I don’t very often post about health issues, but Vitamin D – or the nation’s lack of – has been bothering me for a while. We’re all so paranoid about using high SPF and staying clear of the sun that we’ve forgotten that actually the sun is essential to our well-being. I’m not a health expert by any means, but I’ve heard it said that fifteen minutes of sun exposure on the arms two or three times a week is enough to top up your Vitamin D levels so you never experience any of the health implications that come with a Vitamin D deficiency. According to Simon Bandy from Health Plus, these include cardiovascular disease, some cancers, multiple scleorisis and rheumatoid arthritis, and you sure don’t want any of those.
I walk my dogs very often near a primary school and those kids are gleaming with SPF at 8.30am to spend most of their day in the classroom. Of course sun damage is dangerous too.. I get it that the fear factor of the highly successful skin cancer campaigns is huge, but there has to be a balance. Literally no sun is not safe and it’s asking for trouble later in life. Nobody is suggesting that you get out there and bake with no SPF, but bearing in mind that according to The Linus Paul institute at the University of Oregon, even SPF8 reduces the skin’s ability to absorb sunlgiht by 95%, it is something you need to watch for long term well-being. It is absolutely okay to have a very short amount of time with no SPF – if you are applying it, you can just leave your fore-arms till you get to work so the walk to the station or bus is your chance to pick up some incidental Vitamin D. It’s also a contributor in staving off depression and hair loss.
I hate the thought that we will be a nation of sun-scared, gloomy, Tippex-pale people for want of 15 minutes of glorious sun a day. Unless your diet is specifically rich in Vitamin D and if you spend most of your time indoors, I’d strongly recommend a supplement. There are hundreds to choose from, but the Health Plus site is HERE