Too true breadsauce.
Being a fair skinned, blond haired blue eyed brit living down under for the last decade, I was petrified of getting skin cancer (due to all of the health warnings and the fact that I'd burn in less than ten mins on a sunny day). I was famous amongst friends and family for being permanently pink in summer, burning even when sitting in the shade!
But last year, after finding mda and eating primal/paleo on and off for a couple of years before that (which may or may not be related), as soon as it was warm enough in the spring I started to getting out in the sun for short spells (10 to 15 mins) and gradually increase it.
It got to the point that during the height of summer in the middle of the day I was out surfing for a couple of hours one day when I realised that I had forgotten to put any sunscreen on (because I was catching my 15 mins of unadulterated sun before going in the water).
To be fair I was a little pink, but not burned at all. Whereas in previous years I'd been fried to a crisp in under 20 mins. That evening after showering I moisturised with coconut oil and by the next morning the pink had vanished and been replaced with a deep golden brown
Thinking back to my child hood this was how I used to go every summer, only I probably got sunburn once or twice a year at the beginning of summer.
Now in Oz and NZ so many people are vit D deficient because they've been scared shitless of letting the sun touch their skins.
I loved seeing that article because it supported exactly what I've been telling my boyfriend, which is that he has to supplement VitD as a pale (freckled) person in order to build up a resistance to getting burnt!
The paler you are, the quicker you can produce vitamin D. So pale people need to simply spend short amounts of time in the sun, and not overdo it. Then gradually they can spend more and more time in the sun as their skin begins to adjust and tan a little.
We are medium-skinned folks living in a very cold, cloudy place. I can really feel a big difference now that it's fall. I've been spraying Vit D liquid in everyone's mouth before they head out for the day. I miss my sun :-(
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I try to sunbathe each mid-day, exposing most or all of my torso, both front and back and cover or shade my arms and face as these areas are exposed to the sun the rest of the time. I also take D3 suppliments daily to make sure my level is >60. I used to burn and get really sick from it as I am also blonde with blue eyes. Maybe my higher Vit D levels have helped my sun tolerance?
BBC News - Fair-skinned people may need extra vitamin D
Okay so there's not a lot of scientific info in all this to clarify what's going on, but seriously, I am pale, and spending short amounts of time in the sun has never helped to build up a tolerance or anything. Only until I supplemented with VitD this summer was I able to go outside for longer periods of time and get minimal burn that turned to a tan within 24 hrs. If I supplemented more, I would probably be able to skip the burn and go straight to a tan.
Darker-skinned people in northern latitudes are mostly likely to be deficient, as they get less sun exposure, and less of it gets through their skin pigment.
Bonus: Vitamin D supports your immune system better than a flu shot!
I would love to share this article, but it ends with recommending the laughably tiny current RDA for D of 400 IUs (10 mcg).
That's the amount recommended for babies. Why oh why hasn't anyone figured out that a 125 lb woman might need more (like 6,000 IUs, for example?)