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Biotech Science

Sunscreen Not So Good for You? 616

Posted by timothy
from the shibboleth-busters dept.
j-beda writes "Don't like sunscreen? Maybe that tan is good for you. It looks like people are rethinking the common wisdom of avoiding sun exposure... "research suggests that vitamin D might help prevent 30 deaths for each one caused by skin cancer". Maybe if Kurt Vonnegut ever does address MIT grads, he will say something else..."
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Sunscreen Not So Good for You?

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  • by Maavin (598439) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:37AM (#12983862)
    I'm a vampire, you insensitive clod !
    • by Anonymous Coward
      it's really cool, how the second post ist modded 'redundant'
    • by Shads (4567)
      You know in all honesty, for most geeks sunscreen is a moot point. Alot are as pasty as a vampire :P

      Although, I'd say most family age geeks get occasional sun. Shrug.

      I wonder if low spf (4/8) would block the production of vitamin d?
  • Common sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:37AM (#12983863) Homepage
    No sun -> little vitamin D production = bad.
    Some sun -> vitamin D production = good.
    Ridiculous amounts of sun -> high risk for cancer = bad.

    I didn't read the article, but most things are OK on modetate doses. Cholesterol, for example, is necessary for the body to function.

    Too much of any one thing is seldom a good idea.
    • Re:Common sense (Score:4, Informative)

      by dirty (13560) <`dirtymatt' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:55AM (#12983920)
      The study says you should get about 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a day. Sun screen is still good for you, and it's not an excuse to lay on the beach for hours tanning. Basically you just need to go for a short walk outside every day, which is good for you for other reasons, and you'll be ok.
      • Re:Common sense (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sique (173459) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:18AM (#12983990) Homepage
        No. The 15 mins is the "sun fun" dose. That's the one that is considered without any effect on the skin, and that's the one where the sun protection factor is calculated from (a protection factor of 10 means: 150 min is the sun fun dose if you wear a 10 sunscreen). It hasn't too much to do with the amount of Vitamin D3 production.
        • You assume that all people naturally can withstand 15 minutes. I burn after 5, and I live in Michigan.
          • by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:38AM (#12984053) Homepage
            You assume that all people naturally can withstand 15 minutes. I burn after 5, and I live in Michigan.

            All normal people can withstand 15 minutes. If you burn after five you're hypersensitive to the sun, and probably aware that you are.

            I'm lactose intolerant, and I know that even though milk is good for you it's not good for me. (Fortunately there's lactose-free milk nowadays.)

            Now, the proper way to comment on something like this:
            I burn after 5 minutes in the sun, YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!
      • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dashing Leech (688077) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:25AM (#12984013)
        "The study says you should get about 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a day."

        Not exactly. That's a quote on what "many scientists believe", not an outcome of the study(-ies). Other quotes from the article include that skin cancer has only been linked to chronic long-term suntanning, as in many hours per day over decades, and that "The skin can handle it, just like the liver can handle alcohol," suggesting that occasional multi-hour exposure to the sun (say a few times per month) might not be problematic at all. That being said, I don't think anybody would suggest enough exposure for sunburns is good.

        • Re:Common sense (Score:4, Insightful)

          by m4dm4n (888871) <madman@nofrance.info> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:39AM (#12984058) Homepage
          I would think its very much like drinking. 2 glasses of wine a day won't kill you, in fact any damage it does to your liver will be outweighted by the benifits (less stress). But if you only have 14 glasses of wine on saturday and never drink the rest of the week there is definitely going to be a negative effect.

          A little every day is best, a lot once in a while isn't good, but we can probably handle it, a lot once in a while but over an extended period of time will lead to problems.

          I would get spending 5 hours in the sun every saturday will definitely cause skin problems later in life. While 45 minutes a day will cause a lot less.
    • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) * on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:06AM (#12983952)
      Sure, if you're one of these idiots who falls asleep on a beach towel to get a tan (which, honestly, I've always found kind of disgusting looking), you should probably use sunscreen.

