Lack of sunlight increases cancer risk, scientists find
Vitamin D is a very important vitamin that must synthesize in the body through exposure to the sun’s rays. This is why it is also known as the “sunshine vitamin“. As we spend more and more time indoors, many of us don’t get enough time in the sun to allow our bodies to produce the necessary amount of vitamin D. In addition, often, due to the strong sun, we deliberately protect ourselves with clothes or creams with a high sun protection factor, which further reduces the synthesis of vitamin D.
People in northern countries like the UK need exposure for about 5 to 30 minutes to sunlight on their arms, neck and head several times a week to generate enough vitamin D, but rarely get enough in winter.
A new study suggests that getting insufficient sunlight may increase the risk of developing cancer and people living in darker climates, such as in the UK, should consider taking vitamins (in the form of supplements) in winter. In Denmark, researchers followed 96 000 people for almost 40 years, taking blood samples and monitoring their lifestyle and diet. People with low levels of vitamin D, a vitamin produced in the skin through sunlight and a healthy diet, were 40% more likely to develop cancer.
Most people get 1/5 of the recommended levels of vitamin D from food and 4/5 from sunlight. People in northern countries need 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight on their hands, neck and scalp several times a week. But in the months from October to March, the sun is too low to provide enough light, so the production of vitamin D in the skin can not start.
Researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital say it’s more important to eat well and even take supplements in winter. Prof. “Our study demonstrates that low vitamin D levels lead to higher mortality, but the best way to increase vitamin D levels in the population remains unclear. We have not yet established the amount of vitamin D to be supplemented, and how and when it would be most effective: should we get vitamin D from the sun, through food, or as supplements? And should it be supplemented during embryonic development through the mother, during childhood, or when we have already reached adulthood?”
AquaSource products containing vitamin D:
At risk of vitamin D deficiency are:
– Pregnant and lactating women.
– Infants and young children under the age of five.
– People aged 65 and over.
– People who are not exposed to enough sunlight, or those who spend more time indoors.
– People of African, Afro-Caribbean and South Asian descent and those with darker skin tones.
Health claims approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA):
Calcium and vitamin D help maintain normal bones and teeth, as well as muscle function.
Vitamin D also helps maintain the immune system.