Lighten up, or you'll run the risk of cancer or mental illness! That's the word from researchers in a vitamin D study that I can't believe I missed in all the hub bub this week.
Okay, a little misleading there, with this picture of our nation's leader, clearly watching to make sure this young lady makes it up the stairs okay, while French President Sarkozy stands by as backup. I just really wanted an excuse to post it.
But the study is really about Vitamin D and sunlight, and how most of us aren't getting enough of it. Including, probably, this woman in the red dress, whose pale skin probably requires (and gets its fair share of) sunscreen.
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See, according to this story on The Huffington Post, there's a vitamin D epidemic in this country ... we need it and we're not getting it!
"Vitamin D deficiency is associated with 17 types of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disease, chronic pain, osteoporosis, asthma, and most recently with autism."
"I have not seen one nutritional supplement that has the power to affect human health as much as vitamin D, writes Dr. Soram Khalsa; "This is because Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin -- it is a hormone that has the ability to interact and affect more than 2,000 genes in the body."
Blogger Therese Borchard followed up with her own personal story:
"My internist and I talked about vitamin D for about 10 minutes in her office. She said that most of her patients had deficiencies lately, especially her female patients. She advised me that the best way to get it, of course, was sunlight, and that sunscreen actually blocks it from your system. And she's not totally pro-vitamin, either. She thinks that you are much better off eating healthy foods than taking supplements, that your body can't process the high levels of vitamins and minerals that are sold in health food aisles."
But vitamin D isn't found in any food, she explained, so that's why it's essential to take a supplement.
Even scarier than the idea that sunscreen may be protecting you from skin cancer but actually blocking the vitamin D that's essential to maintaining overall good health is what Borchard found on the Vitamin D Council's Website which links deficiencies to mental illness, and then mental illness has increased as humans have migrated out of the sun. Interesting stuff, this balancing act between wanting to be diligent with the sunscreen and getting the full charge of happiness and health that comes from the sun's so-called "dangerous" rays.
Back to the photo of Obama apparently ogling this girl. I did find a little commentary, most notably this piece in Examiner.com:
"We have all had moments where we looked somewhere we should not have and then also had moments where we just happen to be looking in a place where something inappropriate then appears and are forced to turn away in embarrassment. Who really knows what was happening here. It is really all about the context and giving someone the benefit of the doubt."
The author goes on to post this picture of President Bush from back in the day, and what kind of conclusions you could jump to, looking at that:
"In reality what President Bush is doing in the photo is joking around with Texas Rangers announcer Eric Nadel who recently underwent retina surgery. In reality President Bush is not gay and is not showing affection to this man, but I can certainly make it seem that way by how I contextualize the picture. You may say this example is different because President Bush would never be gay. I would answer by asking why do you find it so easy to assume President Obama would be checking out a girl while finding it so difficult to believe President Bush could be gay."
A few people responded to this commentary:
" saw a VIDEO of this scene on FoxNews this morning, which I cannot seem to locate online. Clearly in the video Obama is looking down at the step and out his peripheral vision at the woman in the black top and flowered skirt behind him. In the video he is getting ready to extend his hand to the woman behind him to help her down the steps.
All evidence to the contrary, the president is NOT checking out the young girl to his right."
And another perspective, that says the picture is really kind of more about us, not the president:
"You've got the fascination all wrong. I think this picture humanizes the President. He's just like the rest of us. After all, what guy wouldn't be looking there? And look at Sarkozy with the knowing smile. Please. As you well know, most men have a code about this stuff.
The other thing that makes this picture so compelling is that it's funny while still being pretty innocent. The media and most of the comics leave the President alone and instead poke fun at Biden, or make an obvious Bush joke as you tried to imply. So, when a chance for one comes up about Obama it gets bunch more attention. Simple as that."
Okay, I look at both these pictures and smile. Lighten up is right ... even if it doesn't, as they say, add years to your life, it could add life to your years.