Vitamin D and melanoma : a balancing act

One of the main concern of people who do not want to protect themselves from the sun is “I won’t get enough Vitamin D”, “the sun gives me energy, relaxes me”. (There is also the usual “healthy tan”, but we’ll get into this one another time!).

Are there any benefits to sunshine exposure?

Is there any truth behind the “benefits” of exposing ourselves to some sunshine? Actually there is, but it’s not that easy. Sun brings you Vitamin D, and some scientists just discovered that “Maintaining normal levels of vitamin D “should be a standard procedure allowing the improvement of treatment outcomes” for patients with advanced melanoma”.

Source : Dermatology times

Vitamin D can be found in food and supplements

Counter-intuitive, much? We understand that it is confusing. Sun is directly connected to melanoma, and yet you need Vitamin D so the treatment is more effective once you have melanoma…? Well, yes, and here is a the trick: you can get your Vitamin D elsewhere, and it’s actually important that you do! A whopping 25% of the population has a too low level of Vitamin D.

Your best bet for a good amount of Vitamin D are fatty fish and qualitative supplements (some of them or even vegan!).

Vitamin D is also connected to better health overall, as studies say it can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. It also helps you build strong bones.

Source : Harvard’s website, connected to multiple studies

What does science say?

It is important to note that the scientist community is divided regarding the benefits vs. the pitfalls of sun exposure. “Many experts are now recommending a middle-ground approach that focuses on modest sun exposures.”

Source : US National Library of Medicine

What “modest” means is still to be defined that’s why you will not find articles telling you to get a specific amount of sunshine, and also less and less articles saying you should fully ban sun from your life. The only things we know for sure is that : Vitamin D is good for you, and you can get it through foods, too much sun exposition does harm your skin and causes melanoma.

We hope you left you more informed, and remember that what sciencists don’t know yet is always an opportunity for associations like ours to invest in research and advance knowledge.