It’s not a secret that the sun is helpful to our health. It has vitamin D, which has several health benefits. Unfortunately, a lot of people are deficient from this vitamin and this can lead to a great number of problems. In fact, a recent study showed that not getting enough sunlight could be as harmful as smoking.
The Swedish study is published in the Journal of Internal Medicine assessed almost 30,000 women who underwent sun exposure tracking for more than 20 years. At the end of the research, the scientists concluded that being sunlight deficient can have a direct impact on one’s life expectancy.
What the Study Discovered
According to the researchers, they were able to gather evidence on the following points:
- Women who avoided sun exposure had shorter life expectancy between half a year and two years than those who get enough sun daily.
- Women who had the highest sun exposure had lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Compared to smokers, those who don’t smoke had a similar lifespan, particularly those smokers who had high sun exposure.
The study thus suggests that sunlight deficiency can be as deadly as smoking.
Why the Sun is Important to Our Health
No one really thought that sunlight deficiency is as bad as smoking, but it’s definitely not a surprise that the sun is essential to our health in many ways:
- It delivers vitamin D to our body, which is an important vitamin to our immune system and our neuromuscular system among others.
- While there are claims that the sun can cause cancer, it can help prevent the disease from developing. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that two to four times the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D can reduce instance of cancer by up to almost 80%. The great news is that sunlight can provide vitamin D as well as assistance in breaking down and absorbing calcium.
Sunlight is indeed a necessity for our health, but it is also important to remember that too much of everything is bad. This includes sunlight as it can actually damage the skin, causing sunburns. This is one of the reasons why some people avoid getting exposed to the sun, with skin cancer being the top reason. Smoking kills about six million people every year. With sunlight deficiency being compared to this bad habit, you know such health problem is a serious matter.