Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stop Getting Sick... Go Tanning!

It is that time of year. The sun is going down around 7pm. The leaves are starting to change colors. People are getting sick. NOT ME!

In the summer I make a point to get as much sun as I possibly can. I sit in the sun for about 20 minutes without any sunscreen on and soak up the rays. Then of course I lather up with 30-50 SPF depending on my length of time I plan on being at the beach. I used to, however, put sunscreen on before I even left the house. I used to get sick quite a bit.

I never get sick in the summer any more, but usually I am fighting off colds all winter long popping vitamins and drinking loads of tea. Well last year I started tanning regularly around the holidays because I had been sick a handful of times that fall, and guess what? I stopped getting sick.

Almost everyone I talk to about the fact that I tan (in tanning beds) says "What the hell are you doing? Tanning beds cause skin cancer!" Well I beg to differ. BURNING causes skin cancer. The tanning beds give off the same types of light as natural sunlight. Tanning has received bad press because of everyone's fear of skin cancer and wrinkles. Misinformed politicians are sticking their noses where they don't belong (where do they belong?) and scaring people into believing something that is just wrong. The sun should not be feared...they key is to not burn. At the end of every summer, before my tan fades, I start tanning a few times a week. I start off with a few minutes (4-5) and work up over the course of a month or so to 9-10 minutes.

I don't usually get sick. However, sometimes when I let myself get rundown and low on sleep, I start to feel that pre-sick feeling- like you know that if you don't do something fast you are going to be full blown sick. That happened to me on Monday (the day after my nonstop-blowout-birthday-weekend). In the middle of the day I started to feel that back of the throat tickle, ache behind the eyes, ears are getting clogged feeling. Lucky for me I live 1/2 mile from the beach, I was at home, and we were at the end of an Indian summer. Needless to say I went and plopped my exhausted self on the beach for about 2 hours with no sunscreen. I didn't feel better right away, but low and behold I woke up yesterday morning and felt completely fine!

I urge everyone who lives in colder climates to think about tanning in the winter. Do your own research, and no matter what DON'T LET YOURSELF BURN! Below is a brief video and some great information on sunlight, vitamin D, and cancer prevention.

New Model Of Cancer Development: Vitamin D is the Key By Dr. Mercola (Original Source)
Researchers studying the preventive effects of vitamin D on cancer have proposed a new model of cancer development that hinges on a loss of cancer cells' ability to stick together. The model, dubbed DINOMIT, differs from the older model of cancer development, which suggests genetic mutations as the earliest driving forces behind cancer. 
"The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels," said epidemiologist Cedric Garland. "This loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over." 
Garland suggests that such cellular disruption could account for the earliest stages of many cancers. Previous theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies. 
Each letter in DINOMIT stands for a different phase of cancer development – disjunction, initiation, and natural selection, overgrowth of cells, metastasis, involution, and transition.
While there is not yet definitive scientific proof, Garland suggests that much of the evolutionary process in cancer could be arrested at the outset by maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. This latest study, published in the Annals of Epidemiology, is yet another piece in what’s turning into a mountain of evidence showing vitamin D’s effectiveness for a wide variety of cancers. 800+ links showing vitamin D’s effectiveness on cancer The idea of getting sun exposure in order to stay healthy is such a simple strategy it’s easily dismissed in this age where so many folks believe health comes in a pill and costs a fortune. But it’s true, and with the mounting evidence, not even conventional medicine can ignore it any longer. 
In fact, some of the top vitamin D experts in the world believe optimizing your vitamin D levels by getting proper sun exposure is the next largest variable after smoking that can influence whether or not you’ll get cancer. 
I am a bit surprised at that comment as from my understanding vitamin D has a far more profound impact on cancer. Vitamin D seems to universally lower risk for nearly all cancers where smoking is primarily restricted to lung cancer. And if you took vitamin D as a smoker you would still radically reduce your cancer risk.
Here’s why:  
  • Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your bones to your brain.
  • Your organs can convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D. Your organs then use it to repair damage, including that from cancer cells.

So how can you get enough vitamin D? Well, you can get it in your diet by eating fish or taking vitamins, however there are a few problems with those options. First is that you would have to eat a ridiculous amount of fish to obtain the daily requirement, and second when you take an oral vitamin D pill it is the end result. When your body absorbs sunlight (UVA & UVB rays) there are several steps from absorption to synthesis of vitamin D, all are equally important. 

It’s important to realize that your ideal source is from appropriate sunshine exposure. Your body can safely create as much as 20,000 units a day this way, without any risk of overdosing – a factor you’ll have to contend with if you’re taking oral supplements.

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