Healthy Outlook – JULY 2017 Sun Protection Inside and Out

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My name is Carol Koegel I am the Director of Marketing for Old Town Natural Market and Deli. I am passionate and committed to learn, practice and share all that I can to be healthy and whole.

 I will be providing new information each month that I hope you will find useful and interesting.  I will always try to give credit to my sources and welcome any comments or questions you may have.

Sun Protection – Inside and Out

The summer is full of outdoor fun. With greater time spent in the outdoors we take on greater risk of damage to our health due to sun exposure.  I am going to give you some valuable information on protecting yourself from the effects of UVA and UVB rays both of which can lead to skin cancer.  The rate of melanoma diagnosis is increasing. The consensus among scientist is that sunscreens alone cannot reverse this trend.  Yet a good sunscreen can play a role in preventing sunburns that are a major risk factor for melanoma – provided you use it correctly.  Sunscreen should be just one tool in your arsenal. You should also help your body protect itself from the inside by adding D and supplementing with Polypodium leucotomos



All sunscreens are not the same. Some use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to filter out the UVA and UVB rays. Others use chemicals such as avobenzone to do the job. Newer active ingredients include Helioplex and Meroxyl SX.  What offers the best protection?  That is a matter of debate.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should look for a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB.  The FDA doesn’t allow sunscreen makers to claim that their products are “water proof” or “sweat proof” as those claims overstate their effectiveness.

Sunscreen should be just one tool in your arsenal. Here are some things to consider;

There is no proof that sunscreens prevent most skin cancer.  WHAT???  According to the National Cancer Institute the rate of new melanoma cases among American adults has tripled since the 1970s.  Just as alarming the melanoma death rate for white American men, the highest risk group, has escalated sharply from 2.6 deaths per 100,000 in 1975 to 4.4 in 2014.  While the exact cause of melanoma is not known, scientists have established that risk factors include, family history, indoor tanning, the number of moles on a person’s skin, fair skin, freckles, ultraviolet radiation and severe sunburns.  People can control only three of these; indoor tanning, exposure to UV radiation and severe sunburn.  Statistics are an unusual way to measure things here as skin cancer has been linked to the quantity of sunburns in a person’s history. And most of the people that have gotten sunburns are people that have been users of sunscreen.  Sunscreen does not prevent cancer but using it properly and limiting your time in the sun does help!


Sun Protection Factor.  Don’t be fooled by a higher SPF.  Many studies have found that people are misled by the claims on high-SPF sunscreen bottles.  They are more likely to use high SPF products improperly and as a result may expose themselves to more harmful ultraviolet radiation than if they had on lower SPF values. Why because they trust the product too much.  A person may assume that they get twice as much protection from SPF 100 as from SPF 50.  The extra protection is negligible.  Properly applied 50 SPF sunscreens blocks 98% of UVB rays and SPF 100 blocks 99%.  When used correctly.  High SPF products tend to lull users into staying in the sun longer and overexposing themselves to both UVA and UVB rays.  Imbued with a false sense of security people extend their time in the sun well past the point when users of low-SPF products would head indoors. As a result, they get as many UVB inflicted sunburns as unprotected sunbathers and are likely to absorb more damaging UVA radiation.

Vitamin A and D

Vitamin A is an antioxidant added to skin products because manufacturers believe it slows skin aging. Oral ingestion of vitamin A can reduce the risk of Squamous cell carcinoma in people at high risk of skin cancer but a 2012 federal study raised the possibility that it may speed the growth of cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.  The sunscreen industry adds vitamin A to nearly 14% of the beach and sport sunscreens, 15% of moisturizers with SPF and 6% of all SPF rated lip products.  Read the labels carefully.

Now for vitamin D – Sunshine causes the body to produce vitamin D, a critical function that sunscreen appears to inhibit. Vitamin D technically a hormone, strengthens bones and the immune system and reduces risks of breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers and perhaps other disorders.  About 25% of Americans have borderline low levels of vitamin D and 8% have a serious deficiency.


 Safeguard your skin from the inside out

Polypodium Leuctomos extract.  Most commonly Ploypodium leucotomos is taken orally for the treatment of inflammation and a variety of skin ailments including psoriasis, vitilgo, atopic dermatitis, and melasma.  It also serves as a protectant against sunburn, think of it as in internal sunscreen.   One of the best supplements I have found with Polypodium leucotomos extract is Life Extension’s Shade Factor. Shade Factor uses three unique ingredients to support the body’s natural immune response to UV exposure Nicotainamide, Ploypodium lecotomos extract and Red Orange Complex.  Shade Factor provides 500 mg of nicotinamide that has been shown to promote healthy DNA function before during and after UV exposure. Shade Factor also contains an extract of the fern Polypodium leucotomos. This extract helps inhibit cellular changes in the skin that can lead to premature aging from outdoor activity and its also works to promote healthy DNA function before during and after ultraviolet exposure.

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Life Extensions

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