You’re Not Getting Enough Sun
Widespread panic over skin cancer has left us dangerously sun-deprived. Experts estimate that some 40 to 60 percent of us are vitamin D deficient, and research has revealed that having a deficiency can harm your brain and raise cancer and heart attack risks. Studies have also shown that without adequate sunlight, your circadian rhythms can fall out of whack, affecting everything from digestion to mood to immunity. That's why doctors now say it's not the sun you should avoid — it's sunburn. "Sunburn is what increases cancer risk, not sun exposure," says Dr. Michael Holick, a vitamin D expert at Boston University School of Medicine. Short stints of sunshine without sunscreen are not only safe, they're necessary, he says. "Sunblock reduces your body's ability to make vitamin D up to 97 percent," Holick explains.
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