T Nation

Sunlight

Stay in the sunlight for at least an hour everyday and your testosterone levels will increase about 69%. Screw tanning beds, get out doors and enjoy more test with your tan.

Not to mention the added bonus of increasing your chances of skin cancer and melanoma.

Common misconception. It’s not the sun. It’s the ultraviolet rays due to holes in the Ozone. If you’re so worried about skin cancer and melanoma, wear sunscreen and then go outdoors!

Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, and an hour a day is the daily recommended dose. Besides that, it makes you feel good.

Don’t let the media or anyone else scare you away from getting a little sun each day. Just protect yourself if you’re susceptible or overly concerned.

Who the hell has an hour each day to sit in the sun :wink:

“Common misconception. It’s not the sun. It’s the ultraviolet rays due to holes in the Ozone.”

Sorry, Nate, but that’s just incorrect.
UV rays are present in sunlight regardless of the ozone situation. If what you said was true, you’d only have to be worried about sun damage in those areas where the “hole” is located.

Go spend some time in a dermatologist’s office. The incidence of skin cancer is on the rise and our sun-loving society is to blame.

I’m not saying avoid the sun like the plague but wear some sunscreen and don’t overdo it.

I think it’s a conspiracy with the sunscreen makers! I bet the people using sunscreen have a higher incidence of cancer than those who don’t use it. But this wouldn’t include the people that spend hours and hours each day in the sun getting burnt to a crisp.

I use sunscreen in rare instances (If I know I’ll be in direct sunlight for more than several hours or in certain settings: beach, boat, skiing, etc). I love the sun. The sun is my friend. I do however protect myself from getting burnt. I do this with moderation in the sun and repeated trips outdoors over time. Your body protects itself naturally.

As usual, moderation is the key.

Sorry Nate, and I don’t mean to bring down the whole thread, However my older Brother was a roofer who worked outdoors, usually without a shirt, for years. He died in 1997 from metastasis melanoma(sp) contracted from constant over exposure to the sun. Now I am a fair haired (well used to be blonde now it’s gray) light skinned man who NEVER tans. If I can avoid the sun I do.

Man I need to proof read my posts before hitting that submit button. I sound like Yoda for crying out loud.

I’m not playing conspiracy theorist here, but I have a hard time accepting the notion that we spend more time in the sun now than we did 40, 50 years ago. Cases of skin cancer have increased substantially (exponentially?) over the last few decades, but I don’t necessarily think sun exposure alone is to blame.

We drive everywhere, sit in front of the tv for hours on end, parents don’t let our kids go outside for fear they’ll be kidnapped, raped or both, and there are a shitload more desk-jockeys now than ever before. I’m just not understanding how it is that we spend more time outdoors now than before.

Phatman, I am very, very sorry to hear about your brother. That’s terrible. But I also have to say that there is a huge difference between light- to moderate sun exposure and heavy-exposure. This topic of skin cancer got brought up because someone mentioned getting an hour of sun per day. I think that that would do anyone good (provided that us paler ones don’t go out on summer days when the sun’s most intense and get burned). The sun is good for us. When it became our sworn enemy, I don’t know.

So there has to be something else at work here. Personally, I find it rather fascinating that rates of skin cancer have climbed pretty steadily right along with our usage of sunscreen… but that’s just me.

My father has skin cancer and I work outside. Sometimes you have to take the proper precautions and get on with life.

Now if this article has any truth I will be a testosterone filled MoFo.

Tyler, people being treated for various skin cancers today ARE the guys and ladies from 40-50 years ago. They’ve had chronic sun exposure for all this time, and it’s catching up with them. I don’t think it has much to do with societal views in the past 10-20 years as much as it does in the past 40-50 years.

The actual mechanism for DNA damage by UV radiation is already elucidated and has been for quite some time. For anybody to doubt that UV exposure causes DNA damage and subsequent malignancies is to ignore the facts.

