Our body needs sunlightA group of scientists who have made a systematic review of epidemiological studies have discovered that chronic (not intermittent) sun exposure is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal-, breast-, prostate cancer and NHL. 

The evidence that chronic (not intermittent) sun exposure decreases the risk of diseases is accumulating and gradually getting stronger, according to the study.

"In summary, results of epidemiological studies suggest that (chronic) sun exposure, whether or not (partially) mediated by vitamin D, decreases the risk of some cancers, particularly of colon, breast and prostate cancer as well as NHL. There is also evidence that relatively high personal sun exposure may improve the outcome of colon, breast, prostate, lung carcinoma, melanoma and Hodgkin lymphoma", concludes the study from the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. A moderate chronic exposure to UV light is probably the best advice, add the scientists.

Can sun bed use help? 

In the study, the scientist conclude "that, particularly in countries with a moderate climate, intermitted sun exposure (and sunburn) should on the one hand be discouraged, because of skin cancer prevention, while on the other hand (moderate) chronic exposure possibly should be advised". 

If indeed moderate chronic sun or UV exposure is advised to reduce different cancer types, there is a problem in most European countries. During 6-8 Month's a year the sun is too weak, and modern life-style prohibits sufficient sun exposure even in summer. The availability of modern EU defined, and accepted as sufficiently safe, sun beds could offer the required moderate sun exposure.

Less sun burn, less allergy.

Another known and positive effect of moderated chronic exposure to UV is that human skin adapts to sunlight. It becomes thicker and gets pigmented as a natural protection. Therefore the skin is less likely to get a sunburn or to get a sun allergy (Polymorphous light eruption, PLE). "Sunburns and sun allergy are two effects of too much UV on an unprepared skin. Moderated chronic exposure on the skin will activate the natural system to protect itself for too much sunlight", explains Ad Brand of the Sunlight Research Forum (SRF).