      But you certainly don't need sunscreen to cope with the 30 minutes you spend each day walking from your car to the office and back to the car again, and to and from lunch down the street and taking the garbage out when you get home at the end of the day.

      And yeah, I'll repeat that - tans are gross. Darker skin is attractive if it's natural. More pale tones are attractive, if they're natural. But some white chick trying to tan herself into J-Lo is just gross and looks... uncomfortable.
      • Re:Common sense (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Deeze (854182)
        I care nothing about the shallow ones that are all about vanity, but if you work outside you're going to have a tan, and likely be physically stronger also. I'm a female, I get tan by playing outside (yes, adults can play too). I like to swim, explore waterfalls and streams, fly stunt kites and RC planes and helicopters. I also have a house, so yardwork and gardening is a part of that. The daystar is not to be feared, but to be respected. My man is very fair skinned and works inside, but I do appreciate the
    • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Informative)

      by Painless Parker (897361) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @08:03AM (#12984151)
      It's also important to know your genetic predisposition. For example, if you have type I (very fair skin), getting skin cancer eventually at some point in your life is inevitable: all you need is to live long enough and get enough sun. The type of skin cancer you will get from such chronic UVB exposure is most likely a basal cell carcinoma (not fatal) and 30% of these occur on the nose. As another example, if you have the dysplastic nevus syndrome (DN), you'll will have a higher incidence of malignant melanoma. This type of cancer is related more to acute sunburn than chronic exposure and is much more deadly: if you detect them early they are 100% curable, too late and they are 0% curable. Have a nice summer!
  • Ah (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScribeOfTheNile (694546) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:37AM (#12983864) Homepage
    Ah, so not only tanning makes you look cool, it saves you from dying? Yet another great reason to give in to peer-pressure! o:)
  • Kurt Vonnegut (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:38AM (#12983868)
    It wasn't Kurt Vonnegut who made the "Wear Sunscreen" speech although it has often been attributed to him. It was actually a female columnist with a Chicago (I think) paper.
  • by bobbis.u (703273) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:39AM (#12983873)
    Is anyone else tired of all this dietary/health "science" telling you what you should and should not be eating, and what you should or should not be doing?

    It seems like you just need to use a modicum of common sense. Too much of anything is bad for you. The less "natural" and more refined a product is the less likely it is to be good for you. It is healthy to get outside and do some exercise every now and then.

    All this research seems to contradict itself every few years anyway. I suspect a lot of scientists misuse/misunderstand their own data, either to match their own preconceptions, or to make a headline grabbing story like this one.

    • by Threni (635302) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:00AM (#12983933)
      Science doesn't "tell you" anything. People do tests and discover results. Sometimes you get to hear about the results. Once upon a time it was discovered that invisible entities called "germs" were bad for you. That was considered nonsense at the time, but nethertheless doctors experimented with washing their hands before performing an operation and more people survived operations. Now we know about how unhealthy it is to eat too much food, especially fatty, salty or artificially processed food. You can ignore that if you like, but if you're care to quickly flick through some of the statistics available in, say, the US, you'll see just how many people die every day because of their poor choice of diet.

      It would appear that "science" still has much to "tell us" about what we should be doing. I'm not sure that "science" cares whether "it" grabs headlines or otherwise. Science, as a way of exploring the universe, will continue to be used long after we've stopped shovelling burgers down our fat, greedy necks!
      • by Sique (173459) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:27AM (#12984019) Homepage
        Now we know about how unhealthy it is to eat too much food, especially fatty, salty or artificially processed food.


        And even the old wisdom that a fatty diet is bad for you, gets challenged. It seems that your LDL/HDL Cholesterine ratio is not easily to change with a low fat diet at all (it seems to be more predetermined by your genetics), and the so called mediterran diet (with 40% of the food energy coming from fat) seems to cause the people to live longer than the usually recommended 30%-energy-from-fat diets.
        • And even the old wisdom that a fatty diet is bad for you, gets challenged...

          There are two parts to the claim.

          Part 1 is that a very high-fat, very high-sugar diet is bad for you. Eating McDonalds every day, basically, will do terrible things to your health. Period. This we know for a fact, and has been proven many, many times.