The myth that sunscreen has ANY part in skin cancer is ridiculous. Like I said earlier, most people being treated for skin cancers are older people who were exposed for much of their lives without sunscreen as it wasn’t available then. Also, people today don’t use it nearly to the extent needed to prevent sun damage. For all the people you see going to the beach putting it on, you have to ask, “Are they putting on enough?” “Are they reapplying it when necessary?” “Are they even using the right kind of sunscreen?” That’s IF they use any at all. Most people would rather have a tan and don’t think about the long-term consequences.

Sorry, guys, but chronic sun damage (and acute in the case of melanoma) causes skin cancer and sunscreen has no causitive role. It’s not a popular answer, but it IS the answer.

I totally agree that an hour of sun exposure each day can be beneficial. And I also agree that there is a HUGE difference between an hour of sun exposure and several hours of sun exposure!!! You would have to be an IDIOT not to wear sunscreen when you know you will be under the sun for several hours at a time. I worked as a lifeguard for 8 summers and I ALWAYS put on sunscreen to protect myself. I have also had two “suspicious” moles removed, but they were malignant. I know that I fall into the high risk factor category and I take the necessary precautions. However, I dont think an hour a day will lead to significant damage.

Thanks for the informative response, DocT. I probably should have better thought through the time-frame I mentioned (40 - 50 years ago), though. What I basically meant was from about thirty years ago back to… well, forever (when there was no sunscreen).

If skin cancer/melanoma has been steadily on the rise over the past few decades, I’m wondering why the associated death rate from it wasn’t greater back in the 60’s when sunscreen wasn’t around. Sure, life expectancy has increased since then, so that could have a little something to do with it, but I would still think there would be a very high rate of skin cancer deaths.

Also, sunscreen does not block out all UV rays. Because they block out most of the UVB rays (which is what makes our skin turn red from over-exposure) and very few of the UVA rays (which is very much a culprit in causing skin cancer and the 'nomas) that we’re given a false sense of security thinking we can stay out as long as we want.

So I guess my point is that that there has got to be more at work here than just people are spending more time in the sun.

I hate to use this tired old argument but I think it applies. 50 or 60 years ago medical technology was not at a place where they could say "“yep, Melanoma” so they death was listed as “Natural Causes”

Don’t forget that the hole in the ozone layer is steadily increasing, which is the most likely reason for the increase in skin cancers. The old timers are still set in the times when the sun wasn’t as dangerious, and act accordingly - days out in the sun with no sunscreen. They might have been able to do it in the 50’s or 60’s but not today.

Bottom line:

Moderate sun exposure is beneficial.

Quick clarification. There is no “hole” in the ozone layer. We’d be dead. There are thin spots however. Most respected scientists believe these thin spots are not caused by man. Over hundreds of thousands of years, some spots get thin, others thick. Today’s thin spots may be “thick” spots in a few thousand years.

Volcanoes and other natural phenomenon cause the most “harm” to the ozone layer, not man. In fact, man could not put a hole in the ozone layer he tried.

Most people don’t pay attention to science however, they just listen to the environmentalists who are sometimes a bit overzealous and misinformed. Or perhaps the media likes “the sky is falling” stories more than the whole truth.

Slimy, that’s just not true as I said in my previous post.

Man can cause thin spots in the air. Carbon dioxide emissions have greatly increased, causing much more variable weather patterns. Did you know that over the next 100 years the weather will change more drastically than it has for the past 1.8 million years? It’s due to natural gas combustion, CFC’s, more Carbon in the air, etc. Although C02 is less than 0.04% of the atmosphere, it’s implications are huge. Why do you think the world came up with the Kyoto protocol and the Montreal Protocol?

Besides, we need sunlight to regulate our pineal gland, right? It does us good, as it regulates our sleep cycle and our “happy” moods.

I’m surprised that Nate Dogg hasn’t replied to this part yet:

Who the hell has an hour each day to sit in the sun :wink:

Just to say that you can spend that time doing some Renegade Training outside!!