Monday, 29 September 2008

Sunshine sensible and Aloe Vera

Sunshine sensible and Aloeride® Aloe Vera

If you are fair skinned or like to lie in the sun, there is a high probability that you will have fallen victim to sunburn at some point during your life. However, just because it’s a commonplace condition, it doesn’t mean that it can’t have serious side effects. What are the effects of sunburn? The best known types of ultraviolet sunlight are UVA and UVB. Too much exposure to either of these rays will damage your skin. Not only will overexposure cause wrinkles and brown spots, prematurely aging the skin, but it can also have far more serious consequences such as skin cancer. The effects of sunburn and sunstroke are unpleasant - as anyone who has experienced it will know. Short term exposure may result in painful burning and reddened and peeling skin. Sunstroke is more serious: it dehydrates the sufferer and can cause high temperatures, vomiting and headaches. But the most devastating side effect is undoubtedly skin cancer. It is estimated that 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 60% of melanoma skin cancers (the more serious form) are caused by over exposure to the sun. Worryingly, melanomas are not just caused by prolonged and consistent over exposure: any episodes of sunburn, no matter how infrequent, also increase the risk due to the damage this does to your skin cells. How can I prevent sunburn? Whilst everyone should take precautions to protect themselves from exposure to the sun, there are some group of people who are more at risk than others:
• People with fair complexions and fair or red hair.

• People who work outdoors.

• Children: the amount of sun exposure is thought to be linked to the probability of developing skin cancer in adulthood. The good news is that sunburn and sunstroke is entirely preventable: you simply need to take sensible precautions and be aware of the damage that the sun can do to your body.
• In hot places or during a hot day, stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when it is at its fiercest.
• Cover up: wear a hat to protect your face and neck - the areas most commonly damaged by the sun; and wear loose clothing. Be aware that wet clothing lets through more UV rays than dry.
• Use a good sunscreen with a minimum of SPF (sun protection factor) 15. Apply before going into the sun and reapply frequently throughout the day. Ensure the lotion you choose blocks UVA and UVB rays and be aware that products have a limited shelf life. No sunscreen can completely protect you from the effects of UV rays.
• Keep babies and small children out of the sun completely if possible.

• Do not wash yourself with soap all the time. Soap removes the oil from the skin that is there to keep it supple and resilient. Ingest good quality omega 3 oils preferably together with broad spectrum (water and lipid soluble) antioxidants.
• Taking aloe vera capsules, such as Aloeride® Aloe Vera before and during a holiday much helps the skin to stand up to a sudden change in sunlight exposure; it can also help to rejuvenate the skin following exposure. Is there reasonable proof that aloe vera can help over-exposure to sunburn beyond empirical evidence that since time immemorial people used aloe vera for this? Other than the extensive research on burns, there is good quality research on the anti-ageing effect and effect on UV light exposure by Danhof, McKeown, Strickland and Yagi. But be aware, not all aloe vera products will give you the necessary molecules that help your skin to stand up to UV light or not enough of them.
What is the health benefit of sunlight? Sunlight makes vitamin D which actually is a pre-hormone and its production requires a pre-cholesterol molecule to get UV-B from sunlight onto the skin. Then the liver converts it to calcidiol (storage form) which then is converted by every body cell into calcitriol (a.k.a. activated vitamin D) Vitamin D is the most potent steroid in your entire body. Steroid hormones enable the manufacturing of proteins and enzymes by your genetic material (genome). Yet after you've produced about 20,000 units, sunshine begins to destroy vitamin D in the skin. In other words, the same sunlight that makes vitamin D in the first place begins to degrade it - a miracle of self control and safety. So the active form of vitamin D acts by enabling the genetic expression of proteins and enzymes crucial to health in hundreds of tissues throughout the body. One of the ways in which to increase vitamin D orally is via good, unpolluted fish oils but these are increasingly hard to find. To find out whether you are deficient, the best vitamin D test is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D and optimal levels are 45-50 ng/mL or 115-128 nmol/L (these values are higher than the 'normal' values). The amount of vitamin D produced from sunlight depends on exposure time, latitude and altitude of location, amount of skin surface exposed, skin pigmentation and season. UV-B also stimulates the production of MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone), an important hormone in weight loss, energy production, and in giving you that wonderful tanned appearance (╬▒-MSH ). However, UV-B does not penetrate very deeply into your skin. The darker the pigmentation or more tanned your skin, the less UV-B penetrates. Remember that glass allows only some 5% of UV-B to enter your home or your car, you must go outside to benefit from sunlight. The take home message is that sunlight has an awful lot going for it providing you avoid sunburn. According to Professor Michael Hollick, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics at the Boston University Medical Centre it is now estimated that the 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day is needed to satisfy the body's requirement and maintain circulating concentrations of calcidiol of at least 30ng/mL. Too much vitamin D over a longer period of time can be toxic and cause calcification in the kidneys and heart. Fortunately the warning signs are easy to notice: anorexia, disorientation, dehydration, fatigue, weight loss, weakness and vomiting. Dr. Esther John, an epidemiologist at the Northern California Cancer Center, recommends taking a daily 10 to 15 minute walk in the sunshine as it not only clears your head, relieves stress and increases circulation, but also could cut your risk of breast cancer by 50%. We all enjoy the sunny weather: it can lift our spirits and make us feel happier and healthier. If you are sensible in the sun and follow these simple precautions including using Aloeride® Aloe Vera to support your skin from the inside, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy its positive benefits without the negative side effects.

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