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EUROPEAN SUNLIGHT ASSOCIATION
04/30/09

EVIDENCE SAYS AFRICAN AMERICANS NEED MORE SUN:

Lack of Sunshine Appears to Be Shortening Black Lives.

For several months the National Black News Journal has been reporting on a growing body of research suggesting that continual warnings about staying out the sun for fear of developing skin cancer have been overplayed, especially as far as African Americans are concerned.

Indeed, it appears that Blacks actually need greater exposure to the sun and the vitamin D it produces in order to better combat a host of health problems.

As far back as 2004, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 97 percent of American Blacks were not getting enough vitamin D for optimum health.

This compares to 90 percent of Hispanics and 71 percent of whites. In other words, virtually all Americans need to get greater exposure to the sun and/or consume more vitamin D. But the need appears to be greatest among people of African ancestry.

Several publications have begun to report on this fact. Last week, for example, USA Today quoted leading vitamin D researcher Michael Holick of Boston University as saying, ?We think it [lack of adequate exposure to the sun] is why African Americans develop more prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer and get more aggressive forms of other cancers.?

Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that the sun and the vitamin D the body produces when exposed to it not only helps to build bones but may also lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and several other ailments. Authorities differ, but many believe we should all get at least 15 minutes of exposure to the sun (without a sun screen) each day.

Source: "Taylor Media Services" adapted from European Sunlight Association
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