          Part 2 is that the details of the diet. Should we have any alcohol or none? What percentage of fats to carbs should we have? People make claims about these all of the time, a
      • Don't get my wrong - I am a firm believer in science and everything it has to offer. But I set the bar pretty high for what should be considered science, especially when it is controversial advice that could effect millions of people. I also hate the way theory is often presented as fact in the press.

        Many of the theories in this area (health/diet) can be shot down by remembering correlation is not causation. Some studies seem to take a sample of people and find some correlation between x and y and then le

    • by Zwets (645911) <jan.niestadt@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:22AM (#12984001) Homepage

      No, the main problem is the same as with Slashdot submitters and editors: sensationalism.

      Most researchers are careful about what claims they make. But 'journalists' come along and present their findings in a sensationalist and inaccurate manner in order to make the story appear more interesting.

    • I don't think it's the scientists that are the problem. It's the media and the attention whores that cause these sensationalistic headlines to appear. And it's not that health news isn't important, it's just that media, and media consumers have the attention spans of houseflies.

      If it's in the news, then it becomes the thing to do to ensure good health. Atkins, South Beach, Omega-3, Macrobiotic, Whole foods, Eggs good, eggs bad, alcohol good, alcohol bad, fat, non-fat, some fat, low-fat, trans-fat, satur
      • Here's some rules of thumb: workout a little each day, eat healthy foods until you are comfortably full, drink water, get enough sun to ensure that you are distinguishable from paper, but not enough such that your skin could be used to reupholster a leather couch, find some destressing activities, and get enough sleep.

        That's good advice, and not too far off from the generally accepted 5 "pillars" of healthy living: Eat healthy (5 balanced, small meals a day), drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, do so
        • Milk is "Vitamin D enriched" via the same process that creates it in your skin - it's irradiated. The same Vitamin D precursors found in your skin are also in the milk, and are converted to D via exposure to ultraviolet. So yes, you can get it from milk. It's also put in multivitamins.

          Sean
    • by Rich0 (548339) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:34AM (#12984044) Homepage
      The problem isn't science, but things that masquarade as science.

      Science is about repeatable controlled experiments that yield consistent results. Repeatable means that you need to understand what exactly is going on in your experimental setup so that somebody else can reproduce it. Controlled means you account for all variables and only vary one at a time.

      The problem is that doing all this correctly with people costs a LOT of money. So, instead we settle for sloppy studies that aren't well-controlled, then everybody starts talking about how useless science is when five people do the "same" study and come up with different conclusions. Some of the common flaws:

      The only really effective way to these kinds of tests on people is with placebo-controlled clinical trials. Take 2000 people, split them into a few groups which are as similar as possible in makeup, and make them all spend 15 minutes a day blindfolded in a tanning booth, and make them all take pills. Some groups don't actually get any UV, but the experience is simulated so that they don't realize this. Some groups do get the UV. Some groups get various vitamin D supplements (with or without vitamin A), and some groups get placebos. At least one group gets neither UV or a supplement. Then follow the group over 50 years and see what the results are. Such an experiment should be both conclusive and repeatable.

      Of course, most scientists want their results next year and have limited budgets, so they're not going to start a 50-year study that they won't even be alive to see the end of. Instead, they just look at random dead people and try to guess how much time they spent in the sun and what pills they have taken.

      Even modern drug clinical trials have all kinds of issues (clearly seen in recent high-profile drug recalls) - these trials are very carefully controlled trials subject to all kinds of review and which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to perform.

      So, the problem isn't a failure in science. The problem is that sometimes we aren't patient enough or resourceful enough to use science, and instead resort to something else and call it "science". Science isn't very practical when dealing with people - they live a long time, you can't just put them in cages, you have to pay them, and you can't do much in the way of manipulating them. Most real biological science uses other animals as a result (Need some subjects with cancer? Just breed them to be prone to it.)...
      • Science is about repeatable controlled experiments that yield consistent results. Repeatable means that you need to understand what exactly is going on in your experimental setup so that somebody else can reproduce it. Controlled means you account for all variables and only vary one at a time. The problem is that doing all this correctly with people costs a LOT of money.

