Benefits of the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

With summer just around the corner I thought it would be helpful to explain some misconceptions about sun exposure, and share some of the many health benefits of the sun.  So, skip the sunscreen and read on!

To start, I would like to share with you information from Dr. Michael Holick, author of “The UV Advantage”, he claims that sunlight is actually good for you.  There was a study published in the February 2, 2005 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.  In this study they found that exposure to sunlight actually reduced the risk of skin cancer.  Dr. Holick states that the risk of many cancers increases when you do not have sufficient exposure to sunlight.  Of course this contradicts what the American Academy of Dermatology has brainwashed us to believe; that sun exposure should be completely avoided.  By the way, do you know who funds the American Academy of Dermatology?  The sunscreen industry!

Over the past 20 years dermatologists have basically been in control of the media regarding the role of sunlight in health.  All they’ve looked at is the negative effects.  Of course there’s no question that chronic, excessive exposure to sunlight increases risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, which is basal or squamous cell cancer.

Did you know that when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight Vitamin D is produced?

Vitamin D may just be the most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition, probably because it’s free.   Since drug companies can’t sell you sunlight, there’s no promotion of its health benefits.

Vitamin D has been shown to prevent depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer,  diabetes and obesity,  adrenal insufficiency, Alzheimer’s, allergies, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis,  heart disease, infertility, learning and behavior disorders, cavities, obesity, osteopenia, and osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, and psoriasis.

Vitamin D regulates cancer cell growth by impairing the proliferation of cancer tumors in the body.  At the same time vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium in the small intestine.  Could this be why the elderly get osteoporosis today even though they are taking plenty of calcium supplements?  They don’t have enough vitamin D to be able to absorb the calcium.

 Are you aware that it’s nearly impossible to get the adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet?  You would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get the minimum levels of vitamin D into our diets. Besides that, there is debate if fortified milk even has much vitamin D in it, especially if it’s in the typical translucent containers, because light destroys the vitamin D content.

It is also impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure, in fact your body is able to self-regulate and only generate what it needs.

Since sunlight’s healing rays cannot penetrate glass you don’t generate vitamin D when you are sitting in your car or home.

Try pressing on your sternum, does it hurt?  If so, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.

Super antioxidants will greatly boost your body’s ability to handle sunlight without burning.  Astaxanthin is a very powerful “internal sunscreen” that can allow you to stay under the sun twice as long without burning.  Acai, pomegranates, like drinking POM juice, blueberries etc. are also powerful antioxidants that have this same ability.

How do you determine how much sun is sensible?  Take into account the pigmentation in your skin.  The darker your skin, the more sunlight you need (20 -30 times more) in order to generate vitamin D.  Could this be why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men? For those with fairer or lighter skin, the less sunlight you need.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about sunscreen.  Is it safe?   Is it necessary?  Well, that all depends which one you use.  First, it’s important if you’re going to use sunscreen to try to go without it for the first while of being outdoors so that you can get some vitamin D production.  There is no other source of vitamin D that is as good for you as what is produced by the sun’s rays on cholesterol that’s found in your skin.

At the end of this newsletter there is a link to a reliable source with detailed information regarding sunscreens, but if you aren’t interested in lengthy explanations please note that the Environmental Working Group warns consumers to avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone.   They state that the industry’s shift away from this chemical may signal their recognition of the risks inherent in a hormone-disrupting chemical that readily absorbs through human skin.

Sunscreens also break down in the sun.  Many sunscreen ingredients break down in the sun in a matter of minutes or hours, and then let UV radiation through to the skin.

Many sunscreens contain nano-scale ingredients that raise potential concerns.  Micronized and nano-scale zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreen provide strong UVA protection, and are contained in many of the safer sunscreen products.  Repeated studies have found that these ingredients do not penetrate healthy skin, indicating that exposure would be minimal.  Powder and spray sunscreens with nano-scale ingredients raise greater concerns, since particles might absorb more easily through the lungs than the skin.

Some sunscreens absorb into the blood and raise safety concerns.   The technical literature shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some are linked to toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some could disrupt hormone systems, several are strongly linked to allergic reactions, and others may build up in the body or the environment. FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients that fully examines these effects.  Please click on the link below for further information.

Above all, avoid getting sunburned.

I hope this convinces you that sensible exposure to natural sunlight is the simplest, easiest and not to mention one of the most important strategies for improving your health.  Sunlight exposure is truly one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world.  Best of all, there is no drug, no surgical procedure, and no high-tech procedure that comes close to the amazing healing power of natural sunlight.  Best of all, it’s free!!