Is sunscreen actually DANGEROUS?
Vitamin D is crucial, and we may not get enough of it with sunblock
Alex Reid here with your Monday roundup.
Today we have another dramatic example of a health "fact" from our childhood being called into question.
The use of sunscreen.
It turns out direct exposure to the sun is a crucial part of our wellbeing, and supplementing with vitamin D may not be nearly enough to overcome a modern life spent mostly indoors.
But when researchers exposed people to just 30 minutes of direct sunlight without sunscreen:
Their nitric oxide levels went up and their blood pressure went down.
Because of its connection to heart disease and strokes, blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death and disease in the world, and the reduction was of a magnitude large enough to prevent millions of deaths on a global level.
So sunblock could be preventing you from receiving enough of this blood pressure-reducing vitamin D, not to mention the potential problems of covering your skin with the preservatives and synthetic chemicals found in many sunblocks.
For more, check out this detailed report from Outside magazine.
This is far from the only example of simple natural solutions to mounting health problems. In fact, it's a theme our research points to again and again.
Just look at this other recent story, being reported on by New Scientist magazine:
A hormone released during exercise might protect against Alzheimer's.
Sure enough, in the madcap rush for billion-dollar drugs, we may have lost one of the most effective ways to fight brain disease:
And thanks to this new research, we now have a biological mechanism to support this conclusion. It has to do with a compound called "irisin" that is released when you exercise.
Irisin is a hormone generated by muscle tissue that is carried around the body in the bloodstream.
Fernana de Felice at the Federal University of Rio de Janerio and colleagues found that people with Alzheimer’s had lower levels of the hormone compared with healthy individuals.
It makes perfect sense when you consider your brain is simply part of your body. Mental health IS physical health, and vice versa.
That full article is right here.
And finally, another story we track closely is the ongoing research into psychedelics. It looks like psilocybin, popularly known as "magic mushrooms," is getting much closer to legalization.
Research from Johns Hopkins, NYU, and other prestigious institutions is giving respectability to this once-taboo substance.
You can find more on this story from Esquire, but if you want a REALLY deep dive into psychedelics and health, you can check out science journalist Michael Pollan's recent book, How to Change Your Mind.
It's a compelling read! The book goes from the early days of LSD research at Harvard in the ’60s to the decline under strict legal scrutiny and then to the quiet resurgence today.
To your health,
President, Longevity Insider HQ