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How Sunshine Protects Us from Cancer

The sun's warm rays can not only give you skin cancer, they can also PEVENT it! Now that fall is here, if you're not getting out in the sun as much as you did in the summer, you also may not be getting enough vitamin D. A recent study shows a direct link between vitamin D and cancer prevention.

Researcher Joan Lappe warns that this is a danger for you if you live in North American at latitudes above the 37th parallel (Omaha is near the 41st parallel). However, we can get vitamin D from several sources other than sunlight.

During the summer, the body can convert solar energy into ample amounts of vitamin D with just 10-15 minutes exposure daily to the sun. That?s not possible this time of year. Lappe says, "From October until the end of March, the angle of the sun is such that, in much of North America, no vitamin D is available from that source. What that means is most of us are deficient in vitamin D this time of year."

While you can get the vitamin from fish oil and a few fortified foods, it's difficult to take in adequate amounts of vitamin D by eating alone. Lappe recommends taking vitamin D3, which is the same form of the vitamin that humans make from exposure to the sun. While light-skinned people need to take D supplements only in the winter, people with darker skin should take it year round.

To find out how much YOU should take, click here.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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