A dose of Midday sun can be good for you: Advice U-turn after years of telling us to cover up

According to the old song, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Yet the latest thinking is that maybe everyone should give it a try.

After years of urging us to cover up, a leading charity is expected to recommend short spells exposed to the sun at its highest.

The advice, from Cancer Research UK, reflects concern that current sunbathing recommendations are unnecessarily restrictive and are leading to low levels of vitamin D. Although the vitamin is found in some foods, most of that found in the body comes from sunlight exposure, and most of us just don't have enough of it. In England, half of the population is low in the 'sunshine vitamin' when winter ends, while in Scotland the proportion is two thirds.

As part of its remit to prevent skin cancer, the charity advises trying to stay out of the sun when it is at its peak and cover the skin with clothing and generous amounts of sunscreen. But a confidential statement being prepared by the charity acknowledges that the evidence about the benefits of vitamin D is growing.

The vitamin is vital for calcium absorption and bone health, and could help ward off Alzheimer's.

Recent research has shown that vitamin D supplements are as good as some drugs at keeping prostate cancer under control - and it is said that taking supplements in pregnancy and childhood could WIPE OUT 80% of multiple sclerosis cases!


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