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Balancing benefits of sun exposure with cancer risk

By Mike Zielinski, Host of The Mike Zielinski Show

Balancing benefits of sun exposure with cancer risk

It’s never fun to be trapped in a paradox, strangled by contradiction.

I’m referencing medical studies and routinely finding out that what was once deemed good for us suddenly is bad to the bone.

Until the other week or so we were told that a daily baby aspirin would help prevent a heart attack. Now we’re told to skip the baby aspirin because it suddenly could crack open our universe like it was a raw egg.

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.

The American Academy of Dermatology maintains that the harmful effects of sunlight outweigh the benefits of vitamin D production.

The National Institutes of Health says it’s prudent to limit sun exposure but also notes that some vitamin D researches suggest getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure twice a week — sans sunscreen.

What we have here, my friends, is a veritable Sophie’s choice.

Indeed, life was much simpler when we all worshipped the sun. The Romans even had a sun god by the name of Sol Invictus, who apparently also owned a string of pizzerias in Rome.

In fact, one of the few benefits of doing manual labor in a Roman salt mine was that it gave you a Hollywood tan.

Of course, those slaves likely didn’t live long enough to get melanoma.

Today with longer lifespans, nobody is itching to get melanoma. It’s just not a good look and can be dire. Melanoma can make you regret spending years acquiring a caramel tan.

On the other hand, some researchers think that splashing on sunscreen may contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents.

Sunshine and vitamin D kick butt against lymphoma and breast, colon, prostate, kidney and ovarian cancers. Studies have linked vitamin D from sun exposure to benefits in overall mortality, treating multiple sclerosis, enhancing bone health and lessening the occurrence of cardiovascular events in hypertensive patients.

And here’s the real kicker: Although milk, cod liver oil and supplements can supply vitamin D, solar radiation is the best source for humans

So, it seems best to work on those tans. Scientists claim even if you get skin cancer, it’s rarely going to kill you. But other types of cancer can put you on a cemetery shopping spree.

People with tans look healthier. Now it seems they indeed are healthier.

I never went to Yale because my parents were too poor to pay off the soccer coach to have me admitted. But I am smart enough – unlike our politicians in Washington – to realize the value of compromise.

Moderation may be the answer to our dilemma. Bask in the sun without sunscreen occasionally. But wear sunscreen the majority of the time. Call it The Wisdom of King Solomon solution.