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Science Proves That Avoiding Sunshine Doubles Your Risk of Death

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The merits of regular sun exposure for optimal health have been reiterated by one of the most comprehensive studies yet to look at the connection between vitamin D and early mortality. Researchers from Sweden, after compiling the results of a 20-year research project they started back in the early 1990s, found that avoiding natural sunlight, or slathering yourself with sunscreen every time you go outside, can actually double your risk of premature death.

The study out of the Karolinska Institute in Solna evaluated nearly 30,000 women over the course of two decades, tracking their outdoor behaviors in conjunction with rates of cancer and early mortality. During this time, the women were asked to fill out questionnaires at certain intervals indicating how often they went to tanning salons or spent time outside in direct sunlight without sunscreen.

At the end of the study period, a total of 2,545 women died, and many of these women had previously admitted to spending little or no time outdoors in the sun. On the flip side, women who regularly spent time in the sun, allowing their skin to absorb vitamin D from the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, had much lower rates of early death. Overall, women who avoided the sun were determined to have a doubled risk of dying early.

"The results of this study clearly showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group," stated lead study author Dr. Pelle Lindqvist about the findings. "Sun exposure advice which is very restrictive in countries with low solar intensity might in fact be harmful for women's health."     


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