Melanoma: The Scary Link Between Diet and Skin Cancer

I Just stumbled upon an article on the Nutrition Advance website and I consider it so important that I decided to immediately “go to press” and share this with you!

The main points from the article are these:-

  • There is a clear, strong link between sunburn and risk of melanoma. This fact is not in debate. Specifically sunburning, not mere exposure to the sun.
  • Vitamin D significantly reduces the risk for almost all chronic disease (including melanoma), yet widespread vitamin D deficiency exists in the public.
  • A significant factor is the amount of polyunsaturated fats in our cells and our omega 3-6 ratio with omega-3 acting as an inhibitor of melanoma. Conversely, the data implicates omega-6 as a melanoma stimulator.
  • Omega-6 vegetable oils make our skin more susceptible to UV damage from the sun.
  • Omega-3 plays a beneficial protective role against sunburn due to its anti-INFLAMMATORY properties (there’s that word again!)
  • Throughout most of human history the omega 3:6 ratio was 1:1. Shockingly, the average Western diet is now somewhere between 10:1 and 25:1 for omega-6

My Experimentation

I’ve been meaning to blog about this subject for a while now but I haven’t had anything “concrete” to go on until I read this article. Also, my general LIHF knowledge back then was much less than it is now and so apart from friends & family, I mainly kept quiet about this entire subject and placed it on the “back-burner” for a possible future blog post, pending further information. That time is now..

One of the first things I noticed after going LIHF were the changes in my skin. All dry patches went and overall my skin was softer, smoother and much more supple than before. In 2014 we went on a family summer holiday to Turkey and I had a theory that my skin would now be more “resistant” to burning due to the oils in my skin acting as a natural sunblock. At that point, I hadn’t done any further research on this subject but in my usual self-experimental fashion I decided to test out my theory!

I decided to proceed as follows:-

  • First day on holiday: no more than 20 mins sun exposure with NO sun block.
  • If no burning after day 1, repeat on day 2
  • Day 3: extend to 30 mins
  • Day 4: extend to 40 mins, and so on until fully tanned

After the first week I had achieved a nice overall tan, with NO burning, allowing me unlimited, unprotected sun exposure for the rest of my holidays. Note that prior to LIHF, 20 mins sun exposure would have easily frazzled me! I repeated this experiment last year in Crete with similar, positive results and again in Egypt, a couple of months later, although by then I already had a nice base tan and went straight into unlimited, unprotected sun exposure with no issues.

Conclusions

Now that I’ve dropped ALL industrial seed oils last year, after making my classic rookie mistake with the home-made mayo (!!), I expect my Omega 3/6 ratios to have improved markedly & my personal, in-built sun protection to be EVEN BETTER than before! (If anyone is interested in sponsoring a trip to the Caribbean this winter to fully test out this theory in the “interests of science” please get in touch.. 🙂 )

By the way, it is possible to measure your Omega 3/6 ratios directly via a lab test from a simple cheek-cell smear but it’s quite expensive, around 250 Euros. My local lab offers it as a “walk-in” service so I might just save up and give it a go. I’m dying to find out! Stay tuned for more on this in future posts..

In the end, it all comes down to one thing:-

Low Inflammation = Low Oxidative Stress = Homeostasis = LONGEVITY!

What do YOU think??

You can read the full article here: Melanoma: The Scary Link Between Diet and Skin Cancer

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