        Not only. The problem is that given that any two people are different in a million ways that it's simple not possible.

        You can *never

    • "The less "natural" and more refined a product is the less likely it is to be good for you."

      Hey, you're right. I'm giving up my granola bar snack and going to eat dog shit instead. It's much more natural and less refined. If I can't find dog shit I might try a scoop of mud. OK, I'm carrying it too far. In reality I'll just eat more natural vegetables like rhubarb. It can't possibly be harmful [tamu.edu] to me because it's natural.

  • by Chris Oz (684680) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:41AM (#12983877)
    In Australia, we have much higher UV levels than you do in the northern hemisphere. Skin cancer is a real concern. I have several friends that have had cancerous growth removed while they were in their twenties. Certainly vitamin D deficiencies can be a problem, however this can easily fixed with very low exposure levels. If you ever visit Australia use sunscrean or become a lobster in 15 minutes.
    • In Australia, we have much higher UV levels than you do in the northern hemisphere

      Ain't that the truth!

      I've been to the UK and California (during the northern hemisphere mid-summer) and could not believe how hazy the sky was compared to Australia and NZ.

      I went from mid-winter here (NZ) to mid-summer in the northern hemisphere and (my then lilly-white body) didn't even get pink, despite spending several full days in the "blazing" sun.

      Down these parts (as the original poster said), you can get lobsteriz
    • by hyfe (641811) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:08AM (#12983965)
      On the same note; in Norway it doesn't matter much if you use sunscreen or not..

      .. the 5 layers of clothes you have to wear to stop from freezing to death usually block the sun quite nicely.

  • by alanxyzzy (666696) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:43AM (#12983883)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3226184.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Friday, 21 November, 2003, 10:27 GMT

    Sun 'protects against cancer'

    Staying out of the sun completely may increase your chances of developing cancer, say doctors.

    For years, experts have advised people to cover up in the sun to protect themselves from skin cancer.

    But a letter in this week's British Medical Journal warns people against taking this advice to the extreme.

    And Professor Cedric Garland's letter of November 2003 in the British Medical Journal: http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/327/74 25/1228-a [bmjjournals.com]
  • by Arthur B. (806360) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:44AM (#12983888)
    Actually, if you're thinking of getting some vitamin D by lying without sunscreen on the beach near the sea, you'de probably be much better of eating seafood ! Many fishes contain vitamin D, sardines, mackerels, salmon... + you don't get skin cancer.
  • Skin Cancer Kills (Score:5, Informative)

    by NerdENerd (660369) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:45AM (#12983893)
    I live in Queensland, Australia. Thousands of people a years die from skin cancer, in fact we have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Only stupid people go out in the sun exposed here. Most people in their 50s or older who spenmt their childhood in the sun before the skin cancer campains of the 70s have had skin cancers cut out.
  • by Beolach (518512) <(beolach) (at) (juno.com)> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:45AM (#12983894) Homepage Journal
    But put it on after you've been out in the sun for a few minutes, rather than before going out into the sun. Your body needs very little time exposed to UV-B light to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D. Far less time than it takes to get a tan (or in my case, a burn. I couldn't tan, even if I wanted to).
  • Not in Australia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skippy_kangaroo (850507) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:46AM (#12983895)
    From the article: So the thinking is this: Even if too much sun leads to skin cancer, which is rarely deadly, too little sun may be worse. ,p>I take issue with the statement that skin cancer is rarely deadly. Maybe all you pasty faced pommies and septics don't get enough sun to kill you but in Australia the sun can and does kill a lot of people every year [cancer.org.au].

    From personal experience I can also add that the sun in the Northern Hemisphere never seemed as hot or burning as the sun in Australia. I could walk around in the summer sun in Boston and barely get even a touch of colour. In Australia I would be burnt in less than an hour - probably quicker. Sun screen is very important in Australia as is a hat and a shirt.

