Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunlight Is Paleo

Several studies have already confirmed that appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer. In fact, melanoma occurrence has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure and can be increased by sunscreens. For example, an Italian study, published in the European Journal of Cancer,3 supported earlier studies showing improved survival rates in melanoma patients who were exposed to sunlight more frequently in the time before their melanoma was diagnosed. In Public Health Nutrition, researchers also listed a number of associations between sun exposure and melanoma found in the medical literature, such as:4
  • Intermittent sun exposure and severe sunburn in childhood are associated with an increased risk of melanoma
  • Occupational exposure, such as farmers and fishermen, and regular weekend sun exposure are associated with decreased risk of melanoma
  • Sun exposure appears to protect against melanoma on skin sites notexposed to sun light, and melanoma occurring on skin with large UV exposure has the best prognosis
  • Patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D have thinner melanoma and better survival prognosis than those with the lowest vitamin D levels
The fact is, getting safe sun exposure every day is actually one of the bestthings you can do for your health. The point to remember is that once your skin turns the lightest shade of pink (if you're Caucasian), it's time to get out of the sun. Past this point of exposure your body will not produce any more vitamin D and you'll begin to have sun damage.

This is an arena of mis-information in which the paleolithic model is informative.  There are those who would pretend to "know" that any amount of sun exposure is "damaging."  This is obviously true, to a degree.  All food has a degree of toxicity, which is injurious or nourishing based on the dose.  Too much water will kill you.

But the idea that we should avoid all sun exposure does not stand up to the test of the paleolithic model of nutrition.  Those people were not known to have cancers, but they had no sunscreen and they had no fear of daylight.  I suspect they were smart enough to avoid sunburn.

The one way the model breaks down is the problems that were created by our present ethnic dispersion, away from the locations for which our genetics were optimized.  Dark skinned people in northern climes will have problems making any vitamin D, and light skinned folks spending time close the equator are going to have problems with sun damage if they take any risk at all.

Use your number one survival adaptation, your brain, and get the right dose of sun just like you have to get the right dose of protein, fat, and carbs - none of which is natural in the neolithic world.

No comments:

Post a Comment