Sun exposure: the good, the bad, the ugly


Vitamin D can fend off depression but too much time in its heat can hurt, even if you’re wearing sunscreen. (Bigstock)
July 1, 2013
Sunlight: An ally against depression . . .

Your story on depression in people over 65 [“Mind adjustment: Helping seniors cope with pain,” June 25] didn’t mention the role of Vitamin D.

I recently learned, while attending a lecture by Michael Holick, a professor at Boston University School of Medicine, that roughly 90 percent of homebound elderly patients were Vitamin D-deficient when checked and that depression was lessened significantly when they took supplements. What Dr. Holick calls “sensible sun exposure” can also help cure Vitamin D deficiency and thus lessen depression.

Ann LeBarron, Registered and Licensed Dietitian, LaPlata

. . . but don’t get too much of it

Thank you for your article on the dangers of chemical sunscreens [June 18]. I have been thinking about and telling my friends this for years. People are led to believe that as long as they keep sunscreen on, they can stay out as long as they want — and that is wrong. Even with sunscreen, a fair-skinned person should not stay out longer than one or at the most two hours. The sun is very healthy in many ways, but you must respect it and take it in increments.

Patty Kendrick, Deale

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