    And finally, this article demonstrates the quest of reporters to beat up each marginal scientific discovery into something that it isn't just to get a good headline. With medical news this invariably creates all sorts of problems. The study found that Vitamin D can be beneficial for treating cancers but said absolutely nothing about the delivery mechanism. Getting your Vitamin D directly from the sun also means you get wonderful melanomas via UVA and UVB radiation. Sure, Vitamin D on its own is fine but the side effects of getting it directly from the sun are pretty severe.

    • Re:Not in Australia (Score:3, Informative)

      by notany (528696)
      Actually this discovery is quite important. Even some professionals are impressed [1]. It seems that lack of vitamin D causes lot's of problems in northen countries.

      Here in Finland we get very little sun in winter. Leder of National Institue of Health in Finland said last winter that it would be cheaper to pay one week middle winter vacation in Spain for all finns than pay for the treatment of disases that come from lack of vitamin D. That is big amount of money.

      [1] from the article:

      .. The talk so

    • Re:Not in Australia (Score:5, Informative)

      by djmurdoch (306849) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @08:08AM (#12984173)
      From personal experience I can also add that the sun in the Northern Hemisphere never seemed as hot or burning as the sun in Australia. I could walk around in the summer sun in Boston and barely get even a touch of colour. In Australia I would be burnt in less than an hour - probably quicker. Sun screen is very important in Australia as is a hat and a shirt.

      It's the latitude. Boston is around 42 N. Australia is mostly between 16 S (Cairns) and 34 S (Sydney). In the northern hemisphere, you should be comparing yourself to somewhere in Mexico or North Africa, not the northern USA.
    • As a Psoriasis sufferererer, I frequently use narrow band UVB light at home for treatments. I've also done regulard UVB in past years.

      There are studies that have gone on for over 30+ years that show Psoriasis patients who use UVB treatment frequently and responsibly do not show ANY increased risk of skin cancer when compared to the average person in day light sun.

      The study suggests that a frequent moderation of UVB (beneficial for those living with Psoriasis) is not only good for treating Psoriasis but al
  • by de Bois-Guilbert (807304) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:50AM (#12983907)
    ...leading scientist say that while drinking four to five glasses of water a day is quite healthy, walking around with the garden hose duct-taped to your mouth may cause serious harm.
  • by mikeplokta (223052) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:52AM (#12983914)
    There's also the psychological factor. Depression is common, and often fatal (not necessarily through suicide, but through self-neglect). Skin cancer is less common, and usually treatable. And sunbathing is good for depression, so might well save more lives than it costs on that basis, too.
  • Two Lessons (Score:5, Funny)

    by CleverNickedName (644160) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:54AM (#12983918) Journal
    If science has taught us anything it's that:
    1) Everything in moderation.
    2) Research causes cancer in lab-rats.
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @06:55AM (#12983921) Journal
    Ok im a little behind this year so correct me:

    Cell Phones: not dangerous
    Salmon: ok
    Sudan-1: bad
    Power lines: definately bad
    Condoms: dont have holes
    Beef: depends on country
    Sunscreen: bad?
    Lead piping: ok now?
    GM food: border-line
    Torture: 'acceptable in some situations'
    Violent video games: leads to violent people
    Flares: out
    Mullets: out
    Ironic Mullets: in but slipping
  • And not only does the extra vitamin D help prevent cancer, but just not putting a chemical-laden substance on your body also helps prevent cancer. While I'm sure there are some safe, quality sun screens you can get at the health food store, most of what people are pouring all over them and their kids contain harsh chemicals:

    http://www.mercola.com/2000/oct/15/sunscreen.htm [mercola.com]

    The main chemical used in sun lotions to filter out ultraviolet light may be TOXIC, particularly when exposed to sunshine.

    Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), which is present in 90 per cent of sunscreen brands, was found to kill mouse cells even at low doses in a study by Norwegian scientists.

    It is not certain that the effects on mice are repeated in human beings, although the findings reported in New Scientist magazine suggest that human cells could be damaged if a sunscreen containing OMC penetrates the outer layer of dead skin and comes into contact with living tissue.

