Can vitamin D really help to prevent diabetes and obesity?

For so long, the jury’s been out on whether sun exposure is good or bad for us and heading into summer, it’s only natural that the topic has re-surfaced yet again.

We’re also living in an age where we’re increasingly encouraging those kiddies to get outside and engage in regular physical activity given the rising obesity rate. While skin cancer is something that kids hardly ever get, they need to learn from a young age how dangerous too much exposure to the sun can be.

Living in Australia, such concerns are only heightened – consider this: the highest temperature ever recorded in Australia was 50.7 degrees back in 1960.

Granted, we don’t see such extremes every day but it’s widely known that sunlight exposure and more specifically, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, is a leading cause of skin cancer.

If you hand the microphone to health professionals though, you’ll get the picture pretty quickly that we’re not dealing with a black and white scenario here.

Expert opinion #1: we should cover up in a bid to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Expert opinion #2: sun exposure promotes numerous health benefits.

And now, a new study looks to be suggesting that moderate sun exposure could help to prevent the development of obesity and diabetes. It’s an interesting discussion, especially ahead of this week’s annual World Diabetes Day (Friday, 14th November).

These findings were published in the journal Diabetes and were the work of a research team led by Dr.Shelly Gorman of Telethon Kids Institute.

It’s a given that the body’s main source of vitamin D is sun exposure – not getting enough vitamin D is thought to negatively impact your health.

To make things even more complicated, the amount of sunlight people need depends on a range of factors such as UV levels, your skin type and your lifestyle. UV levels vary across Australia and depending on what time of the year it is. To read more about how much vitamin D you need, click here.

Of course, in today’s exciting environment where technology is changing everything at a rapid pace, wearable technology has presented itself as a potential game changer.

Monitors such as the SunFriend UVA+B Monitor claim to help people to get as much sunlight required for their individual needs. It’s all based on skin colour and sensitivity and aims to read people’s exposure all day long and not just from direct sunlight.

It certainly is a nifty (and helpful) health gadget if you ask us!

Sarah Cannata is the Communications Manager at HelpMeChoose.com.au, one of Australia’s leading insurance, energy and home loan comparison services. You can read more handy health tips on the Help Me Choose blog.

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About the Author : Roman Luchkovskiy

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