Doc Talk #201 – Walking on Sunshine

Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about the benefits of sunlight in this show.

There aren’t many nutrients that we get from the mere action of light on the skin, but vitamin D is one – and it is a crucial for many body functions, including bone health among others (way in the back day, it was one of the few supplements we recommended).

A show about sunshine would not be complete without mention of one of our favourite public health campaigns ever! This had an impact even within a few years in reducing incidence of the most serious kind of skin cancer (melanoma) in Australia.

Lack of vitamin D has been associated with certain forms of cancer and other serious conditions including multiple sclerosis. Lack of vitamin D in seniors can also lead to reduced muscle strength and increased risk of falls.

Light (and sunlight) also have a big impact on mood and can help reduce the risk of depression. There is a direct link between melatonin (a hormone controlling our body clock and related to light) and serotonin (a very important chemical in depression and mood).

We concluded with some advice on how to make the most of sunlight whilst minimize the risk of adverse effects.

Photo by Zwaddi on Unsplash

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