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Researchers Call for Immediate Revision of Sun Avoidance Recommendations

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

benefits of sun exposure

Story at-a-glance -

  • Researchers call for an immediate revision of public health recommendations on sun exposure, noting that “nonburning UV exposure is a health benefit and — in moderation — should be recommended as such”
  • The public has been misled and misinformed about the health ramifications of sun avoidance, as there are significant hazards associated with vitamin D deficiency, including a heightened risk of heart disease and several cancers, especially internal cancers but also lethal skin cancer
  • Sensible sun exposure is the most effective way to optimize your vitamin D level. Sun exposure also has health benefits beyond vitamin D production that help lower your risk of chronic disease and death
  • When you're deficient in vitamin D, your health can deteriorate in a variety of important ways, because your cells require the active form of vitamin D to gain access to the genetic blueprints stored inside the cell
  • An estimated 12 percent of all U.S. deaths may be linked to inadequate sun exposure, and sun avoidance is as potent a risk factor for death as smoking

A recent article in Outside magazine highlights the importance of sensible sun exposure, stating “Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests — and quite possibly even racist. How did we get it so wrong?”

The research in question, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2018, calls for an immediate revision of public health recommendations, noting that “nonburning UV exposure is a health benefit and — in moderation — should be recommended as such.”


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