Midday sun holds the key to good health
Scientists at The University of Manchester have today unveiled new research which claims that going out in the midday sun, without sunscreen, is good for you.
The research, led by ultra-violet radiation expert Ann Webb, supports claims that exposing unprotected skin to the sun for short periods helps the body to produce essential Vitamin D.
Dr Webb has produced new figures which not only predict when is the best time to expose unprotected skin to the sun in order to maximise Vitamin D production, but also for how long – depending on location. She has calculated that ‘ten to fifteen minutes* at noon’ is the optimum time for the average person in the UK to spend in the sun without the use of sunscreen.
“Our calculations have found that the best time to be out in the sun if you want to maximise Vitamin D production and its benefits is midday. This is when the sun is highest in the sky and this is when there is more UVB radiation in the spectrum which triggers Vitamin D production in the skin,” says Dr Webb.
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphate from food and is essential in the formation of bones and teeth. A deficiency of Vitamin D leads to a failure of the bones to grow and causes rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Recent research also suggests that Vitamin D can help reduce the risks of colon, breast and prostate cancer.
Dr Webb, says: “The two sources of Vitamin D are through your skin or through foods like sardines (fatty fish), but because our everyday diet isn’t very rich in the vitamin it is essential that we get it from the sun”.
“You do not need to sunbathe to get your Vitamin D and we are not advocating people do not protect themselves with sunscreen, but if you put sunscreen on before you step out of the house you will not reap any health benefits provided naturally by the sun. After a short period of unprotected exposure you should cover up or put on sunscreen to avoid sunburn.”
The research, which has been carried out in conjunction with experts at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, uses computer simulations based on global UV data to calculate optimum times for Vitamin D production based on season, time and latitude. The programme can be run for any time of day and can calculate optimum exposure times for any location in the UK or abroad.
*Figures for optimum Vitamin D sun exposure this Bank Holiday weekend:
Edinburgh – 11 minutes
Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool – 10 minutes
London – 9 minutes
Devon and Cornwall – 9 minutes
Marseille – 7 minutes
Madrid – 7 minutes
Athens – 6.5 minutes
(Figures based on full sun exposure at midday on Bank Holiday Monday (May 30th) with a cloudless sky for a fair-skinned person wearing t-shirt and shorts or skirt. People who tan easily would need to spend slightly longer in the sun, and naturally pigmented people require even more sun exposure.)
Simon Hunter | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...