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Can What You Eat Really Affect Skin Cancer?

Aug 17, 2007
Skin cancer is something we are all well aware of. The dangers are constantly around us, and we are led to believe that the only way we can possibly get skin cancer, is if we expose our skin to too much sunlight without wearing protection.

However, there are some studies which claim that what we eat can also have a drastic effect on our chances of developing the condition. On the other hand some studies say that our diet cannot affect the condition. So what are we supposed to believe? Can our diet really affect our chances of getting skin cancer? Or is it just a load of rubbish?

Skin Cancer and Our Diet

There is also some kind of research going on in order to find links between our lifestyle and cancer. We all know that our diet affects our skin, but did you know that your diet could also affect skin cancer?

The suns UV levels are apparently a good source of vitamin D for our bodies. Whilst that may be true, there are people that go off into the sun without adequate protection, thinking that Vitamin D will help them reduce the risk of skin cancer, as well as other cancers, and that they will not be harmed because Vitamin D is good for them.

However, whilst it is true that the sun does help our bodies to have a higher Vitamin D production, it is still well known for giving us skin cancer. This means that we need to get our Vitamin D from other sources, for example in our diets.

It is thought that fatty diets increase our risk of developing skin cancer. Studies have been done on mice, where scientists have underfed a group of them, exposed them to chemicals which promote skin cancer, and they have found that fewer underfed mice developed the condition compared to the other group of mice who did not have their calorie intake reduced.

So this showed that somehow, eating healthier and having a calorie restricted diet, somehow helped to promote a protective hormone, which stopped some of the mice developing skin cancer. However, the studies have not shown fully which gland produced the hormone, so those tests are currently incomplete.

There is no denying that the diet plays a big part in our skin condition, and it is more than likely that it does in fact affect our chances of developing skin cancer. So what foods should we be eating?

Oily fish is extremely good for the skin and fish such as salmon can really help to cut chances of skin cancer down. This is because the omega three fatty acids help to repair DNA damage caused by the cancer.

Eating oily fish three times a week has been proven to reduce a persons risk of burning in the sun right down after a month, and after three months, the risk of burning in the sun is further reduced by up to 33%.

However, whilst they may help to cut down the risk, they are still no match for fierce sun levels and sun protection should still be worn.

It is thought that a healthy diet is your best defense against all forms of cancer, and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is definitely the way to go! Cutting down on salty and sugary foods is also definitely a good idea, as is increasing the amount of calcium you get daily.

Overall there is research to say that diet affects skin cancer, and research to suggest that it does not. If you are unsure your best bet is to simply eat healthier anyway. Eating healthy is good for the skin whether you are trying to prevent skin cancer or not.

Trying to get at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is what you should be aiming for, and also cutting down on really fatty foods. If you are unsure about anything you can always consult a doctor or nutritionist and they will be able to give you more advice.
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