What's the Best Time to Get Sun?

The question: How can you get enough solar exposure to raise your vitamin D levels without unduly increasing your skin cancer risk? Here’s a simple (and surprising) piece advice: the best time of day for prudent solar exposure is noon.

Researchers at the Department of Radiation Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, in Montebello, Oslo, Norway, writing in the 2008 issue of Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, said that the solar wavelengths that promote malignant melanoma are probably longer (typically morning and afternoon wavelengths) than the wavelengths that generate vitamin D in the body.

Another factor, they said, is that people usually stand in the sun – receiving short, noontime rays at a sharp angle relative to most of the skin. Morning and afternoon sun, conversely, strike skin more directly and penetrate more deeply, meaning the longer spectrum waves have more potential for harm.

So they concluded that brief solar exposures around noon, when wavelengths are shorter and strike at a more indirect angle, should be recommended rather than longer solar exposures in the morning or afternoon.

How long is advisable? This remains a controversial question, especially for those who practice "sunbathing," where lying down exposes large areas of skin while the sun is at its peak, but I believe that roughly 10-15 minutes on the face and arms several times a week is safe for most skin types at most latitudes. I will also say that I have advised against midday solar exposure in the past, but this recommendation will make me rethink that advice if these conclusions are replicated by other researchers.

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More Amazing News About Vitamin D
We’ve been hearing a lot about vitamin D recently. In addition to its contribution to bone health, it seems to prevent some types of cancer and protect against multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Now, a vitamin D researcher at the University of California, Riverside, has noted that “D” also affects insulin secretion and regulation, heart and blood pressure regulation, muscle strength and brain activity. Writing in the August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Anthony Norman, distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences, says that cells in 36 organs respond biologically to vitamin D. He notes that a deficiency of “D” can affect all of those organs including bone marrow, breast, colon, intestine, kidney, lung, prostate, retina, skin, stomach and uterus. Norman recommends an average daily intake of 2,000 IU of vitamin D for all adults, a dosage some other experts have suggested. The current RDA is 200 IU for adults up to the age of 50, 400 IU for those ages 51 to 70 and 600 for those over 70. My current recommendation for supplementation is 1,000 IU.

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Eating Too Quickly Can Make You Fat
And it’s not just eating quickly. Also, scarfing down food until you’re full could triple your risk of being overweight. Japanese researchers questioned more than 3,000 men and women about their eating habits. Those who ate rapidly and continued consuming until they were full had a higher body mass index (BMI), consumed more calories, and were more likely to be overweight than participants who didn’t eat quickly and didn’t eat until they were full. The Osaka University team said that these eating habits developed in response to the availability of large portions of inexpensive food, fewer family meals and eating while distracted (such as while watching TV). In the distant past, the researchers said, most adults didn’t have the opportunity to consume enough calories for the body to store fat. The remedy? Smaller portions, eating mindfully, and more family meals…without the TV. The study was published in the Oct. 22, 2008 online edition of the British Medical Journal.

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Japanese Wild Mushrooms with Soba
Soba noodles, which are made with buckwheat and wheat flour, were always considered a health food, and as early as 300 years ago were believed to relieve stress and cure ulcers. They cleanse and energize the body as well.
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Healthy Aging Tip
Courtesy of Dr.Weil on Healthy Aging
Diabetes and Nutrition: In general, diabetics should focus on less-refined carbohydrates. These are minimally processed foods which are digested more slowly than refined carbs and which typically contain more vitamins, minerals and fiber.

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