Is the Sun Good or Bad for Your Health?
So we hear that the sun is good for you… and then the sun is bad for you to …and then later the sun is good for you again (or is it bad for you now…I just can’t keep it straight).
Isn’t this game of ‘good-bad-good’ played on just about every topic under the sun? (Terrible pun I know…simply couldn’t resist!)
We are a society immersed in fear…fear…and more fear. So, the sun being another object of fear isn’t a big surprise.
The notion that we, as people who live on the surface of this planet, should cover up and stay out of the sun as much as possible has always struck a strange chord with me.
I could believe something like this if we, in fact, lived underground and were nocturnal cave dwellers only coming out at night to work and play.
But we are not nocturnal by nature.
We sleep at night and are active during the day. Did nature get this wrong? Could this perhaps be nature’s biggest joke on us? Or are we the ones who are confused?
There is a reason why we are active during the day rather than at night and our physiology proves it:
- The pineal gland produces melatonin at night and serotonin during the day
- We have excellent day vision and poor night vision
- We require Vitamin D, a vitamin-like hormone that our body makes only with direct sun exposure
- We are “programmed” to be drawn to the sun. Don’t we all just love a warm sunny day? Doesn’t it do absolute wonders for our states of mind?
Nonetheless, we’ve been told to stay out of the sun, cover up, and lather on the sunscreen.
And aren’t we totally brainwashed when it comes to sunscreen? We believe that if we don’t put on the sunscreen we’ll get wrinkles and/or skin cancer. Right? Sound familiar?
And the latest myth about being out in the sun…it has become more dangerous due to the shrinking ozone layer causing the sun rays to be stronger than ever before, and of course, causing more skin cancer (but that’s another topic altogether).
The Sun: Truth, Pseudo-Truth, and Lies
So let’s take a good look at the truth, pseudo-truth, and what we are led to believe.
Truth: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported an increase in skin cancer in the United States.
Question: Why is there an increase in skin cancer if we are religiously layering on the sunscreen?
Pseudo-truth: Well, while most sunscreens advertise that they protect against UVB rays, they actually do little to protect from UVA rays. There are, however, sunscreens that do protect against UVA rays, such as those containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and mexoryl.
Confused about the meaning of the different types of sun rays?
Here’s a little refresher on UVB and UVA rays.
- Pass through window glass.
- Are present despite changes in altitude or weather.
- Are always present
- Penetrate deep into the skin’s layers
- Totals 5% of the sun’s rays
- 20-times more abundant than UVB rays
- Do not pass through window glass
- Cause the skin to burn and tan
- Responsible for normal vitamin D production
- Vary in intensity with the season and time of day
- Intensity changes with weather conditions and altitude
- Totals 0.5% of the sun’s rays
What we are led to believe: Instead of asking questions relating to why the incidence of skin cancer is on the rise, we simply continue to slap on sunscreen or worse…stay out of the sun altogether. What we should be asking is whether it is the sun that is really so dangerous or is there another factor related to the increase in skin cancer that is conveniently overlooked?
The answer is surprising! And believe it or not, it comes straight from the FDA and The American Skin Cancer Foundation.
In one word: Photosensitivity
The Truth About Sunscreens
An FDA report contains the following list of substances that cause photosensitivity (or have photo-reactive agents in them) and that can cause skin cancer in the case of chronic sun exposure while using them:
- Food additives
- Antibacterial soaps
- Petroleum products (including Vaseline)
- Cold and allergy medicines
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin (Amigesic), ibuprofen (Motrin), Aleve (naproxen sodium), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine)
- Antibiotics, including the tetracyclines and sulfonamides
- Sunscreens containing bergamot oil, sandalwood oil, benzophenones, PABA, cinnamates, salicylates, anthranilates, PSBA, mexenone, and oxybenzone
Know anybody that uses any of these products? You perhaps? Can we really say that only the sun causes skin cancer?
Isn’t it interesting that there are no warning labels on any of these products, especially sunscreens?
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
But wait…it gets better.
In the same report, the FDA states that chronic exposure to photo-reactive chemicals can cause:
- Premature skin aging (Due to the sun….or chemicals?)
- Stronger allergic reactions (Why are human beings seemingly allergic to earth?)
- Cataracts (Visual Disorders)
- Blood vessel damage (Cardiovascular Disorders?)
- Weakened immune system (Autoimmune Disorders?)
- Skin cancer (Is this really a surprise?)
You don’t have to be a scientist to put logic to the test here.
Those with photosensitivity are more likely to develop cancer than those with “normal” skin.
As reported in an article from Science Daily, ‘Medications May Increase Sensitivity to Sunlight‘.
“Though these drugs do not directly increase the risk of skin cancer, serious sunburns, particularly in children, have been associated with an increased incidence of skin cancers later in life.”
And if you take another look at that list, we are talking about much more than just drugs.
It amazes me that we are told that the solution to this problem is to simply put on sunscreen…but wait, oops…sunscreen is on that list!
And why aren’t there warning labels on the sunscreen informing us that it can cause photosensitivity and cancer?
It sounds a little counter-productive to me.
Flat out lie: Those who spend more time in the sun are more likely to get skin cancer, and therefore it is extremely important to stay out of the sun as much as possible and cover up when exposed to the sun.
A must-read is the latest report out of the United Kingdom, “Sunlight Robbery”, which states in part (I have bolded areas for emphasis):
“…there are real doubts about the way in which sun exposure causes melanoma. Adults who work outdoors and children who play outdoors are regularly exposed to the sun and are less likely to develop melanoma than those who work or play more indoors. While people who have irregular exposure to the sun and those who recall being sunburnt have a higher risk of melanoma, especially if they have a fair skin type. Occasional exposure of skin to sunlight appears to carry the greatest risk of melanoma, while regular exposure of skin to sunlight appears to protect against melanoma, probably because it provides higher levels of vitamin D which are protective against cancer in general.”
Of course, sunscreen does a great job of protecting us from UVB rays, but that is the problem. It is the UVB rays that our bodies need for vitamin D production. And if Vitamin D is protective against cancer…well…
What are we to do?
First, we should use natural alternatives to the products listed in the FDA report. There are substances in nature that cause photosensitivity as well, but the problem lies in the fact that we are overly inundated with chemicals in nearly all products we use on a daily basis.
Are all of these chemicals really necessary?
If the FDA and other groups such as The American Skin Cancer Foundation are only interested in protecting the general public, then why aren’t they looking at the chemical ingredients which are known to cause photosensitivity and that are in the products being recommended?
Why isn’t there more focus on alternative treatments that could prevent the photosensitive reactions caused by medications…not to mention all the other side-effects?
Instead, mainstream science stands steadfast in its ideology against alternative treatments.
Puzzling, isn’t it?