Today we are told that there is a record high of people in England who have developed the worst type of skin cancer. More than 10,000 people a year, an increase of 600 people from the last year, and the cause is due to ‘binge’ sunbathing.
Some sun is essential for us to get our Vitamin D, but as in so many things the key is ‘moderation’. Vitamin D does infact reduce the risk of melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer. Virtually every organ system in your body is dependent on sunshine for optimal performance because it triggers Vitamin D production in your cells. Vitamin D is an ‘essential’ vitamin which means that your body cannot function properly without it. Your tissues, cells, organs and bones, and the chemical processes that sustain them rely upon sunshine.
For a large percentage of the time that we have lived on this planet we have lived naked, in the sun, near the equator. Now we have moved away from the equator, clothed ourselves, we work indoors, we travel in enclosed vehicles and we cover ourselves with sunscreen.
Our ancestors struggled with infectious diseases, which, with our advances in sanitation and medicine, are much less of a problem now, but we have to deal with degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. We have to cope with chemicals in our food and water, and the air we breathe. Our food is processed and stripped of their nutritional value, many of the fruit and vegetables we eat contain pesticides and fertilisers, and our meat contains hormones. Our ancestors were hunters but we have now adopted a largely sedentary lifestyle, travelling in cars and sitting most of the day.
All these changes come with a high price. Studies show that the average person today has lower levels of Vitamin D than their parents had 30 years ago. Vitamin D reduces the risk of the 3 biggest killers of our generation, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Another recent study from Dutch and Australian researchers has shown that high blood levels of selenium may reduce the incidence of skin cancer by 60%. Selenium is a trace element that occurs naturally in the soil and is included in between 50 and 100 different proteins in the body. Selenium is a strong antioxidant and helps protect against free radicals and carcinogens. It reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system to fight infections, and promotes a healthy heart. Selenium absorption is also adversely affected by heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium and others). High levels of zinc can also reduce selenium absorption.
The foods that are particularly good sources of selenium are brazil nuts, oats, barley, garlic and brown rice.
So, eat natural organic foods, exercise regularly, and enjoy the sun in moderation.