21 Apr, 2024 @ 11:00
1 min read

How taking in the sun daily can help prevent cancer and heart problems, according to scientists in Spain

How taking in the sun daily can help prevent cancer and heart problems, according to scientists in Spain

FOUR out of ten adults and three out of ten children in Alicante province suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.

Despite some of Spain’s biggest levels of sunshine hours, a widespread use of high factor blocks to stop skin cancer(but reduce Vitamin D absorption) and a sedentary life style are behind the problem.

A lack of vitamin D can lead to heart attacks and cancer, according to studies.



Dr. Mari Angeles Medina, president of the Valencian Society of Family and Community Medicine, said: “Having very low values of this nutrient is related to cardiovascular disease and with oncological pathology.”

“Adequate sun exposure and a daily intake of healthy foods is recommended as low Vitamin D levels can cause colon, breast, or prostate cancer,” she added.

Dr. Medina says that ‘we have to make the population aware of the situation without alarm because it is a disorder of modern life’.

Alicante province’s Association of Out-of-Hospital Pediatrics says that Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children, a problem of bone mineralisation which has been detected mainly among older children and adolescents.

Obesity and various intestinal conditions also block the correct absorption of Vitamin D, which is needed in a sufficient quantity, together with calcium, to help keep bones strong.

That includes osteoporosis sufferers, postmenopausal women and the elderly.

Research has shown that people living in southern latitudes of the world, where levels of sunlight exposure are relatively high, were less likely to have certain cancers compared to those living in northern latitudes because exposure to sunlight leads to the production of Vitamin D in the skin.

As for recommended levels of sun exposure in Spain, Dr. Medina make this recommendation:

“In adults, being in the sun for 10 or 15 minutes between 10.00am and 5.00pm is enough.”

“Older people should be exposed for at least 30 or 40 minutes, but almost no one does that, because despite the fact that we have a lot of sun, we actually spend many hours inside homes, offices, and factories.”

“We have to try to live outside, let the sun shine on us, without overdoing it,” she added.

Another way of getting more Vitamin D is through diet and it is abundant in some foods, such as oily fish (salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel), fish liver oil, liver, and eggs.

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