Danger at the beach…..

Nope, it’s not the riptides or the sharks…it’s the actual sunshine that gets us!

Sun exposure causes oxidative stress, the single greatest cause of aging. Sun damage is real. Over time we see it as brown blotches on our face and hands, but it’s how it effects our internal cells that is more worrisome.

Let’s talk about effects of sun exposure and how to prevent it.

The sun creates free radicals, which are unstable electrons that damage cell walls. Imagine a bowling ball rolling around in a china shop, breaking fragile cell walls.  A common example of free radical damage, otherwise known as oxidative stress, is what happens when half an apple is left on a counter.  It not only turns brown, but the top layer gets mushy, right?

The mushy apple is caused by the interaction between oxygen and the top layer of apple cells; the oxidation causes the cell walls of the apple to weaken and “collapse”.  Same with us. Think of sunlight at the beach as oxygen on steroids. The bright sun and the glare reflecting off the water heightens the damage and accelerates the aging of our skin and internal organs.

How to protect the apple? Dip it in lemon juice, right?  And the active ingredient in lemon juice?  Vita C.  The term “anti-oxidant” refers to vitamins that protect our cells from oxidative stress. These include Vitamins C, E, zinc, lipoic acid and many others.  Spices and herbs also have anti-oxidant effects.

Something as simple as the product EmergenC, found in pharmacies and box stores can be very effective in preventing oxidative stress. Drink a packet or two on your way to the beach, or while lying in the sun.  If you don’t like the taste use a Vita C capsule (Stellar C), tablet (Shaklee C with Bioflavenoids) or powder (Buffered Vita C Powder). We have all of these forms of Vitamin C in our office and online store.  At least 1000-1500 mg/ day would be a good range for most adults around 150#.

Through testing you can determine how much of various antioxidants your body needs. Both the NutrEval and the TRIAD test have markers that determine oxidative stress and exactly how much of which nutrients your body needs for protection.

For more general protection, I favor products that provide low potencies of several different antioxidants, such as our