by: Daniel Barker
A new report from the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends vitamin D supplements, a diet that includes foods rich in vitamin D and spending at least short amounts of time in the sun.
The findings run contrary to the common belief that exposure to the sun causes cancer, and that people should slather themselves with sunscreen any time they are exposed to sunlight.
The role of vitamin D in maintaining good health
In fact, vitamin D is crucial in preventing cancer as well as certain bone and muscle diseases. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause long-term health problems including lowered immunity, tooth decay, breathing problems and heart disease.
In places like Great Britain where sunlight is scarce, many people develop health conditions related to vitamin D deficiency, such as the bone disease known as rickets.
Rickets was a common malady in Britain during the Victorian era, but was nearly eradicated by the middle of the 20th century.
In the last decade, however, cases of rickets have almost doubled, and experts believe that this is due to a lack of exposure to sunlight during childhood, and diets which lack foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish, red meat, eggs and liver.
The report, which was published by Public Health England (PHE), suggests that the millions of Britons who do not get enough vitamin D from diet and sun exposure should take daily supplements.
PHE’s head of nutrition science, Dr. Louis Levy, said:
“A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer.
“However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it.”
The report marks the first time that healthy Britons, and not just pregnant women or high-risk groups, have been advised to take supplements.
But the findings also indicate that the right diet and exposure to the sun can provide enough vitamin D, without the need for supplements.
Part of the problem is that members of modern society do not spend enough time outdoors – and when they do, they often use sunscreen, which inhibits the skin’s ability to absorb the sunlight necessary for producing vitamin D.
The hysteria regarding sun exposure and skin cancer may actually be producing more cancer than it prevents.
The use of sunscreen may actually increase the risk of melanoma, according to some studies. Other studies have shown that outdoor workers actually develop fewer melanomas than indoor workers.
Despite what we have been told, exposure to the sun is not something to be avoided.
The paranoia over sun exposure has actually made us less healthy, and has driven people to ridiculous extremes, such as the recent cancellation of a beach field trip for a group of British students from St. George’s Preparatory School in Jersey.
As Natural News reported on July 6:
“Fearful that the youngsters might develop skin cancer, teachers at the school reportedly canceled the trip at the last minute, opting instead to cordon their students off in a ‘safer,’ indoor environment free of natural light.”
That’s just one example of how far the anti-sun propaganda has steered us off course regarding what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t believe the hype – going outdoors is good for you. Exposure to sunlight and fresh air are key to good health, and when combined with a healthy diet there’s no need for vitamin D supplements.