So Crabby has on several occasions left her accustomed post at Cranky Fitness in order to go Guest Blogging elsewhere. Today, she is doing the opposite--making up for the pretend post below by bringing you some Actual Science by one of our favorite Commenters, NoraBarnacle! She is the host of Crunchy 'Nanas, and she is braving the confusing research around Sunshine and Breast Cancer and making some actual sense of it. She even takes on the Cranky Fitness' bizarre Third Person Format in solidarity with the Crab--not for the blogger who is Faint of Heart!
Now here's her post!
In the height of the summer sunshine, a recent study suggests that UV rays may actually do one some good in the fight against breast cancer. Or, at least the headline writers and journalists want us to think so.
The results from a study by a team at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska show that in a group of women who’ve passed menopause, the lower the level of vitamin D in their bloodstreams, the higher their risk of developing breast cancer. Sun exposure is important in the mechanism for incorporating vitamin D into our bodies, so let’s head out into the sun and fight our risk for breast cancer! Right?
Careful! Don’t go stripping down to your undie-roos and streaking into the burning noonday sun yet. The study examined the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The women who were given both supplements had less than half the chance of developing breast cancer than those offered the placebo. The researchers went one step further and said their findings were consistent with data showing that “cancer risk, cancer mortality, or both are inversely associated with solar exposure, vitamin D status, or both”.
All this seems to be telling Norabarnacle the best of the skin cancer/breast cancer trade-off might actually be vitamin D and calcium supplements and remaining responsible (sunscreen, hats, and not laying out for hours on end, as deliciously tempting as that sounds!) when jaunting out of doors.
Also, if you enjoy playing in the sun, you might consider a cup of joe before you exercise. Another UK study shows that caffeine and exercise working together increases apoptosis (a scary sounding word that usually makes Norabarnacle think of snapping air-filled bubble wrap pockets, but actually means “cell death”) of damaged or cancerous cells. This could be good news for coffee and cola junkies, or at least active coffee and cola junkie mice, who saw a whooping 400% increase in apoptosis. Alas, the theory still needs to be tested out in humans. Still, it seems prevention is better than treatment: caffeine shouldn’t be substituted for sunscreen and responsible sun practices to prevent skin cancer to begin with.
Norabarnacle’s an avid sun-worshiper. Like a shivering lizard to a sun-soaked rock, she basks in it. But, until there is more evidence, you won’t see her swapping sunscreen and shady breaks for sunbathing au natural for hours on end in hopes of preventing breast cancer. And being neither a coffee nor a cola drinker, she won’t be jumping to get her morning fix before she strides out into the sunny sunshine. However in Belgium, they do have some dark chocolate napolitains with tea... she’s not sure how much caffeine is actually in those, but they might be worth a shot!
And Crabby would just like to step back into the blog for a moment and say Thank You, NoraBarnacle!