Medical studies, I believe, exist in a vacuum. They’re unmindful of the past, uncaring of the future, existing only for the moment.
How else to explain why scientists and doctors seemingly just ache for contradiction?
By the time there is an emergence of a consensus, patients morph into cadavers. OK, a bit of hyperbole there, but you get the point.
Here is why we should all develop attention deficit when reading these reports (instant amnesia would be even better): Dermatologists have long preached that sunscreens are needed to prevent skin cancer. But some scientists question that because vitamin D seems important for preventing and treating many types of cancer.
Indeed, some researchers think that splashing on sunscreen may actually contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents.
Talk about shifting gears with facile ease.
Good ol’ sunshine and vitamin D are supposed to kick butt against lymphoma and cancers of the prostate, lung, breast, colon and pancreas.
And here’s the real kicker: Getting enough vitamin D from food and fortified milk alone is hard to do, and supplements are problematic. So, it’s best to work on those tans.
Scientists claim even if you get skin cancer, it’s rarely going to kill you. But prostate, lung, colon or pancreatic cancer could put you on a cemetery shopping spree.
Plus, sunshine-induced vitamin D may lower your LDL cholesterol levels. And researchers have discovered a link between vitamin D deficiency and autism.
Suddenly, vitamin D sounds like a miracle drug to me. It reportedly also reduces your risk of multiple sclerosis, decreases your chance of developing heart disease and reduces your likelihood of developing the flu.
Plenty of sun is good for folks with osteoporosis and it also reduces depression.
I guess Sunshine Superman is much more than just a song.
What next for the benefits of tanning? A cure for baldness and arthritis?
Suddenly, getting a great tan could make you invincible except for the higher risk of getting basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma – not to mention getting more wrinkled than an old prune.
Why does everything have to be a trade off? Even Plato and Aristotle couldn’t answer that.
Granted, a person sporting a good tan sure looks healthier than someone who is pasty white. Nothing like a good tan to smooth out the dents in ugly ducklings.
Of course, all this could change dramatically when the next study touting the benefits of living on the far side of the moon hits the medical journals.
Stay tuned. And get some sun. But hedge your bet and use a little sunscreen, too.
After all, compromise is what works best in life. Now if we only could convince politicians of that.