New research suggests that getting a good dose of sunshine is statistically going to make people live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
Exposure to the sun is believed to prompt the body to produce nitric oxide which helps to protect the cardiovascular system, as well as the feel good chemical serotonin; and there is a correlation between more sun and less disease in many conditions such as atherosclerosis.
Karolinska Institutet researchers have concluded avoiding the sun is just as bad for a person as smoking, non-smokers who avoided the sun were found to have had similar life expectancy as smokers in the highest sun exposure group.
Dr. Richard Weller of Edinburg University suggests that advice on healthy sun exposure should be reconsidered, publishing a report warning that older individuals in particular need more sun. His team established that sun exposure may lower blood pressure and cut risks for stroke and heart attack due to sun exposure lowering blood pressure by causing blood vessels to widen.
Cambridge University scientists suggest that sunlight alters gene behavior, showing the expression of 28% of the genetic make-up varies from season to season. Researchers reported activity of anti-inflammatory genes increase in summer, and sunlight may prompt the body to switch down inflammatory responses.
Sunlight may even help to keep the body slim and healthy according to a team of researchers from the Universities of Edinburg and Southampton, results show that ultraviolet radiation may suppress development of obesity and symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
People tend to feel happier when the sun is out, research shows the main wavelength of light in sunlight helps to stimulate sensors in the retina which regulate the body clock, that in turn regulates the amount of melatonin the body releases, disruption of which is linked to depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Those who live in sunnier climates do have more skin cancer, but there is no proof that sunlight shortens life. Epidemiology studies suggest overall those who get more sunlight tend to live longer despite populations getting more skin cancer.
Avoiding sunlight or using sunblock constantly could be a new risk factor for heart disease. However it is not recommended to spend hours sunbathing, sunscreen should still be used sparingly as to not block out all of the benefits of sunlight. Vitamin D3 influences healthy telomere length. The sun appears to be a double edged sword as the right amount is beneficial but too much or too little is not.
Cutaneous malignant melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer representing about three quarters of all skin cancer deaths. New studies suggest avoiding the midday sun will decrease risk of sunburn, but it can increase risk of cancer.
Optimal time for sun exposure turns out to be between 10AM and 2PM as you will need shorter exposure time, and when the sun gets lower in the sky UVB is filtered out more than UVA; UVA is correlated with wrinkles and melanoma while UVB is what produces vitamin D.