Sunshine is back in the good books of medical practitioners and dermatologists. New research suggests that fifteen minutes a day of direct exposure to sunshine may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of many forms of cancer. Researchers point to the fact that there is a lower incidence of prostate, colon and breast cancers in sunnier parts of the world.
Dr. Edward Giovannucci of Harvard University suggests that vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, might help prevent 30 deaths for each one caused by skin cancer. He said: "I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D."
Plastering our bodies in sunscreen to avoid skin cancers, such as melanoma, may be more harmful than direct exposure to the sun. Sunscreen blocks UV rays and therefore inhibits the vital production of vitamin D. Our skin absorbs the rays and produces vitamin D. Melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, accounts for just 1.4 per cent of all cancer deaths.