You really couldnít make it up... Why NICE are so wrong

The Good Life Letter 

12th February 2016

  • How the benefits of big business are being used against you
  • Take this simple and obvious advice Ė shut out the rest
  • Too much, too youngÖ too late!
Are you getting fed up with the health hokey-cokey?

It seems that every day we get new advice which directly contradicts previous advice, usual practice or plain common sense.

Tuesday's PR bombing by NICE was no exception.

Courting headlines saying that there was no safe way to tan, and that we should all be slathered in sun block before venturing outside was just the beginning of the madness.

The usually reliable BBC for instance segwayed their story introduction straight into a piece about the actor Hugh Jackman (nope I donít know who he is either!) fighting off skin cancer.

Other news outlets were convinced that this new advice was to be followed to the letter, saying that the detailed report didnít indicate any of us was safe and that we should treat the sun as a cancer factory.

Hidden deep in all of these reports was a mention that NICE did have some concerns that their findings could lead to an increase in vitamin D deficiency...

Really?

I hope you will all join me in raising a huge raspberry to this pathetic attempt by the sun cream manufacturing community to boost their sales this year, with a sanctimonious health watchdog not having a clue about what they are doing.

If you come across anyone who takes this guff literally please poke them with a pointed stick until they change their mind.

Right about the time that the entire country was being blasted by 90mph winds, wave swells like tower blocks and enough rain to swamp those bits that werenít already underwater, do they really expect us to listen to them?

When the summer sun does come out we should all bare as much of ourselves as we feel is respectful to neighbours and kin and take in the rays for twenty minutes or so...

... and we should keep on doing so every day that the sun deigns to smile on this rain soaked island.

There isnít much point doing so at this time of year, so donít bother looking out your thermal bikini and hoping a few brief minutes in between storms Imogen, Jeremy & Gertrude (I made the last two up by the way!) will stock up your depleted vitamin D.

The vitamin D debate... that isnít one

Every single study done on the British population for the last twenty years has concluded that we need to boost our winter-time vitamin D levels.

The lack of sunny days, and the low angle of the sun when it does show will not do anything to help in the colder months.

During summer and autumn we get a better class of sunshine which will help our bodies produce the vitamin we so desperately need Ė but only if we show our skin to the sun, and donít cover it in dripping pools of sun block gloop.

Unfortunately the stock of vitamin D we build up in summer doesnít persist and by the end of November our bodies are back to an impoverished state which means our moods are worse, our bones weaker, our health poorer and our libido in our sock drawers.

Letís all agree that we need vitamin D.

Having made that our goal let us also agree that the best and most natural way to get it is by waving an unclad limb or two out in the bright sunlight, and that we are smart enough to know that we donít lay ourselves out in the hot midday sunshine for hours on end, whilst basting our rapidly frying bodies in premium lard.

Now, when we canít get enough sun we should then think about a good quality, rapidly absorbed supplement which will keep our poor shivering winter bodies up to their required levels.

None of that is hard to understand is it?

Since when did we need the likes of NICE or any other self-publicising group to tell us what we already realised anyway?

Never have too much of a good thing

My maxim has always been that you should enjoy a little of what you fancy, but can you have too much of a good thing?

These reports tend to suggest that you can when it comes to sunshine.

On balance I think we can all agree that being careful is a good thing, but also that each of us has a very different approach and constitution.

Those of you with pale skin, or suffering from the after effects of long term steroid or chemotherapy treatment will have a very different tolerance of the sun than someone of darker complexion.

Actually knowing what is right for you is the key.

Just as it is in so much of our lives Ė I didnít get to celebrate a half century on this earth without understanding what my body can put up with.

Or indeed what my body craves and I must limit for it.

These are the really basic rules of life that we all follow surely.

Having HM Government or any other faceless institution plastering us all with the same advice about sun creams and becoming troglodytes is to treat us with a lack of respect.

Let us folk have the evidence, allow us to use our common sense and permit us to take the risks we deem reasonable Ė is that too much to ask?

In the meantime, batten down the hatches, take your vitamin D supplement and letís all pray for those long summer days Ė and an end to mis-advice!

Yours, as always


Ray

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