Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #6

Sun Causes Skin Cancer

There are many misconceptions about melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer that accounts for more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths. But despite all the bad press linking sun exposure to skin cancer, there’s almost no evidence at all to support that stance. There is, however, plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Over the years, several studies have already confirmed that appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer. In fact, melanoma occurrence has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure, and can be increased by sunscreens.

In my interview with vitamin D expert Dr. Robert Heaney, he explains how the conventional recommendations are in fact causing the very health problem they claim to prevent.

How does sunlight prevent, rather than cause, skin cancer?

In short, it’s the vitamin D formed in your skin from exposure to sunlight that provides this built in cancer protection.

The vitamin D goes directly to genes in your skin that help prevent the types of abnormalities that ultraviolet light causes. Unfortunately, if you follow the conventional recommendation to avoid sun exposure or always use sunscreen, your skin will not make any vitamin D, leaving you without this built-in cancer protection.

Statistics confirm the truth of these findings, as melanoma rates have increased right along with sun avoidance and increased use of sunscreens. If avoiding the sun actually was the answer, then melanoma rates should have decreased exponentially over the past couple of decades...

Instead, sun avoidance and the excessive use of sun screen are actually the two primary reasons for the rise in melanoma.
This one is so important because almost everyone we know is still under the illusion that the sun is the villain and sun screen is the superhero! What a myth this is!

Anyway, Dr. Mercola is not advocating unlimited sun exposure. Getting burned, overexposure to the sun, is problematic as well. The key is to get a decent amount (~20 mins depending on your skin type) of sun exposure on your skin to activate the Vitamin D in your skin. No hindrances. Then, if you must stay out in the sun for a longer period of time, use a SAFE sunscreen.

Mercola's Medical Myth #5