    Terje Christensen, a biophysicist from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, near Oslo, said her research showed that sunscreens should be treated with caution, and used only when it was impractical to stay indoors or to shield the skin from the sun with clothes.

    The chemical is used as a filter for the more harmful UVB light. In Dr Christensen's study, mouse tissue grown in culture was treated with a solution of OMC at five parts per million - a much lower concentration than in sunscreens. Half the cells treated with OMC died, compared with fewer than 10 per cent in a control experiment.

    When researchers shone a lamp for two hours to simulate midday sunshine, more cells died. Dr Christensen suggested that the reaction between OMC and sunlight created an effect that was twice as toxic as the chemical alone.

    The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association, which represents sunscreen manufacturers in Britain, said that OMC "has been thoroughly tested for safety" and was approved by regulatory authorities in Europe and the US.

    Dr. Mercola's Comment:

    We ALL need sunshine to stay healthy. It is one of the essential ingredients for staying healthy. It is not the perniciously evil item that traditional medicine suggests that it is.

    That does not mean that we should all go out and get sunburned. That should be avoided as it is likely to lead to an increase in skin cancer. However, prudent exposure to the sun, integrating the listening to your body concept, will not.

    Adding sun screens is NOT a good way to limit your sun exposure. Staying out of the sun early on in the season and limiting your exposure until your system adjusts by increasing melanin pigmentation in your skin is.

    Additionally, consuming many whole vegetables will increase antioxidant levels in the body which will also provide protection against any sun induced radiation damage.

    So the bottom line is to avoid the sun screens. They are not necessary and will actually increase your risk of disease.

    Related Articles:

    Absorbing Titanium from Sunscreens

    Sunscreens Don't Prevent Melanoma


    • "In many [western] countries, peoples' diet changed substantially in the second half of the twentieth century, generally with increases in consumption of meat, dairy products, vegetable oils, fruit juice, and alcoholic beverages, and decreases in consumption of starchy staple foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, and maize flour. Other aspects of lifestyle also changed, notably, large reductions in physical activity and large increases in the prevalence of obesity."[18]

      "It was noted in the 1970s that people in many western countries had diets high in animal products, fat, and sugar, and high rates of cancers of the colorectum, breast, prostate, endometrium, and lung; by contrast, individuals in developing countries usually had diets that were based on one or two starchy staple foods, with low intakes of animal products, fat, and sugar, and low rates of these cancers."[18]

      "These observations suggest that the diets [or lifestyle] of different populations might partly determine their rates of cancer, and the basis for this hypothesis was strengthened by results of studies showing that people who migrate from one country to another generally acquire the cancer rates of the new host country, suggesting that environmental [or lifestyle factors] rather than genetic factors are the key determinants of the international variation in cancer rates."[18]

      See also:

      Scientists estimate that most cancers are associated with factors related to how we live, called lifestyle factors. Evidence reviewed by the American Cancer Society suggests that about one-third of the 550,000 cancer deaths that occur in the United States each year is due to dietary factors (for example, excess calories, high fat, and low fibre). Another third is due to cigarette smoking. Other lifestyle factors which increase the risk for cancer include drinking heavily, lack of regular physical exercise, promiscuous sexual behavior,
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:24AM (#12984005) Homepage
    I live in the UK, you insensitive clod.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:33AM (#12984040)
    Too much of anything is bad for you. Too much water will kill you (it upsets your body's fluid balance)
  • by Manhigh (148034) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:42AM (#12984069)
    "You're gonna to your doctor in about 10 years...

    'Your cholesterol is out of control, what have you been doing?'

    'I dont know, I've been eating right, running, doing everything right...'

    'Yeah, but have you been using sunblock?'

    'Well, yeah'

    'Whats the matter with you!? You should know better'"
  • by Paska (801395) * on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @07:43AM (#12984074) Homepage
    As much as the geek inside of my wants to say I avoid sunlight at all costs, it's actually quite the opposite.

    I've struggled with acne/pimples a little more then your average Joe Blow, after spending a lot of money on chemicals and useless washing routines I found the cheapest and easiest solution.

