Body | Beauty | Culture The dangers of skin tanning beds and unprotected sun worshipping are generally well known. As the incidence and death rates of malignant melanoma — the deadliest of the skin cancers — are rising, young women especially can’t get enough of the sun.
Paradoxically, a vitamin D deficiency is spreading in epidemic fashion, too.
Not readily found in food, vitamin D is plentiful in sunshine, and experts advise spending 10-15 minutes a day in the sunlight, without sunscreen to generate a day’s worth of vitamin D.
A US News and World Report 2008 story references new research that low vitamin D levels double the risk of dying from heart disease and other causes over an eight-year period, compared with those with the highest vitamin D levels. See also Nature.com
While UV rays generate free radicals that can do damage, dietary antioxidants and skin pigmentation are nature’s way of fighting free radicals. Millen et al.  reported that diets high in antioxidants and low in fats and alcohol can reduce the risk of melanoma by about 50%.