In addition to being at the center of our universe, the sun is also at the center of debates and research on its blessings versus its wrongdoings. We all know how important it is to protect our skin against UV radiation. So much so that nowadays, a pocket-sized sun screen is the new essential item found in a lady’s hand-bag, alongside the iPhone, credit card, lip-gloss and other secrets that shall not be revealed.
After listening to Dr Polla’s latest interview on WRS “Protect your skin and is Botox safe?” I realized that nowadays we talk a lot about the potential damages the sun may cause, but not enough about all its virtues. Life on earth depends on its emission of heat and light, and we, human beings, are no exception. I started to look for scientific studies showing the benefits of « intelligent » exposure to UVs. After reading some of the medical reviews piled on my father’s desk, here’s what I learned.
Apart from ensuring healthy bones, the sun seems to contribute in the prevention – and in certain cases in the cure – of certain illnesses such as diabetes, tumors, heart-diseases and sclerosis. Furthermore sun rays help regulate our skin’s cellular renewal, and have a disinfectant action that reduces skin infections (Dr Maurizio Cutolo, University of Genova, Italy).
And that’s not all. Regular sun exposure keeps our retina healthy and may even prevent myopia. Sunlight is also a key factor in the production of the hormone (leptin) that controls our feeling of satiety and reduces our appetite. Yeay, a new good buddy in the battle against munchies and round tummies! And last but not least, sunlight regulates our mood by acting on our production of melatonin and serotonin. So much truth in the song « my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray » !