A few weeks ago I was at a conference in Tucson, Arizona. Two things really surprised me while I was there. First, quite a few people ordered egg-white omelets for breakfast. Huh? Didn’t they get the memo that dietary cholesterol doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease, or even raise blood cholesterol levels? Egg-white omelets are so 1995!
Second, I noticed that a number of people were slathering themselves with sunscreen and wearing long sleeve and pants or wide-brimmed hats every time they stepped out the door in order to avoid the sun.
This kind of “sun phobia” is the unfortunate—but inevitable—result of national guidelines in many countries over the past 30–40 years advising strict restriction of sun exposure.
Too much sun exposure isn’t a good thing, but not enough may be even worse. Read this to find out why.
These guidelines were based on the observation that light-skinned people of European ancestry living in Northern Australia had the highest risk of malignant melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer, in the world. However, as you’ll see below, applying guidelines that were originally developed for people living in an area with a high ultraviolet (UV) index, such as Northern Australia, to areas with limited sunshine and a much lower UV index (such as many parts of North America and Europe) is not only unnecessary, it may be harmful.
Not Enough Sun Exposure May Be Just as Harmful as Too Much
What’s more, they found that women with normal sun exposure habits were not at significantly increased risk for malignant melanoma or melanoma-related death. (1) This is consistent with the results of a previous Swedish study that followed 38,000 women for 15 years and found that sun exposure was associated with reduced risk of both cardiovascular and overall death. (2)
I’d like to emphasize that these studies are observational in nature, and thus do not prove causality. It’s possible that the women who got more sun had healthier diets and lifestyles than those who avoided the sun, and those factors led to the lower mortality, rather than the sun exposure.
However, it’s also possible—and probable, in my opinion—that completely avoiding does increase the risk of death. There are several possible mechanisms that explain why:
One of the primary benefits of sunlight is its ability to stimulate vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency is a major predisposing factor in at least 17 varieties of cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, birth defects, infectious disease and more. (3) It’s not a stretch, therefore, to imagine that women who avoid the sun have lower vitamin D levels (especially in areas with limited sun, like Sweden) and thus a higher risk of death.
Scientists observed a connection between sunlight and cardiovascular disease as far back as the 1970s, when clinical trials on hypertension showed that blood pressure was consistently lower in summer than winter. (4) Later studies showed that the both the prevalence of hypertension and average blood pressure is directly correlated with latitude; in other words, those living at northern and southern latitudes (with less sunlight) had more hypertension and higher average blood pressure, while those living closer to the equator had less hypertension and lower average blood pressure. (5)
Clinical experiments have also provided direct evidence that ultraviolet light reduces blood pressure. In one study, researchers exposed one group of people to lamps that gave off ultraviolet light as well as heat, and another group to lamps that only gave off heat. In the group that received both heat and ultraviolet light, blood pressure dropped significantly after just one hour of exposure. (6)
For example, a drop of 20 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (blood pressure is expressed as a fraction, i.e. 120/80, and “systolic” refers to the number on the top) leads to a two-fold reduction in the overall risk of death in both men and women between the ages of 40 and 69. (7)
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Sunlight may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease—and by extension, the risk of death—by putting the brakes on inflammation. (8) These beneficial effects of sunlight are likely to extend to other organs and tissues as well, since both blood pressure and inflammation have widespread effects in the body.
Another effect of sunlight that isn’t mediated by vitamin D is its ability to regulate immune function. Studies have shown that the the more hours of sun there are where you were born, the lower the risk you’ll develop multiple sclerosis. (9)
Exposure to sunlight may improve endocrine function, elevate mood (via its effects on certain brain chemicals like serotonin) and increase DNA repair capacity, all of which could conceivably extend lifespan. (11)
The “Goldilocks” Effect: How Much Sun Exposure Is “Just Right”?
With all of this in mind, how much sun exposure is “just right”? How can we minimize our risk of skin cancer while optimizing vitamin D levels and getting the additional cardiovascular and immune benefits of sunlight?
Just follow these guidelines for you and your family members:
- If you have fair skin, aim for spending about half the amount of time in the sun that it takes for your skin to turn pink (without sunscreen) two to three days a week. This could be as little as 10 minutes for those with very fair skin. If you have dark skin, you may need up to two hours per day to generate the same amount of vitamin D (which is why supplementation may be necessary for those with darker skin).
- Never burn yourself in the sun. Cover yourself with light clothing, wear a hat, shade yourself with an umbrella, tree or canopy, wear sunglasses, and/or use a safe sunscreen to prevent sunburn if you’re going to be exposed to sunlight for a prolonged period. (But see the section below for important information about sunscreen.)
- Pay attention to the time of day, latitude and season. This probably goes without saying, but you need less sun exposure at mid-day during the summer on the equator to generate a given amount of vitamin D than in the late afternoon during the winter in New York City. Vary your exposure accordingly.
- Infants under 6 months old don’t have much of the protective pigment (melanin) in their skin. It’s best to avoid direct sun exposure at mid-day, use protective clothing and a hat, and limit exposure to the morning or late afternoon hours. Infants may be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of some sunscreen ingredients, so use clothing or shade when possible.
Sun protection is important if you plan to be out in the sun for a long enough time to get burned, but most sunscreens on the market are not beneficial or even safe. Stephan Guyenet explains on his blog how typical sunscreen fails to prevent melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Most commercial sunscreens have a slew of chemical ingredients such as fragrances, parabens, alcohols, chemical solvents and petroleum oils that break down when exposed to sunlight.
Unfortunately, even natural sunscreen materials like zinc oxide could be problematic. (12)
Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself from melanoma—while ensuring you still get the benefits of sun exposure—is to tan gradually, without burning.
It’s entirely possible that public health recommendations that significantly restrict sun exposure may be doing more harm than good in regions with limited sunshine and a low UV index, such as many parts of Europe, the UK, and North America. Yet many people are unaware that the advice they’ve been given about avoiding sun exposure doesn’t reflect the current scientific evidence on this topic.
This reminds me of the situation we’re in with dietary fat and cholesterol. The mainstream media and medical establishment spent decades scaring us away from egg yolks, cheese, meat, and other high-fat, high-cholesterol foods. The result of this advice was an increase in the consumption of highly refined carbohydrates—which, ironically, contributes to the epidemics of metabolic and cardiovascular disease that fat and cholesterol restriction was supposed to address.
As I mentioned in a recent podcast, the current evidence suggests that (on average) dietary cholesterol and saturated fat do not affect blood cholesterol levels or increase the risk of heart disease. Yet I think it’s safe to say that most people still perceive a breakfast of cold cereal, toast, and OJ to be “healthier” than bacon and eggs. It took years to convince people that natural fats found in real foods are bad for them, and unfortunately it’s probably going to take years to relieve them of the burden of that misunderstanding.
I’m afraid the same will be true for sun exposure. I often see parents putting sunscreen on their kids as soon as they step out the door, or adults that wear long sleeves and big hats whenever they go outside. Current research doesn’t support this, but I think it’s going to take a while for the public policy to change and the message to get out. (Though you can help speed that along by sharing this article with people you know that are still sun-phobic.)
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Very interesting post, after so much reading something new.
I totally agree with your thinking. Deaths by cardiovascular diseases are much higher than skin cancer.
Very useful post.
thought I would share this interesting article about astaxanthin check into it learn more about it and how your skin is so related to you nutrition just my thoughts. I believe that the dear Lord put the Sun in the sky for a purpose. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/10/cysewki-discloses-astaxanthin-benefits.aspx
I have always tanned well and love the sun in WNY & Ontario, CA. I’m 48 and for the first time, had a spring time reaction to the sun where I broke out in rash/hives when in sun until mid-July when symptoms stopped. Internet research leads me to believe it is PMLE, Polymorphous light eruption. Not a ton of useful information out there on this as far as the cause and natural treatment. My diet is pretty good – lots of whole and organic foods, very little processed. Hoping someone out there knows more? Thanks!
I had a similar experience years ago when I did not have enough good fat in my diet. I added coconut oil both orally and on my skin. No longer have an issue with the sun.
Thanks for the info. I have been using coconut oil everyday on my skin for at least 2 years. I also cook with it often but do not ingest it otherwise – I’ll give it a try. I also no longer use commercial skin care products – most of my lotions and potions are made with pure essential oils and organic carrier oils, such as coconut and jojoba. This just baffles me….
I practice acupuncture with nutrition in Seattle, a city without sun for half the year and high rates of cancer. I agree with Dr. Jeff Matheson, but I would like to offer more information. With Nutrition Response Testing(sm), my colleagues and I have experience preventing sunburn using Standard Process Calcium, usually Calcium Lactate and Cataplex F Pearles or Tabs. Some people test for other fats like fish oils. The body needs calcium in the skin to keep from burning. We burn when we do not have the right fats to aid the transportation of calcium from the bloodstream into the SKIN. Vitamin D draws calcium from tissues (like skin and blood), into the bones. The fats help draw additional calcium from your diet back to the skin.
People don’t always need the same calcium and fatty acid food supplements. Like food, your needs change when your activities and what you eat change. I have sensitive skin that will burn if I do not have enough calcium or fats for the amount of sun/vitamin D I am exposed to. I spent two days in a kayak a few weeks ago and my face turned into a burnt tomato because, in addition to not using sunscreen, I did not take the Calcium Lactate and Nordic Naturals Pro Omega fish oil I needed ahead of time. But afterward I began taking those two nutritional supplements, and “miraculously” I did not peel. I developed pin-sized scab on my nose and lower lip which healed quickly. Nineteen days after the burn-day my naturopathic aesthetician noticed thicker skin on my forehead, but no sun damage. Vitamin C serum I apply almost daily will help as well.
Very interesting information, Miranda – thank you. I do take a fish oil as well as eat fish a few times a week. I was told that my calcium levels are fine but that was some time ago. I am not sure if what you are explaining regarding burning in the sun without the needed calcium is the same as the reactions I experienced this past spring. I don’t burn – I have very few times in my life (mostly when younger). I normally tan quickly without even trying. What happened from April until mid-July was a hive-rash on the left side of my chest, neck and face if I was in the direct sun for any length of time. Even if just my feet were in the sun, my neck and chest would start to itch. The rash lasted 5 days and itched for longer under the skin. Once all symptoms subsided as summer went on – I went right back to my tanning self with no issues. I am hoping next spring to avoid this somehow. What I read on PMLE doesn’t provide any great ideas so hoping someone has info that clicks. Do you think the calcium helps this type of problem too?
Yes Carrie, I believe the hives would be an indicator that you need calcium and essential fats. My Dad burned through a turtle neck under which he’d applied sunscreen, and my sister got hives. I had sensitive skin too, but have learned that it’s just a sign of nutritional deficiencies.
Any professional who does Nutrition Response Testing(sm) will be able to identify what you need. You might need a “pre-digested” fat if you aren’t processing fats too well, or maybe a digestive enzyme (or two) that helps you process fat and calcium. The reason Nutrition Response Testing professionals use kinesiology (non-invasive muscle testing), is because it helps us – affordably – design your nutrition program in our offices. You take the necessary supplements a week before you go in the sun. When you come back to the office, we check again, and often, if your sun dose went up, your fat/calcium requirement will go up too. You get & stay on the higher dose as long as you plan on spending that much time in the sun.
Thank you again, Miranda! I’m seeing a kinesiologist and have an appointment in a week. I will talk to her about all of this…..
Great to hear, Carrie. So the most commonly tested supplements for preventing sunburn (and probably hives) are produced by Standard Process: Calcium Lactate and Cataplex F pearles, but amongst my Seattle colleague and myself, our people test better for Cataplex F tabs which contain iodine. Standard Process is only supposed to be sold by licensed professionals.
The number of comments on this thread is a bit overwhelming but good to see this topic has stirred such interest. As a physician, I’ve been telling patients about the dangers of sunscreen for about the last 4 years and I realize that the processed oils in our diet has fundamentally changed our cell membranes, leading to all the problems mentioned above, including cancer, heart disease, depression, rise in chronic illnesses, inability to recover from trauma, concussions. The list goes on. When the underlying problem gets corrected, it’s amazing how well the body recovers. Our DNA is amazing for giving us the tools that allow us to adapt to the bombardment of insults that we currently exposed ourselves to, but processing and genetic modification of our food supply has to stop. It’s killing us all.
I live in Tennessee and start my sun exposure early in the year. Every day I have to walk my four dogs so i do it without sleeves and in shorts for a minimum of 10-20 minutes each day in the morning. I also work in the garden and can see how gradual sun works for me. I rarely use sunscreen unless I am going to be at the beach. My vitamin D levels have stayed normal for the most part since cleaning up my food and getting more sun.
Great post, Chris. The sun is so critical to health, don’t BLOCK it!
I grew up in Florida….many hours in the sun….English ancestry but olive complexion… I can count on one hand the times I overdid sun exposure….never blistered. My skin gets very dark quickly without burning. I rarely sunbath(sometimes sitting with friends in conversation with intermittent swim breaks)…rather always active outdoors…swimming, surfing, biking, hiking, gardening.
I only use sunscreen occasionally during midday of all day sun exposure. Continual sunscreen use results in rashes. I have lived in Colorado now for 30 years. A friend made me some sunscreen with zinc in base of healthy moisturizers and now I use that on those heavy sun exposure days. I have an appt yearly with a dermatologist. When she asks me if I use sunscreen and reapply it regularly….I lie and say yes. I am curious of thoughts in response to this. Oh I am 63.
Great piece and I agree entirely. Two questions:
1. What do you think about using a tanning bed? Appropriately of course.
2. What is the definition of “burned” – or too much sun exposure for a given period of time?
I totally agree with your points. Deaths by cardiovascular diseases are much higher than skin cancer. But one should always always use sunscreen on their face and neck if that person desires a younger appearance when they are older. Also the study about zinc oxide is shape and size specific. Most companies use micro-sized and polymer coated zinc oxide in sunscreens, so I doubt it will have any negative impacts on the skin.
Thank you chris for this article. For long time I was wondering if that all avoid sun thins is real. I agree with you that it does more harm then good to our society today.
I can’t believe anybody would endorse tanning beds! eeek…. Now THAT is so 1995..more like 85…if you are simply looking to get vitamin D, please do so from a food source like so many others suggested. ..Tanning beds are a fantastic way to cause premature aging and damage your skin. Of course Fred or Dr. Mercola aren’t going to tell you that because that’s how they make their money! I suggest you go to a source of studies like Pub Med that don’t have an agenda. l’ve lived in FL and CA my entire life, and bet your arse that there is a reason to limit your UV exposure! At 31 many people I know have already had basal cell carcinomas removed and I even lost a friend to melanoma. If your going outdoors, where sunscreen! Period. From my personal rifling through loads of conflicting research and politics, from what I can see, non nano zinc and mexoryl are winners in the sunscreen race, as well as wearing a hat and purchasing clothes with spf. And for the love of God, tanning beds?! REALLY?! And be aware of your lifestyle, including diet, and genetics. This was such a disappointing, simplified article…please don’t knock people for covering up, you don’t know what’s going on in their personal life- family history, previous exposure to harmful radiation etc. etc…and telling people not to worry about sun exposure is insanity. Even in cold climates there is a good chance that you have less natural defenses of melatonin in your body and as Marco mentioned, often these areas are closer to the sun, so the damage can go unnoticed due to the cold while it’s happening faster… Don’t follow every trendy whim or study or suggestion from a random blogger – especially with advertisements adoring the website, be aware of laws that are changing within the industry so that you can determine if you’re being marketed to, or given real, legitimate information. many studies are generated with an outcome already in mind. Skin cancer is real, it’s not a myth, and neither are cellular damage or premature aging. While the author may not be wrong in suggesting that people may have issues from not getting enough vitamin d, the answer isn’t necessarily UV rays and doesn’t take away the fact that many people are over exposed at the same time. . Skin cancer is one of the few cancers you can actually prevent! Be sun smart!
You have fallen into the same mindset that Chris was talking about in the article. Do any of you naysayers even try to think beyond your forgone conclusions? Even with substantial evidence refuting your concerns? Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic. Skin cancer is not. The harm from the former will outstrip that of that latter many many times over. The vast majority of the world’s population are not fair skinned nor do they have access to cod livers so the BEST advice for them is to get plenty of sun (without burning of course) to make sure they have ample D3. For the fair skinned folks (which is a low single digit number world wide), yes, use more caution with sun exposure. But these grand sweeping generalizations are dangerous to mindlessly throw around. Fortunately none of the less well off people in Africa and Asia will ever worry themselves with all this sun paranoia garbage and be better off because of it.
All I have to say, is that comparison is the devil’s sword. You can’t compare people here to people in Africa or Asia. First of all, I’m white. My ancestry is 100% different than that of any human being done in these areas. You are largely neglecting ancestry and exposure to other elements as well as lifestyle. And genetically speaking, these people have been native to that area for as long as you personally feel humans have existed, so their bodies are made to live off of that land. I’ve been to places like Nicaragua, and while the people may not have skin cancer because they are BROWN, they DO NOT go out in the sun mid day!! You will not see a soul on the street during peak hours in any latin country near the equator, which can be from 10am to 4pm! Workers and people waiting for buses etc. are wearing hats wearing hats, long sleeves, totally covered, clustered under trees. I am not going to argue that people are vitamin d3 deficient. But studies should be taken at face value, because while i respect the research, it is often not complex enough to take and apply to a vast a majority of individuals, with completely different genetic makeup, lifestyle, and geographic residence. What works for one person does not always work for the next person. Research is subjective, especially when it is SO new, and valid until proven otherwise, which is usually is, with a constantly changing world that we live in. While Pam and her English ancestry, but noted OLIVE skin (sounds like some other genetics are being expressed here rather than your English counterparts), rarely used sunscreen and is 63 and just fine, it would be stupid for me and my fair skin to think I could follow the same regimen. Oh dear, and Pam I hope this isn’t true, but what if something pops up when you’re 70?? Although I’d definitely say hats off to you, because that would still be incredible! 🙂 But, you lived in a different era with the food industry and environment, so again, Pam’s story is great, but not applicable for today. For every example you can find to support something, usually there exists a case study that will prove you wrong. For those of us that have already been over exposed, and are extremely health conscious, sunscreen and caution are the only things that will prevent me from burning in an 8 hours session in the water in Southern CA. General advice is just that- it’s general and applicable to a small, select group of people that could come remotely close to being similar to the folks in these studies. For those of us that are outdoor enthusiasts with a healthy diet, from what I’ve seen is that people who didn’t wear sunscreen are getting skin cancer. That’s pretty simple and has nothing to do with Vitamin D3 or building up natural defense. It’s prolonged exposure. I just believe that when people have a lot of power in what they say, they need give advice responsibly when concerning the health of the many people that are being reached via this this website. Broad statements are very dangerous and often inaccurate to each individual. I appreciate all of the thoughtful comments and research out there being shared regarding health, and I hope that readers are cautious when interpreting and disseminating all of the information out there for themselves, and realizing that we, in the end, are all very, very unique, and there is no concrete answer out there.
“…in the end, are all very, very unique, and there is no concrete answer out there.”
Right On! (How’s that for 1985?)
So maybe you should take your own advice and stop your lengthy ranting. 🙂
More research has come out since this article was posted and all of it indicates more sun exposure lowers risk of all cause mortality and even lowers the risk of dying from melanoma. The researchers were not expecting this result. Not enough sun is now equated with smoking a pack a day. I am 54 and nearly never use sunscreen and use tanning beds. My skin looks great, I am nearly always mistaken for being much younger. Eating lots of greens is skin protective as is not eating sugar. I live too far north to make it through winter without artificial tanning. I get very depressed without it.
You are directly contradicting the recommendations of leading dermatologists, who have proven that for many people, prolonged sun exposure leads to an increase in the likelihood of developing melanoma. Let me remind you, sir – you are not a doctor. You are an acupuncturist. Please stop pretending to be one on the internet.
Folks, please, please, please research everything this charlatan says before believing him.
Yeah, too bad the ‘leading dermatologists’ are stuck in their little career box of staring at moles and having little inclination for health overall where D3 plays a major role.
You stick with your skin doctors, I will side with the top vitamin D researchers who ALL say to get sun exposure (in a responsible fashion) if possible, not to mention that skin cancer was never an issue in any culture in any part of the world until recent times despite HEAVY sun exposure for many of them (sun up to sun down for agrarians). All cancers have exploded in occurrence. The problem isn’t UVs, it’s modern living.
It’s truly embarrassing to see people still playing the authority card in this day and age. Degrees mean less and less these days, and if anything, just pigeonhole thought. I commend Chris Kresser for having the courage to take a holistic approach, which, by the way, is the future of medicine. All these specialized MDs run around in circles while the general health further deteriorates. That is not a coincidence. Blame the sun all you want, but skin issues all still a BODY issue and problems will arise because of a BODY problem. It’s all connected. The sooner you realize that the sooner you might stop being a close minded arrogant fool ragging on a talented honest individual like Chris Kresser.
Thank you. I was not going to speak out with Bill, but you encouraged me. I was a Cornell U grad Bio/pre-med, and when the time came to take the MCATS, I decided to bypass them and go on to acupuncture school because no MD had ever helped me with shin splints, moods, stomach troubles, or preventing more thyroid troubles. I test things on myself, and I feel better when I get out into the sun without sunscreen. Had I not read some “charlatan’s” article, I might stay indoors and get depressed more. My sister believes quackwatch and thus denies the benefits of (Weston Price) animal products from sun-exposed animals. Again, how many people don’t need braces on their teeth in the USA? The US doctors have got to learn what real prevention – for the whole body – means or they’re complicit in making us the sickest, fattest nation on earth.
Regarding your sister … It’s sad when members of one’s own family embrace the – ignorance is bliss – mindset. It’s harder when the people are closer to us.
I use quackwatch as a guide to see what to look into. You just gotta read between the lines.
