Going back over time, and before the Agrarian period…say more than 10,000 years ago…our forbears spent nearly all their time outside. They were hunters and gatherers, literally! That meant ‘continually’ searching for food…which is an outdoor activity!..alert to protect from animals or even one’s own kind. In other words other humans! Life consisted of a multitude of disciplines we have ‘shelved’ in our so called advanced society of today. But not to digress…this is The Skinny On Sun! Even after agrarian, we spent most time outside! Our skin through DNA selection over eons has unique capacity to generate vitamin D. This helps prevention chronic disease causing ongoing inflammatory responses. Discussion is not simple; but part of equation hinges on this vitamin’s assistance in fight against infections.
There is a connection to actual gene ‘expression’ that can influence and assist the immune system to destroy both bacteria and virus. Thus The Skinny On Sun!
Personally, am fair skinned and Celtic origin, I sunburn quickly…have always jokingly called my skin “cheap skin” when compared to dark and naturally tanned bodies. This I coined in Australia under their wilting sun. Paradoxically, there predominately fair skinned inhabitants, who originally, primarily emigrated from northern countries. It’s jealousy, because I cannot tolerate sun without a lot of preconditioning. But now, paradoxically, it seems that adults who have increased skin pigmentation…for instance, those with heritage from Africa, the Middle East or India…or, like me, who traditionally always wore sun protection, all seem vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency. It seems that an astronomic 85% of our North American population, with the number even higher for senior citizens, are vitamin D deficient. Ironically, as part of this theme…dark pigmented skin, with our ‘new’ indoor lifestyle, may be an actual disadvantage. The skin is too efficient in filtering the sun over the short time outside. This was okay when dark skin persons were outdoors for hours and hours under the midday sun…but not…thanks Noel Coward…’mad dogs and Englishmen…!
Summary, finely balanced compromise…not too much, otherwise the risk of permanent damage…and future skin cancer…but just enough for naturally generated vitamin D that we need. All, because of that indelibly imprinted paleolithic heritage, that is part of our DNA. The Skinny On Sun!