BENEFITS: POSITIVE EFFECTS OF UV EXPOSUREHeliotherapy... The Positive Effects of the Sun
We all know that the sun can make us feel happier and more relaxed. Vitamin D sufficiency, along with diet and exercise, has emerged as one of the most important preventive factors in human health. Hundreds of studies now link vitamin D deficiency with significantly higher rates of many forms of cancer‚ as well as heart disease‚ osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and many other conditions and diseases.
Vitamin D Comes From the Sun
Sunlight is the best and only natural source of vitamin D. Unlike dietary or supplementary vitamin D, when you get your 'D' from sunshine your body takes what it needs, and de-metabolizes any extra. That's critical - as vitamin D experts and many health groups now advocate 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily - five to ten times the old recommendations. Because too much 'D' from dietary supplements may cause the body to over-process calcium, nobody really knows for sure how much supplementary vitamin D is safe. On the other hand, sunlight-induced vitamin D doesn't have that problem - it's the way your body is intended to make it!
Nature's Skin Protection
It is commonly known that our natural tanning process provides protection against burning. Unlike some sunscreens, a tan provides reliable, full-spectrum (UVA & UVB) protection from burning. Your natural tan offers protection that doesn't rub, sweat or wear off the way sun screen lotion can.
Prevention of Some Cancers
People who live in regions with more sunlight have been found to have a lower incidence of death from ovarian, breast and colon cancers than those who live in places with less sunlight.
Vitamin D, Osteoporosis Prevention
Sunlight and sun-tanning beds that emit UVB are reliable sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for our bodies to use the calcium we get in our diet. This vitamin is found in few foods. One study showed that vitamin D was largely lacking in the fortified milk supply in the U.S. Your skin produces vitamin D naturally when exposed to sunlight. A sunscreen of SPF 8 or higher has been found to disable and halt the skin's ability to produce vitamin D.
Seasonal Depression Therapy
Sunlight and simulated sunlight "doses" are a successful treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as the "winter blues." Sunlight and simulated sunlight exposure has been found to improve low winter moods. Indoor lighting, on the other hand, is generally perceived by the brain as near darkness.
Reduce Symptoms of PMS
Exposure to bright light has been found to help alleviate some symptoms of Pre Menstrual Syndrome, such as mild depression and mood swings, irritability, physical discomfort, and social withdrawal.
A Strong Biological Clock for Optimal Health
Having well-synchronized circadian rhythms, or biological clock, results in a better quality sleep, daytime alertness, and optimal health in general. The more sunlight exposure you get during the day, the more in-sync with your environment your circadian rhythms will be.
Exposure to UV-light is commonly prescribed by doctors to alleviate the unsightly appearance and discomfort of psoriasis. Drugs such as psoralens have been developed to work in conjunction with UV-light treatments. Those with psoriasis should consult their doctor before proceeding with any treatment program.
Jet Lag Prevention
"Doses" of sunlight or simulated sunlight timed carefully upon arrival in a new time zone, can re-set your body's biological clock resulting in less day time drowsiness and better quality nighttime sleep.
Light Therapy May Combat Fungal Infections, New Evidence Suggests
The discovery in the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans further suggests that UV light therapy, in combination with anti-fungal drug treatments, might offer an effective method to combat a variety of fungal infections, particularly those of the skin or nails, said HHMI investigator Joseph Heitman, M.D., James B. Duke professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and medicine at Duke.