Vitamin D and curing the flu

Yep I’m at the Vitamin D thingy again….but I cannot help myself Vitamin D has been linked to so many diseases including MS and despite being a sun junky since being diagnosed with MS, I am still at the lower edge of normal so how must the rest of the world be.

We think in Australia if we lead an outdoor lifestyle that we are getting enough sun but actually no and our incidence of lack of vitamin D and all its negative health effects are higher than some of the northern hemisphere countries.

Vitamin D can only be made from UVB which is only available for 11am – 1 pm from Nov to Feb in Australia. So unless you are out in this time you get ZERO healthy sun ie UVB. In March-October, i.e. now, they think the Vitamin D window is only 30 mins at midday. In Australia we have extra high UVA all day because our ozone is thicker. Ozone kills UVB. UVB is being blocked by sunscreen.

Melanoma is created from UVA only which does not burn the skin and is in the sun’s rays present all day. UVA cannot be blocked by sunscreen. UVA is only blocked by heavy (thick or dark) clothing and zinc cream.

There is a rule of thumb for healthy amounts of sun that says ‘10 minutes naked at midday’. So unless you are totally freaking out the locals you are getting no Vitamin D except for the 10 min walk to buy a sandwich at midday. They say alternatively 30 minutes of sun on arms and legs exposed at midday is enough. So buy the sandwich and sit in the sun to eat it. But if you are one of those extreme northern hemisphere redheads take your bikini with you as 30 mins may cause burning. The thing about vitamin D conversion is it takes both skin mass (cubic centimetres) and time so the more skin, the less time.

The signal that your skin is converting to vitamin D is: it is getting pink. So if you never get pink you are not converting to D. If you already have a proper tan it takes longer to start pinking and the conversion takes longer to get enough vitamin D, so back to the bikini. I get it now why solariums are still popular in Australian cities.

UVB creates tanning (and so sunburn) and UVA does not.

Tans prevent melanoma. Tans also kill skin elasticity and cause wrinkles (unattractive but maybe better than depression or MS)

UVA heats the skin and UVB does not.

So when you are out in UVA you are feeling the heat on your skin and you think you are burning. Of course the hottest time of everyday is the middle of the day when you have the very small window of vitamin D production so that is when most people are likely to put on sunscreen or stay indoors or in the shade.

There are few other interesting correlations: non elastic skin suffers with lower rates of melanoma, tanning kills elasticity, so areas that never get tanned are more supple and so more prone to melanoma, i.e. leathery tanned or just old dry wrinkled skin does not get melanoma. Smoking also kills skin elasticity but that has a whole set of other problems.

The rate of melanoma in Australia has doubled since 1970. There is a direct correlation between sunscreen strength improvements and increased melanoma.

Does sunscreen itself cause melanoma? No! Even though it is full of serious chemicals that if taken orally would be illegal. The problem is most Australians who are outside during the day are avoiding the midday summer sun and firstly not getting the protection of a normal tan and then double hit they are now over staying (compared to years gone by ) in the other times when their sunscreen offers no protection but they think that their sunscreen is working because they didn’t burn.

Finally an interesting article specifically on the links between sun and melanoma:

Then using Vitamin D to cure the flu

Both Youtube presentations are by US doctors

Put your head on!

effect of fear on how we communicate“Put your head on!”

I said this as an instruction to my children as I was pulling up in front of their primary school on a very rainy day last week.

I was attempting to be funny (first mistake – humour before midday). It was an instruction to them to put the hoods up on their raincoats.

Result: anxiety and confusion first, anger second – from both children.

The 11 year old sitting next to me in the front looked at me a little perplexed, got the message when he looked for cues in my face and saw that I was smiling. The 9 year old, who is as bright as a button but sitting in the back seat and had no visual cues, sounded distressed and said “What’s the matter, I have my head on?” The 11 year old came to the rescue “It’s okay, mum means put your hood up”.

It seemed so simple to me but it totally missed the mark and created a negative effect. It reinforced how important communication is and how we should not take anything for granted, even with an audience you think you know well.  After I had left them at their school I realised just how unreasonable my statement had been.

This day was the umpteenth day of heavy rain, our whole State was flooding, the dam in Sydney is overflowing (I know as an adult that it is within the dams processes but they don’t). We had just left our own garage slowly flooding through the light fitting and as we were rushing to get to school on time I was unable to do anything about it. They had asked if they would get electrocuted. I had quickly answered no but without any explanation as I was too rushed. To top it off the evening before we had watched a Johnny Depp movie called Sleepy Hollow about a headless ghost horseman in 18th century America chopping people’s heads off to find his own. As soon as he found and put his own head on he was happy to return to hell and stop killing people.

Well done mum! How far off the mark can my simple statement have gotten?

What a perfect reminder of how important it is keeping our communication simple, to the point and taking nothing for granted. How often in our business day do we communicate with people over the phone, quickly in passing and without any knowledge of the framework in their lives that affects their ability to interpret?

Having thought all this through and knowing the psychology of how the brain functions and the effect of fear I was able to reverse all of the effects of my miscommunication later that day and reassure everyone that they were safe and all is well in our world. Most of us don’t get the luxury of being able to deliver our message a second time.

Brain graphic

If you want to better understand the effect of our words on the way the brain works and how we process information, especially as it relates to developing trust and making decisions, I’d like to recommend my Emotions in Selling workshop. This course will show you how to keep your message within the listeners trust range so that they can continue to communicate with you rather than run for the hills and refuse to have anything more to do with you or your company.


To book your training contact me at

Why do candidates with better selling profiles on SIP have so many jobs?

SIPIf you are hiring New Business Sales staff it is likely to be a good sign. It indicates an inner strength or resilience on the part of the candidate. We cannot predict why these people chose each of their previous jobs, but we can deduce that there has been something missing or wrong with the fit each time to result in the continual movement.

So how can that be a good sign?

Faced with rejection or the disappointment of losing their job, these people have had the resilience to keep going. They do not ‘make do’ with a bad fit and try to fit in where they do not naturally fit in. I hear you say they didn’t need to make do, they were fired! Yes, but even so, the result is the same.  They were unable to make themselves fit somewhere they did not well enough to stay employed.

In sales, there are plenty of people who don’t fit well enough but we have decided to keep them as it is better than not having any sales staff or face the endless revolving door of recruitment.

If you are reading a candidate’s résumé and the type of jobs they have already held is always changing it indicates that they don’t know what sort of job they are best suited to.

With SIP we know how well suited to our role they will be, even if they don’t. The fact that they are willing to try different job types indicates an ability to deal with the unknown.

People who have succeeded at selling, especially new business selling, have come from a wide range of previous job types. All the research conducted by SIP on over 25,000 individuals shows no correlation with education, age, industry (that is product type) and their SIP score, or sales IQ, for new business sales. Yet there is a direct correlation between success in the new business roles and the SIP scores of those tested who are already employed in these roles.

Here are some more related articles:

Why a Receptionist at a Real Estate office is a gun sales person

What’s the number one issue facing real estate business owners?

BDMs vs. Account Managers