Most US doctors simply don’t care. They march in lock step with the state. You are right – they are complicit. Many are sociopaths.
It is just a job for many or a way to generate income. Many of the most talented and caring doctors who did care over the decades have been persecuted by the state medical boards. Many have lost their licenses even without a complaint. One doctor lost her license because she opposed vaccines.
Quackwatch is a complete joke and a contradiction in terms. It’s nothing but an AMA and Big Pharma funded smear machine that endlessly talks trash about anything out of step with their current dogma.
Oh… Cannot read any further than initial comments Chris!
Why do some authors do that? Making out that some people are idiots or just plain ignorant?
If they want to wear floppy hats and long sleeve shirts for comfort in the sun, what’s wrong with that? ( uv rays are still getting through the clothing.)
If they’ve been enjoying egg white omelettes since 1995, let them eat them til the cows come home!!!
You should have kept reading. Chris recommends wearing floppy hats and long sleeve shirts and not over exposing. Also, the 1995 reference is to the period that cholesterol was touted as a major implication for heart disease which has since not proven to be true, so that is why requesting an egg white omelet is so 1995. The yolk of the egg is nutrient dense, so if you just eat the egg white you are receiving just protein and none of the benefits of the egg yolk.
What about UVC ? There are UVC lamps that claim to give your dose of vitamin d in a quarter of time that UVB lamps do…
Greetings from Sweden! I have a really interesting comment for you Chris which i would be very very glad if you responded to! Acc. to a study you referenced, mitochondrial dna damage and collagen damage will occur using EITHER large molecule zinc (non-nano) and nano-zinc <100 nm.
Is not wearing homemade sunscreen with unrefined coconut oil, squalene oil and non-nano Zinc mixed together, BETTER than having naked skin absorbing 100% UVA rays all day long?
Listen to this: There were a study conducted in the US i believe, that concluded that the IR-rays from the ozon layer, is far worse than UVA. Having no antioxidants on the skin (like Squalene oil, pomegranate oil, raspberry oil etc.) than you would be far worse esthetically than if you were to wear the oils. So not only a need for antioxidant oils against IR-rays, but also Zinc against UVA, is talked about these days. But who's talk should a layman trust?
I mean, the swedish winters when the Sun is far more close to the earth, is generating A LOT MORE UVA rays and i guess a 100% SPF SCARF or Hat or protective clothing wont work if i buy these from high-rep companies, as UVA is reflected by different lights and objects, and thus generated 40x stronger than traditional UVA light….
So on this basis Chris, wouldn't you be really scared NOT wearing Zinc??
People bathe too much these days and that removes protective skin oils. Applying a natural skin oil like you mention is probably a good idea.
Yeah. I recommend Squalene and Red palm oil (not from rainforest) but from Aman prana, in colombia to restore youth oxygen and internal SPF levels. Also a protocoll of intermittent fasting and perhaps to try R-lipoic acid and ALC for a short time, to repair damaged mitochondrial. But i think the best advice is to wear protective 100+ SPF clothes like SCARFS and HATS during autumn and winter especially, when the sun is so close to the earth, and reflected sometimes by local objects/lights, to generate 40x more uva-rays to your skin and damage collagen in theorie studies.
I think coconut oil as skin oil, and red palm oil and squalene internally, with protective SPF clothes, will to the trick to both externally and internally, maximise an SPF naturally. I would so love to hear of Chris explaining if the studies were about non-nano zinc or nano-zinc. A personal anecdot: I have been out +8 hours a day for +13 years i think, as a 22 year old nowadays, student. I am amazed that i managed to repair youth collagen levels with raising IGF-1, but minimizing cortisol, and processed foods/oils, and going very natural with alternate days lowering IGF-1 with intermittent fasting for autoghapy – repairing neural kognition and mitochondrial damage from UVA-rays… I am amazed that i am just a bit bloated by expectations of dreams, mental theory based stress… I am a tad behind in science subjects than my friend and i feel so dumb when comparing, but everyone have had their upraising by parents, which i have to objectify and see as something i had no control over. But to the subject: I have very good collagen now after reading for 2 years about health so sun damage is definietly reversible. I will try a protocol with R.lipoic acid and ALC for a few months to repair dna damaged mitochondria as i yet, dont have the collagen levels of a younger me which i theoretically should have due to i eat so healthy. But the stress and already existing dna damage is blocking that i think (glykation end products – A.G.E – so loosing up this chemical bonds and repairing cells with real immune tree colostrum is also a definitive suggestion for you guys worrying about sun damage. Kind regards, marco