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Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

Jacobs Liberman, O.D., Ph.D., challenges the modem myth that the sun is dangerous to our well-being. The sun was once used as a general tonic to heal almost everything and man has run naked on this planet under the sun for centuries. The sun provides the basis for all life on earth. The sun is the source of energy for all plants, and indirectly, for all animals. If the sun causes cancer, man wouldn't be here today. Contrary to popular belief, sunbathing actually helps heal cancer of the skin while sunblock increases cancer risk. Can sunlight help prevent cancers and other diseases such as type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain autoimmune and chronic diseases?

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Sunbathing for Optimum Health

Healing Sun Dr. Mercola - "In recent years we've all been trained to fear the sun, due to the threat of skin cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now there is a growing belief that exposure to the sun may not actually cause skin cancer. As a study published in the prestigious Cancer journal indicates, exposure to sun actually decreases cancer rates."

The ideal way to get vitamin D is by exposing your skin to appropriate sunlight. Unfortunately for most of us there simply isn’t enough sun exposure for nearly half of the year. However, even in the sun many of us are modern day cavemen and we spend the majority of the time the sun is out shining inside at work or in our home. Not many of us are regularly out in the sun.

Sun exposure (without sunscreen) of about 10 to 15 minutes a day, with at least 40 percent of your skin exposed, is a general guide of how much you need, although people with dark skin will need to stay out significantly longer. Again, most of us struggle with seasonal vitamin D winters in which we may not be able to get enough sun exposure during certain parts of the year. It is important to understand that in the summertime, when you put on your bathing suit and sunbathe for 30 minutes, your body produces about 20,000 IUs of vitamin D -- as much as exists in 200 glasses of milk, or the equivalent of about 50 typical multivitamins!

Why one should not be Dissuaded from enjoying the Sun for Optimal Health?

It has been frequently reported that those who are regularly exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) due to their occupation have a reduced risk of developing melanoma [Garland et al., 1990; Kennedy et al., 2004]. The reasons appear to be twofold: 1 - they develop a tan that blocks the penetration of UVR so it can't produce the free radicals that can lead to melanoma; and 2 - they produce lots of vitamin D. Both links have just been demonstrated in an excellent study by investigators studying 497 people with melanoma in and around Philadelphia and San Francisco [Millen et al., 2004].

Contrary to popular belief, Sunlight may help Prevent Cancer

Insufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation may be an important risk factor for cancer in Western Europe and North America, according to a new study published in the prominent Cancer journal that directly contradicts official advice about sunlight. The research examined cancer mortality in the United States. Deaths from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems were approximately twice as high in New England as in the southwest, despite a diet that varies little between regions. There are 13 malignancies that show this inverse correlation, mostly reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer. Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumors of the bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach. Cancer March 2002; 94:1867-75

In recent years we've all been trained to fear the sun, due to the threat of skin cancer. Now there is a growing belief that exposure to the sun may not actually cause skin cancer. Either way, the fear of skin cancer shouldn't keep you huddled indoors in the dark. According to Dr. William C. Douglass, you can reap the sun's healthy benefits with as little as 20 minutes of exposure a day.

However, skin cancers are more likely related to the large distortion most people have in their omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio. The high excess of omega-6 fats in most people's diet puts them at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer when exposed to excess sun. So the solution is not to slather sun block on. Sun block can be quite toxic and should be avoided by most people. The sensible approach would be to limit sun exposure so you never get sun burned. It is sunburn in conjunction with excess omega-6 fats that increases your risk of skin cancer.

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The UV advantage Sunlight Exposure Beneficial In Multiple Sclerosis
In a recently published exploratory study, mortality from multiple sclerosis (MS) was found to be reduced by exposure to sunlight. Depending on the degree of sunlight exposure, the risk of death from MS was reduced by up to 76%. No theory on the precise mechanism of action in this reduction was proposed by the authors. Occup Environ Med 2000;57:418-421

Why the Myth of the Sun Causing Skin Cancer Can Hurt Your Health

A recent study in the prominent US dermatology journal tell us that only a small fraction of US schools have implemented policies that protect students from over-exposure to the sun, and few provide shade, sunscreen, or other ways to avoid ultraviolet rays. Since severe sunburns occur during childhood, which may promote melanoma later, these experts recommend that policymakers and school administrators encourage and implement sun protection policies at schools nationwide. The authors of this study recommend that schools without a sun protection policy adopt one, and at least implement minor changes that could help shield students from the sun, such as allowing staff to put sunscreen on students, and permitting hats and sunglasses when outdoors. Archives of Dermatology June 2002;138:771-774