    Sunlight, I spend a few (moderate amounts) of time at the beach - and within 1 month of just a few hours per week at the beach, my acne was almost gone.

    Even in winter I now try to spend a few hours per month atleast in my salt water pool, it works wonders. I also drag the laptop outside every few days and just spend a few hours in the moderate sunlight so my skin gets some extra special attention.
  • Not graduation, though. I think it was a homecoming or something. Although it was an engineering school (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) he gave a lecture entirely on how to succeed as a writer. This included drawing the classic "plot curve" for several literary masterpieces, including Hamlet (which he drew as a straight line, claiming that there was no real build, climax or resolution) and Kafka's Metamorphosis, which he drew as a vertical line straight down (Man wakes up, sees that he's become a bug, and eventually dies.)

    Rumor on campus was that he was drunk.

  • by roj3 (179124) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @08:38AM (#12984301) Homepage

    Unfortunately the article does not disclose the researcher's close dealings with the tanning salon industry [naatso.org]. Is the science real? Yes. Does it encourage tanning and irresponsible sun exposure? Yes. Solution: it's better to simply drink vitamin D-fortified milk & OJ.

    Let's learn something from Australia [sunsmart.com.au], where 1 in 7 people get skin cancer in their lifetimes.

    /.ers would do well to look further into the hard science and get past the industry-backed FUD.

    Rather than, or in addition to, SPF lotion, wear clothing [coolibar.com]. This brand is lightweight, well-vented and has titanium dioxide built right into the microfiber. My mom (who is sun sensitive from medication) uses them.

  • by OwlWhacker (758974) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @08:46AM (#12984353) Homepage Journal
    I only drank a small amount, but it made me sick, and I got a tan.
  • by Khuffie (818093) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @08:56AM (#12984408) Homepage
    We're nerds! We don't go out into the sun! Its hard to see our laptop screens from the damned glare!
  • by IronChefMorimoto (691038) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @08:59AM (#12984429)
    If you can find a ripped MP3 of his 2000 comedy album, this story will make more sense:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000 04U4ST/ref=m_art_li_3/102-6655619-6516961?v=glance &s=music [amazon.com]

    Track 3 -- The Ozone, Sunblock, The Flu and NYQUIL.

    Enjoy!

    IronChefMorimoto
  • by HuguesT (84078) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @09:07AM (#12984468)
    The Slashdot blurb is misleading. The article advises moderation. I don't recall anybody in recent years saying Sun exposure in moderate amount was bad. What else is news ?

    Remember that while normally very rare, melanoma is the 4th most frequently diagnosed type of cancer in Australia, and rising.

    Even if people there stopped going outside right now the incidence would probably continue to rise for many years, because of the delayed exposure.

    It is highly curable but not good for you.
  • by gvc (167165) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @09:15AM (#12984526)
    Two different maladies are commonly referred to as skin cancer: melanoma and carcinoma.

    Melanoma is deadly. Carcinoma is not something you want, but is generally not life-threatening.

    There's a very strong positive correlation between sunlight exposure and Carcinoma. Not so melanoma.

    A recent large study showed an inverse correlation between sunlight exposure and melanoma. Previous studies showed weak positive, or grouped all skin cancers together.

    I don't think that anybody argues that skin-peeling burns are bad for you, but many experts are moderating previous advocacy of total sun-avoidance.
  • by absurdist (758409) on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @12:07PM (#12986003)
    The head of Holick's department, Dr. Barbara Gilchrest, called his book an embarrassment and stripped him of his dermatology professorship, although he kept his other posts.

    In other words, challenge the currently accepted hypothesis, and be prepared for extreme backlash from those who have spent their careers supporting it, no matter how well thought out or researched your work is. Charles Fort was right. The high priesthood of science is exactly that. Blaspheme at your own peril.

  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday July 05, 2005 @12:39PM (#12986326)
    I heard about this study a while ago on NPR (no, I don't choose to listen to it). They said that the study showed that to get the necessary vitamin D, we need 15 minutes of sun every 2 weeks. Unless you're nocturnal or a vampire, I don't see how this would be a problem....

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