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Sunlight’s Dark Side

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By The Staff

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

These are the longest days of the year, with the sun higher in the sky than at any other time. Like many people living in the northern strip of the country, I used to spend a good bit of time worshipping the sun each June. I didn’t use any sunscreen because I found that after a few days outdoors, my exposed parts were red-brown – and my chronic joint pains were cut in half.

I knew strong sunlight on Scandinavian skin was a recipe for trouble. But reducing joint pain in-the-present tended to trump my fears of death down-the-road. I’m rethinking my tactics a bit this year, however, and taking more Vitamin D as tablets. 

Sunlight feels like such a blessing – especially to us Northern people – it’s easy to wonder how it can kill. The answer lies in the fact that our genetic blueprint is recorded on a tissue of molecules that’s both remarkably flexible and exceedingly fragile. 


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