With this scare about sunlight causing skin cancer, some people are trying their best to avoid the sunshine. Don't. According to this article by Paula Dranov titled "The Miracle Vitamin" in the February issue of Reader's Digest, new evidence shows that getting enough Vitamin D may be the most important thing you can do for your health. And what better way are there in getting Vitamin D than exposing your skin to sunshine and allow your body to manufacture the vitamin naturally.
Vitamin D may prevent cancer, protect against heart disease and ward off multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, gum disease, etc. It is even showing as a treatment for heart disease and certain type of cancer.
In 1980, Dr. Cedric Garland of the University of California, San Diego, and his brother Dr. Frank Garland, both epidemiologists, published a study showing that rates of colon cancer were about twice as high in the sun-starved northeast as in the sunnier south. Since then, evidence of the connection between Vitamin deficiency and cancer has strengthened.
Researchers now have identified breast, lung, prostate, bladder, esophageal, gastric, ovarian, uterine, rectal, renal, cervical, gall bladder, oral, laryngeal, pancreatic, colon cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as more common among people getting insufficient Vitamin D.
Even after cancer strikes, Vitamin D can help fight the disease. A study at Harvard showed that mortality rates were 40% higher among lung cancer patients who had less exposure to the sun than those who had high levels of Vitamin D from sunshine or diet.
Dr. Holick showed that just a few minutes of UVB exposure on a tanning bed 3 times a week for 6 weeks lowered blood pressure.