It’s toward the end of May already, and if you’re like
me, you are daydreaming of beautiful beaches and a trip to Italy in July!
However, some people may be more worried about baring their
skin and harming it. So, let’s start there. This way, everyone can enjoy the summer without fear!
Fun in the Sun
Although excess sun exposure is linked to damaging the
skin, a little sun can help mood, provide vitamin D, and enhance connection to
nature. Furthermore, some scientists believe that lack of sun may actually increase cancer
risk! This is due to a mechanism in which sunshine promotes vitamin D activation that results in
growth inhibition and death of unhealthy cells.
However, “’tis the dose that’s the poison!” A little goes a long way!
oxidative stress and skin damge from prolonged sun exposure, I’ve provided some quick tips below to make sure
you are protected:
1. Cover up with clothes when not under the beach
umbrella; wear hats or visors, and light, cooling fabrics.
2. Sit in the shade or under that big ol’ beach umbrella while
you peer out at the waves.
3. Make friends with the sun, but only on its timing!
Feel free to spend some time with your friend, Mr. Sun,
without covering up too much, until you’re a light pink only in early morning (before
10 am) and around dusk. However, avoid bonding with Mr. Sun without protection when summer heat
and its rays are shining down at full intensity.
4. Use the above to prevent sunburn. Furthermore, don’t increase cancer risk with
toxic sunscreens that contain harmful chemicals. Visit the Environmental
Working Group’s safe sunscreens list here: http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/
5. Eat a yummy, antioxidant diet with lots of veggies,
some fruits (e.g. berries), healthy, wild-caught salmon, and foods rich in
carotenoids (carrots, yams, and dark leafy greens). You can literally eat your way to protect your cells from damage.
6. Consider taking some krill oil, which contains astaxanthin.
This may offer additional protection against sun damage and has some support that
it may improve skin appearance.
Tips for Summer Fun
Now that your safe in the heat, here’s some news that
may inspire you to get active, fit, and join the volleyball games at the beach.
Dim the lights early and get shut eye!
A recent study in PNAS
reported that light exposure may trump fat loss, “We report that prolonging daily light exposure increases adiposity by
decreasing energy expenditure rather than increasing food intake or locomotor
activity. This was caused by a light-exposure period-dependent attenuation of
the noradrenergic activation of brown adipose tissue that has recently been
shown to contribute substantially to energy expenditure by converting fatty
acids and glucose into heat.”
Get Some Vitamin D for Skin and Body
According to U.S. News & Report from Health Day, a “new study included 400 overweight and
obese people with vitamin D deficiency who were put on a low-calorie diet and
then divided into three groups. One group took no vitamin D supplements, while
the two other groups took either 25,000 international units (IU) or 100,000 IU
of vitamin D per month. After six months, participants in both vitamin D
supplementation groups had lost more weight and had greater reductions in their
waistlines than those who hadn’t taken the supplements, Vigna’s team said.”
I suggest opting for the natural way, bonding with the
sun safely, now that’s it’s nice weather in the North East. Remember, vitamin D is a pro-hormone and should be measured.
3. Take Some Fish Oil (n-3
PUFA supplementation) & Enhance Exercise Performance
A three week study was done to analyze the effect of
fish oil on serum nitric oxide (NO), asymmetric dimethyloarginine (ADMA),
ultrasound indices of endothelial function, and maximal oxygen uptake of elite
cyclists. The findings “suggest that an increase in NO release in response to
n-3 PUFA supplementation may play a central role in cardiovascular adaptive
mechanisms and enhanced exercise performance in cyclists.”
Spice Up With Tumeric
A double-blind, randomized-controlled, crossover trial
demonstrated that 2.5g of oral curcumin reduced delayed onset muscle soreness
curcumin caused a moderate to large decrease in pain during single-leg squat,
gluteal stretch, squat jump, and a small reduction in creatinine kinase, which
can signal muscle damage. (What can’t this spice do!)
Now, you’ve got some tools to stay healthy, look great,
and feel vital! Happy fun in the sun!
Increased UVA exposures and decreased cutaneous Vitamin
D3 levels may be responsible for the increasing incidence of melanoma. Med Hypothesis. April 2009; 72(4):
Understanding UVA and UVB. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb/understanding-uva-and-uvb
Astaxanthin, canthaxanthin and beta-carotene differently
affect UVA-induced oxidative damage and expression of oxidative stress-responsive
enzymes. Experimental Dermatology.
Modulatory effects of an algal extract containing
astaxanthin on UVA-irradiated cells in culture. J Dermatol Sci. 2002 Oct;30(1):73-84.
Yamashita, E. Cosmetic benefit of dietary supplements
including astaxanthin and tocotrienol on human skin. FOOD Style 21. 2002; 6:(6) 112-117.
Prolonged daily light exposure increases body fat mass
through attenuation of brown adipose tissue activity. PNAS. April 14. 2015.doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504239112)
U.S. News & Report, Health Day, May 8, 2015.
J Sport Sci. 2015 Jun. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2014.949310
Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset
muscle soreness (DOMS). Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]