Good news for anyone heading to the beach or pool this weekend to soak up the rays! Just three hours in the sun a day can cut risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent. Whoa.
Researchers have been testing to see if regular exposure to the sun's rays can have a powerful anti-cancer effect. We all know the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in the skin, which is good for many reasons -- like keeping us seasonal depression-free, and there's also some news about it having an effect on weight loss. But this new study suggests that breast cells are capable of converting vitamin D into a hormone that has anti-cancer properties.
The results, which were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that women who had at least 21 hours a week of exposure to the sun's UV rays in their teens were 29 percent less likely to get cancer than those getting under an hour a day.
Even as women aged, spending time outside in their 40s and 50s, the risk fell by 26 percent. But for women over 60, sunny days HALVED their chances of a tumor.
Although this particular study may simply have shown a result that was correlated -- vs. caused (more sun definitely = less breast cancer) -- the findings are still pretty amazing and interesting. Play in the sun all day, keep breast cancer at bay? That's something I could definitely live with.
What do you think about this study?
Image via Hamner_Fotos/Flickr