The darker your skin is, the more protection you have against skin cancer.
0:25 How does skin color affect your risk for skin cancer?
3:00 How does skin color affect vitamin D absorption?
4:22 Infrared light
9:30 Important takeaways
10:25 Check out my video on melatonin!
Today we're going to talk about skin cancer and why darker skin protects against skin cancer.
There is a pigment in the skin called melanin. This pigment protects against UV radiation, oxidation, and free radical damage. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you have. Melanin is almost like sunscreen. People with light skin have a much higher risk of skin cancer, whereas people with darker skin have a lower risk of skin cancer.
The problem is that we make vitamin D from UV radiation. When the body blocks radiation from the sun, it also blocks the ability to make vitamin D. The darker your skin is, the less your body will produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is very important for your health.
When you're out in the sun, you're also getting a lot of infrared light. Near-infrared light (NIR) is very therapeutic for the body. It may even help protect against skin cancer.
There is a type of melatonin that is a very powerful antioxidant—it helps buffer oxidation and free radical damage. This type of melatonin is stimulated by near-infrared light. At night, melatonin even helps repair the damage that occurred during the day.
• The darker your skin, the more vitamin D you need.
• The lighter your skin and the more you're out in the sun, the more folate from leafy greens you need.
• The peak time for UV radiation is 10 am-2 pm.
• The protective infrared spectrum is produced by the sun from sunrise to sunset (and a small amount from the moon).