Looking at the whole story about the Sun and the Skin Cancer Myth and finding out why ‘Slip, Slap, Slop is actually not working and how you we possible can reduce our Cancer Risk. For years we have been bombarded with Slip, Slap Slop along with messages to avoid the sun and use suntan lotion in excess etc… all messages based on fear. Yes, excessive sun exposure can cause cancer but on the other hand, any cancer improves at least 60% with sun therapy so it is more about how to be sun smart.
And the most important factor is not to get sunburnt as sunburn, especially in childhood, promotes the growth of melanoma later in life (several research papers).
Fact is that the sun helps us to naturally produce Vitamin D – we actually need approx 10 minutes per day to get sufficient amounts of Vitamin D – with ideally one third of our body exposed to the sun including the eyes – so not with sunglasses. But there is one problem that appears a lot these days – if there is too much toxicity in our body you lose the ability to absorb Vitamin D through sunshine.
It is estimated that more than 2.5 Billion, which is between 30%-50% of the World Population, have Vitamin D Deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is known to be associated with poor bone health; osteoporosis; weak Immune System leading to Colds/Flu’s and Influenza; diabetes; high blood pressure; stroke; heart disease; Autoimmune Conditions; Vitiligo; Psoriasis; Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBS); liver disease; depression and other disturbances of mood; body muscle mass wasting; gum disease; and most forms of cancer. But if you are coming out of winter, have sensitive skin or are not used to direct sun exposure, start slowly and increase it in a way that your skin can deal with it.
For the people who wear sunglasses all day, they are reducing their Vitamin D production and as well, signalling to their body it is dark so it prepares to move into sleeping mode and starts to produce melatonin = our sleeping hormone. Research from the Moores Cancer Centre at the University of California states that lack of Sunshine causes One Million Deaths a Year. Researchers found that if Vitamin D3 levels worldwide were increased, 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancer could be prevented each year.
Benefit of Sunshine – Prevents and positively influences the following conditions:
16 different cancer types
Arthritis including Rheumatoid Arthritis
Digestive Disorders including IBS
Any Skin condition
Cold & Flu, Immune System issues and Lung problems and disease
As well as many others
So what has been linked to Skin Cancer and Melanoma?
Omega 3 Ratio
Cancer research quotes Omega 6 is a stimulant and Omega 3 is an inhibitor for human cancer including melanoma. The Omega 3-6 ratio should be 1:1 but most western countries have a 30:1 ratio and Japan and other blue zones (longest living culture) have a 3:1 ratio. So, eating more Omega 3 as well as vegetables and fruit and limiting high amounts of Omega 6 is a great way to prevent your Omega 3-6 ratio to get back in balance. Omega 6 is found in all gluten containing grains, cereals, all processed food, backed food, most of packaged food, margarine and vegetable oils like borage, rapeseed, canola, hemp, soy, cottonseed, sunflower, corn and safflower oil.
Research points out that all cancer patients are low in Omega 3 and high in Omega 6. Also, as early as 1992 an Australian study showed a 40% reduction in melanoma just for those who were eating fish. For those who do not get enough sunlight, especially in winter, a good quality Vitamin D supplement is a great resource to keep up the Vitamin D levels. To keep an eye on your levels consider getting a blood test every 6-12 months to see where you are at.
Most Sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that can cause more damage to your body and increase the risk for poor health. The chemicals put on the skin can get burnt into the skin when exposed to sun and that effect is more potent than if you only put chemicals on your skin without the sun. Norwegian scientists found that Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), which is the main UV filter used in most sunscreen products, was found to kill mouse cells, even at a lower dose of sunscreen contents. Interestingly, when those cells were exposed to light even more died.They suggested that the reaction between OMC and sunlight is twice as toxic as on its own. There is one more problem with sunscreen: It blocks your skin’s ability to make Vitamin D by more than 95%.
Rather sun smart:
Start slowly and limit your sun exposure until your system adjusts by increasing melanin pigmentation in your skin. Protect your skin by wearing a hat and UV protective shirts and swim wear and stay in the shade. We need a daily amount of sun (approx 10 minutes depending on your skin type sometimes more) shining on as much skin as possible (only wearing a singlet and shorts or less) and also look at the way you use your sunglasses as the body will think it is always night-time if you wear them 24/7. Use sunglasses only when needed as they also block some of the 1500 wavelengths that are essential to our health.
