The PJ Tatler

Science: Avoiding Sun Exposure Can Kill You!

You see, here’s the problem with enslaving yourself to the latest science, as Jon Huntsman would have us all do: Today’s official word from on high is tomorrow’s rubbish. They used to teach that an ice age was coming, then it was global warming, now it’s “climate change,” which doesn’t really mean anything because the climate is always changing. Always has, always will, whether we tax ourselves back into caves or not.

We have all grown up hearing about the dangers of overexposure to the sun. What about the dangers of underexposure?

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is often cited as a cause of skin melanoma. The NHS currently recommends avoiding overexposure to the sun to prevent all types of skin cancer.

But the new research, which followed nearly 30,000 women over 20 years, suggests that women who stay out of the sun are at increased risk of skin melanomas and are twice as likely to die from any cause, including cancer.

“The results of this study clearly showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group,” said lead author Dr Pelle Lindqvist.

30,000 women over the course of 20 years…so, not a fly-by-night study.

“Sun exposure advice which is very restrictive in countries with low solar intensity might in fact be harmful for women’s health.

“The mortality rate was increased two-fold among avoiders of sun exposure as compared to those with the highest sun exposure habits.”

It is thought that a lack of vitamin D may to be blame. Vitamin D is created in the body through exposure to sunshine and a deficiency is known to increase the risk of diabetes, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis and rickets.

Cases of rickets have risen fourfold in the last 15 years as sunscreen has increased in popularity.

Previous studies have shown that vitamin D can increase survival rates for women with breast cancer while deficiencies can signal prostate cancer in men. Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to more aggressive forms of skin cancer.

For all of our alleged progress, we keep having to re-learn what Aristotle figured out ages ago: Moderation in all things is the way to go. Avoid being a drunk or an addict, but a little wine for the stomach now and then won’t kill you. Don’t fry yourself or turn your hide into rich, Corinthian leather, but don’t obsess if you happen to catch a few rays. In fact, bathing in sunlight from time to time is good for you.