A study of the entire population of Denmark for 40 years found that those with excessive UV (as recorded by non-melanoma skin cancer) had fewer heart attacks and hip fractures as well as fewer deaths.
This agrees with many previous studies which have shown that more UV is better for your health.
More UV ==> More Vitamin D ==> Benefits: stronger bones and improved health
Note: it is not necessary to have so much UV that it damages your skin to get the vitamin D benefits.
As with most things, moderation is best: not too much, and not too little
You should only get as much UV per session as starts to darken your skin. (not too much)
A small amount of UVB will not cause a sunburn and skin cancer.
Note: The more vitamin D you have in your body (from supplements or previous days in the sun) the less skin damage you will get (see reference below)
Nicely summarized by Tom Weishaar at Vitamin D Council Oct 2013, with the following chart
- Overview Suntan, melanoma and vitamin D
- More sun skin damage if vitamin D less than 20 ng – Sept 2012
- People more likely to freckle are more likely to get prostate cancer (low vitamin D) – April 2013
Skin cancer as a marker of sun exposure associates with myocardial infarction, hip fracture and death from any cause.
Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Sep 13.
Brøndum-Jacobsen P, Nordestgaard BG, Nielsen SF, Benn M.
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital, Herlev, Denmark, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark and Copenhagen University Hospital and Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
BACKGROUND: Sun exposure is the single most important risk factor for skin cancer, but sun exposure may also have beneficial effects on health. We tested the hypothesis that individuals with skin cancer (non-melanoma skin cancer and cutaneous malignant melanoma) have less myocardial infarction, hip fracture and death from any cause, compared with general population controls.
METHODS: We examined the entire Danish population above age 40 years from 1980 through 2006, comprising 4.4 million individuals. Diagnoses of non-melanoma skin cancer (n = 129 206), cutaneous malignant melanoma (n = 22107), myocardial infarction (n = 327 856), hip fracture (n = 129 419), and deaths from any cause (n = 1 629 519) were drawn from national registries.
RESULTS: In individuals with vs without non-melanoma skin cancer, multifactorially adjusted odds ratios were 0.96 (95% confidence interval: 0.94-0.98) for myocardial infarction and 1.15 (1.12-1.18) for hip fracture, and the multifactorially adjusted hazard ratio was 0.52 (0.52-0.53) for death from any cause. Risk of hip fracture was reduced (odds ratios were below 1.0) in individuals below age 90 years. In individuals with vs without cutaneous malignant melanoma, corresponding odds ratios were 0.79 (0.74-0.84) for myocardial infarction and 0.84 (0.76-0.93) for hip fracture, and the corresponding hazard ratio for death from any cause was 0.89 (0.87-0.91); however, cutaneous malignant melanoma was associated positively with death from any cause in some individuals.
CONCLUSIONS: In this nationwide study, having a diagnosis of skin cancer was associated with less myocardial infarction, less hip fracture in those below age 90 years and less death from any cause. Causal conclusions cannot be made from our data. A beneficial effect of sun exposure per se needs to be examined in other studies.