dogma that sunshine is bad. Millions of dollars are spent each year on sunscreen. Many people work hard on avoiding exposure. The reason? Fear of skin cancer.

And why wouldn’t someone be afraid? The rates of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) have tripled since the 1970s. But there is so far no clear sign that moderate sun exposure has any part in this increase. The advice to avoid sunburn still stands.

This study adds lack of adequate sunshine to the list of lifestyle factors that affect health. You know the other three already: smoking, excess weight & no exercise.

The authors of the study also warned against relying on sunscreen. Many people use sunscreen to justify staying in the sun longer. A better choice to limit exposure is a hat and long sleeves.

All the best for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Study: Journal of Internal Medicine

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