How lack of sun can harm your health

Cómo la falta de sol puede perjudicar la salud

It has been proven that sunbathing improves our mood, gets us moving and, in general, helps us feel better. Sun exposure can have important positive effects on human health, such as regulating blood pressure, melatonin (the sleep hormone), and cholesterol metabolism.


Although the acquisition of vitamin D (which is crucial for health, since, among other things, it helps maintain healthy bone development) is definitely one of the most recognized benefits of solar radiation for the body (essential to combat osteoporosis , For example).


Lack of vitamin D, essential for healthy bones, teeth, muscles and the immune system, is the most obvious side effect of avoiding the sun. The skin produces between 80% and 90% of this vitamin thanks to ultraviolet light from solar radiation.


According to Katherine Garca, a member of the endocrinology and nutrition service at Hospital La Fe in Valencia, this vitamin is "important for mineralizing good bones." Vitamin D deficiency weakens bones and "can cause rickets in young people and osteomalacia in adults," according to research.


Both rickets and osteomalacia are conditions characterized by weakening of the bones, which are unable to absorb calcium due to a deficiency of vitamin D. This causes bone discomfort, especially in the hips, muscle weakness and recurrent bone fractures, often without blows or falls to initiate them.


Additionally, science has supported the importance of vitamin D for good dental health. Lack of vitamin D "is significantly related to oral disorders and has been associated with an increased risk of dental anomalies, cavities, periodontitis, and failure of oral therapies," according to a research review published last year.


Other health problems


Skin health is also significantly influenced by vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for the prevention and even treatment of conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, congenital ichthyosis and acne, among others, according to a article from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.


For its part, the World Cancer Research Foundation, one of the most recognized organizations in the field of cancer research, has discovered evidence that consuming enough vitamin D reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and protects against the most serious types of cancer. prostate cancer.


On the other hand, research published last year found that the absence of sun can also cause some fat cells in the deep layers of the skin to act strangely. The probability of suffering from metabolic syndrome would increase as a result of this inappropriate behavior.


In turn, metabolic syndrome is a set of risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Excess blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), and abdominal obesity are some of these causes.


Finally, it is important to consider the impact of the sun on mental and emotional well-being. The "happy hormone" serotonin is a neurotransmitter that produces more serotonin when exposed to natural light. Its absence can lead to increased levels of stress, worry and despair.


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