These different natural radiation levels reach our retina (direct extension of our brain) and work as incredible brain nutrients. Our body requires around 4000 IU ~ 100 micrograms of Vitamin D per day. If we expose our body to 20-30 minutes of sunlight on bare skin without sunscreen (natural or chemical) we will produce approx 20000 IU of Vitamin D which the body can store. Once this level is achieved, the body stops the Vitamin D production and storage.
Important to know that there has never been Vitamin D toxicity from sun exposure on its own. People with darker skin (Africans, Pacific Islanders, Aborigines …) need 5 – 10 times longer sun exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D as a Caucasian fair skinned person. Because of this, they are at greater risk of Vitamin D deficiency when they move to countries were sunshine is limited.
So again, living in Australia with sunshine available mostly all year around is the safest, cheapest, easiest and most effective way to naturally get your Vitamin D = sun smart. Limit direct sun exposure to the skin particularly between the times of 12pm and 3pm. Drink a substantial amount of water and avoid liquids that will dehydrate the body, such as alcohol, soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee and black tea. Use natural sunscreen to block UV rays if you have to stay out in the sun longer. Natural Sunscreens containing zinc oxide are particularly good for obstructing radiation from reaching the skin.
At best avoid getting sunburnt as this can lead to skin damage and skin cancer.
Sun supports the body to clear
Blaming the sun for Skin Cancer is just one piece of the whole truth. New ways looking at ‘How the Body works’ considers that Sun could be drawing pollution out of the blood and bringing it to the surface of the skin – sun would therefore be healing as it would be drawing it out. So our Spleen could be performing its cleaning process with the help of the sun. Cleaning out could mean Eczema, Pimples, and Dermatitis and so on but when there is over-exposure to the sun. The Skin could then convert the excess pollution into Skin Cancer – otherwise it could stay in the blood and continue poisoning the blood which could lead to blood poisoning and leukaemia.
So, by cutting out the Skin cancer and avoiding the sun, we are only dealing with the end result and not the cause of the problem. As the Skin Cancer comes from pollution, we need to look at where the pollution comes from (Toxins, Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs, Not Nourishing Food, Spleen pollution, Emotional Stress, etc…) instead of just blaming the sun. The next step is protecting the body from the sun by wearing clothes, hats, and applying zinc-based sunscreen lotion in a nurturing way – instead of going into fear and panic and therefore adding more stress to our body.
Another fact: The UK Skin cancer rates have been higher than in Australia, even though they have much less intense sun than Australia has and people develop melanomas in places that they do not usually expose to the sun! Research shows that a woman’s pre-natal sunlight exposure (Vitamin D levels) is important for the potential development of the baby’s final adult height. Just one more reason to make sure you regularly get enough sunlight for your Vitamin D production.
Global Cancer rates show generally that people who live further away from the Equator get less sun and have more risk of dying from Cancer. It shows that near the equator the overall cancer rates are smaller and the further away we get, the higher the cancer rates rise. Research also shows that: Any cancer responds to Sun Therapy with at least 60% improvement. Why: When exposed to sun our body converts Cholesterol to Vitamin D, which is one of the most potent Anti-Cancer Vitamins. It is stated it prevents 77% of all cancers. Sun is the best possibility for increasing Vitamin D levels as taking vitamin D orally could possibly cause a risk of overdosing!
So its best to not get sunburnt – enjoy the summer and be sun smart.
- Michael Holick, ‘The father of Vitamin D” author The UV Advantage …
- Am J Public Health. 2006 February; 96(2): 252–261. The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, Frank C. Garland, PhD, Edward D. Gorham, PhD, MPH, Martin Lipkin, MD, Harold Newmark, ScD, Sharif B. Mohr, MPH, and Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD
- Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96:1911–30. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2011-0385
- Holick MF (2010). The vitamin D deficiency pandemic: a forgotten hormone important for health. Public Health Rev 32: 267-283.
- Cashman KD, Dowling KG, Škrabáková Z, Gonzalez-Gross M, Valtueña J, De Henauw S, et al. Vitamin D deficiency in Europe: pandemic? Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103:1033–44. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.120873
- Cancer Today – Global Cancer Observatory, World Health Organization 2020