We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE NEWS: CBS News story puts sunlight into proper perspective

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

CBS news this week ran a nationally broadcast story putting sunshine and “The Sunshine Vitamin” back into perspective — the second major broadcast network this week to report on the vitamin D story and the case for regular sun exposure.

2009-02-05-sun-sun-sun-here-it-comes-copy.jpgThe story — “Here Comes The Sun: A History of the Star at the Center of Our Lives” — aired on the CBS Morning Show on Sunday.

“So many civilizations built great monuments, like Stonehenge in England, to plot the seasonal doings of the sun, or Chichen Itza in Mexico, or the Konark Sun Temple in India. No wonder the sun was a god to the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Incas,” the story said. “They knew then that the sun influenced almost every aspect of their existence. We know now it even determined the color of our skin. ”

The story continued, “‘Our ancestors who evolved close to the equator have very darkly pigmented skin, adapted to very high levels of radiation,’ said Nina Jablonski, head of the anthropology department at Penn State University and an expert on skin. ‘And then as we dispersed away from the equator, in our evolution we evolved lightly pigmented skin to cope with less solar radiation.’

CBS continued, “Around the equator the earliest humans developed a kind of permanent suntan. This dark coloring containing something called melanin. How’s this for amazing: Melanin acted like a natural sunscreen, blocking ultraviolet radiation but allowing in exactly the right amount of vitamin D. ‘We need vitamin D,’ Jablonski said. ‘So the sun shines, ultraviolet B shines on the skin and makes vitamin D chemically in the skin, right there.'”

To read the whole story click here.