If you’re familiar with vitamin D then you know it is produced in the body once the skin has been exposed to sunlight. As a result, it has been coined the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Vitamin D provides tremendous support to both your bone and immune function. Over and above this, the health benefits are so great that recent studies have shown evidence suggesting vitamin D may offer a degree of protection against the development of certain cancers*.
For most of us, just a few minutes in the sun can be enough to obtain the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D. But the truth is that even that bit can hurt. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, exposing yourself to the sun also exposes you to its cancer causing UVA and UVB rays. And while sunscreen is one of the best shields against sunburn and its damaging effects, it also limits the body’s ability to produce this vital nutrient.
Experts at the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) recommend being safe in the sun by following some of these steps:
- Checking the UV index each day before heading out, and exercising extra caution when it is 3 or higher
- Seeking shade and covering up with clothing in the sun
- Covering up with clothing, a hat and UV protected sunglasses
- Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 of higher
- Not using tanning beds
- Obtaining your vitamin D through food or supplements
With 90% of skin cancers being linked to exposure to UV rays, we encourage you to practise sun safety year-round by applying sunscreen and obtaining your vitamin D through safer sources, such as vitamin D supplementation. Jamieson is proud to partner with the Canadian Cancer Society to help raise awareness on safe sun exposure and raise funds for cancer research. Together, we are working to make a difference in the lives of those afflicted.
For more tips on how to manage the season safely, visit www.cancer.ca/sunsafety or contact the CCS Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.
Ready to start giving? Visit cancer.ca/discovery to donate.