Thursday, May 18, 2006

How Sunscreen/Cosmetics Can Screw Up Your Thyroid

Now that it's spring, a fertile woman's thoughts normally turn to...sunscreen?

Earlier, Fertilitybitch explained why she does not recommend products with sunscreen, which often provokes an "Are You INSANE?" look when declaring this in person. In a nutshell, despite the ozone's thinning, I have come to believe that the problem is too little sun. Most adults are actually deficient in Vitamin D (why do you think they stick it in milk?), and the best, most metabolically friendly way to get it is through sunlight, which means all those years I faithfully slathered on the sunscreen even for a 1/2 hour jog were a biiiiig waste of time.

Not to mention the chemicals in most sunscreen preparations, and even inert things like titanium dioxide are still, when you get down to it, metals that you are rubbing into your skin.

Now, the ever-alert Mary Shomon,'s Thyroid guru, points out a European study that suggests that chemicals called MBC and benzophenone 2 (BP2), frequently found in sunscreen and cosmetics are (eek!)

...potent disruptors of the pituitary-thyroid hormonal system in rats. It's early days, but if the same effect is discovered in humans, then we may have to rethink how we protect children and those with existing thyroid problems or those in iodine-deficient areas from sun exposure.

Sure, you'll say, it's just rats. But, do you want to be a guinea pig?

Fertilitybitch's suggestions? Get even five minutes of morning sun right after you wake to help reset your circadian rhythm. Get at least 15 mins of unprotected sun a day. And know your limits! You don't need me to tell you when do wear a hat or when to come in after a day at the nudist colony. And if you must sunscreen, get enough iodine (oddly, iodine mitigated these chemicals' thyroidal effects) and maybe go for a zinc oxide, although it may make you look somewhat like Marcel Marceau.

For the kiddies: slap an organic hat on 'em--it looks very cute.

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