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Harvard Professor Defends Sunshine, Vitamin D Link

While I was doing a little research on yesterday's blog about treating PMS, I stumbled onto another interesting piece in the Los Angeles Times that makes a strong case for sun exposure as a means to jump-start your body's production of vitamin D naturally.

What made the article stand out: A portion dealt with the not-so-unexpected criticism leveled against Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a noted Harvard Medical School professor who spoke out about the proven link between sun exposure and vitamin D production during an April speech at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, Calif.

While acknowledging the dangers of the sun-related skin cancer melanoma that killed some 8,000 Americans last year, Giovannucci convincingly argued staying away from the sun -- preventing your body from making enough vitamin D on its own -- may add as much as 70 more cancer deaths per 100,000 people each year.

"I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any other factor that has such consistent anticancer benefits as vitamin D," Giovannucci said.

If you want to hear more about Giovannucci's views on vitamin D production and the sun, which largely mirror my own, I urge you to listen to a 12-minute interview with him aired on NPR's Talk of the Nation last week.

Los Angeles Times June 20, 2005 Registration Required

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