The Sun is Not Evil (but Bad Sunscreen is!)

Posted June 2012 by Avasol™

The Sun is Not Evil (but Bad Sunscreen is!)

The Good.
The sun is good.

It is absolutely critical for the production of vitamin D to protect you from cancer, heart disease, depression, bone loss and more.

Science has shown that vitamin D3 sulfate, or natural vitamin D from our sun, acts differently (read: better) in our bodies than unsulfated vitamin D from food sources and supplements. Vitamin D3 sulfate is water soluble, travels freely in the blood stream and contributes to strong immunity as well as cardiovasular and nervous system health. Also, It can be converted to unsulfated vitamin D3, which assists with calcium distribution.

Vitamin D3 supplements, however, are all unsulfated, fat soluble, and require LDL cholesterol for transport. Unsulfated vitamin D3 does not convert into the sulfated form, making supplements inferior to vitamin D from sunshine, argues Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior MIT scientist.

And guess what? Not only is sunlight necessary for vitamin D actually prevents cancer!

Yes! Now you can catch some rays without feeling guilty. In fact, you can feel downright healthy about it! A recent study by Dr. William Grant has shown a strong inverse correlation between levels of UVB light and cancer mortality, particularly for breast, colon and ovarian cancers. And Dr. Marianne Berwick, an epidemiologist at the University of New Mexico who studies skin cancer, led a study published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2005 finding that people who had a lot of sun exposure up to the time they got a diagnosis of melanoma had better survival rates than those who had little sun exposure.

The Bad.
Today's commercial sunscreens are bad.

They are being found to contain a litany of toxic or problematic substances. For example, preliminary FDA research data has shown that a type of vitamin A used in approximately 41% of sunscreens actually increases skin cancer growths.

And, some popular sunscreens contain flammable ingredients that have caused second-degree burns on one unfortunate victim.

In fact, even doctors are questioning the lack of evidence to support a new public awareness campaign, paid for by Neutrogena and supported by the American Cancer Society, that urges consumers to "use sunscreen" to avoid death from skin cancer.

And then there is the controversy regarding the use of nanoparticles in sunscreens. Lately, studies have raised important concerns regarding the toxicity of these ultra-small particles to mammals, aquatic life, and food crops. These investigations have raised serious concerns about nanomaterials and their potential toxicity for people and the environment.

Nanomaterials are especially toxic when inside of the body, on the skin, or when inhaled. Problems arise when nanoparticles penetrate the skin and gain access to the blood stream, where they can circulate throughout the body, being taken up by cells, tissues and organs.

And here's the rub -- nanoparticulate titanium and zinc oxides are common in sunscreens -- even the organic ones.
Wow. Now you know.

The Ugly.
Sunscreen kills.

A team of Italian scientists has shown that four ingredients in sunscreens killed algae in only four days time. This particular algae, zooxanthellae, is a necessary symbiont of corals -- without it, a virus will attack the corals and kill them.

Studies further show that between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunblock wash off swimmers every year, which is threatening the health of the world's coral reefs. But it isn't just the coral that is suffering. A team of Swiss agriculture department chemists have found traces of sunscreen chemicals in the fish of mountain lakes and rivers and other bodies of water, like the San Francisco Bay. In fact, almost 80% of the water in the U.S. contains chemicals from personal care products. These compounds bio-accumulate in the fish and other organisms over time, causing adverse effects.

And remember those nanoparticles? Well, titanium dioxide nanoparticles have been shown to cause brain damage in fish by causing holes to form in the brain and promoting nerve cell death. Fish are vertebrates. We are vertebrates. Oh-oh.

Now What?
We have everything we need under the sun to protect ourselves from sun damage while getting the health benefits a daily dose of sunshine can offer. The important thing is to develop a sun protection regimen just the way nature intended. Sun protection is a matter of lifestyle, not just slathering on some sunscreen.

Using a Proper Sunscreen
There will always be times when you will be out in the sun for an extended period. For this, you need a sunscreen that will protect you, not a toxic soup filled with synthetic chemicals, nanoparticles, petrochemicals and more. Look for an all-natural sunscreen containing natural zinc oxide that has been ethically produced and responsibly packaged.

This type of sunscreen will begin working the minute you put it on and the more you put on, the more protection you will have. Make sure to apply to the tops of the feet, the ears, and even your hairline part if you have thinning hair.

Understand that no sunscreen offers 100% protection. Wear hats and protective clothing when possible and use common sense when determining your own personal sun exposure limits.


Practice Safe Sun!


Tags: sunscreen sunblock vitamin D nanoparticles skin cancer

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