Sun Exposure (UVB) Protects Against 16 Types of Cancer - The new study links UVB as protective to a total of 16 types of cancer, primarily epithelial (pertaining to the surface) cancers of the digestive and reproductive systems [Grant, submitted]. Six types of cancer (breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) were inversely correlated to solar UVB radiation and rural residence in combination. This result strongly suggests that living in an urban environment is associated with reduced UVB exposure compared to living in a rural environment.

Another 10 types of cancer including bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal and renal were inversely correlated with UVB but not urban residence. Ten types of cancer were significantly correlated with smoking, six types with alcohol, and seven types with Hispanic heritage. Poverty status was inversely correlated with seven types of cancer. Since the results for alcohol, Hispanic heritage, and smoking for white Americans agree well with the literature [Trapido et al., 1995; Thun et al., 2002], they provide a high level of confidence in the approach and its results for UVB radiation

In a televised interview, Dr. Lorraine Day, MD, reported that rats fed a healthy diet developed no cases of skin cancer when exposed to the sun, while 25% of those fed the standard american did develop cancerous lesions. The difference between the two diets is likely to be the quality of the fats, as will be come more apparent shortly.

A study published electronically this week in the International Journal of Cancer used a novel approach to examine the relation between solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiance, vitamin D, and cancer risk reduction. In this study, mortality rates for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), which is primarily due to squamous cell carcinoma, were used as the index of integrated lifetime solar UVB irradiance. NMSC mortality rates provide higher confidence regarding the population exposure to solar UVB than geographic location of residence, which has been used in such studies in the past. Thus, locations with a larger fraction of the population having outdoor occupations, such as farming, will have higher NMSC mortality rates. In addition, lung cancer mortality rate was used as the index for the adverse health effects of smoking.

Robert Bazell, Chief MSNBC Science & Health Correspondent - "About three decades ago, dermatologists alarmed at the rising incidence of skin cancer began a campaign to get people to stop spending so much time in the sun, or at least to cover up with strong sunblock lotion if they did. The effort was enormously successful. Now there is a big problem with it. When the sun’s rays (unfiltered by lotion) strike our skin, our bodies produce vitamin D. Scientists always knew vitamin D is critical for good health. Children not exposed enough to the sun can get a terrible disease called rickets. But around 1989 scientists began to discover that vitamin D played an important critical role in all the cells in the body, and they hypothesized that a lack of vitamin D could increase the risks for cancer.

Large population studies have now verified that people with low vitamin D levels indeed have higher levels of several common types of cancer, including colon and breast. Some of the best research comes from the Nurse’s Health Study and the Health Professionals Study -- two efforts run by the Harvard School of Public Health that have been following tens of thousands of people for decades. The latest study looks at cancer incidence in men.

So how much vitamin D do we need?

Based on these latest studies, experts now recommend a minimum of 1,000 units a day. We get about 200 from food and supplements usually contain 400. That is where the sun comes in. No one is saying people should get sunburned or even tan. But you can get 1,000 units of vitamin D by spending 10 minutes in the sun in the middle of the day with your arms and face exposed. Amazingly, with our automobile and indoor lifestyle many Americans do not get even that much."

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Freaky Facts about Spray-On Tans: Are You in Danger?

The study examines the dose-response relationship between vitamin D and cancer, and is the first to use satellite measurements of sun and cloud cover in countries where blood serum levels of vitamin D3 were also taken.

According to the National Cancer Institute, lifetime exposure to sunlight may reduce your risk of some of the most common types of cancer. In an analysis of death certificates from 24 states over an 11-year period, the NCI researchers found that people who lived in the sunniest parts of the country, and those exposed to the most sunlight through their jobs, had significantly lower rates of colon, andbreast cancer than matched controls.

Sun water bathingThe scientists identified cases through a database maintained by the NCI, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Center for Health Statistics. The data was collected from 24 states from 1984 through 1995, and includes information on occupation, state of residence at birth and at death, and cause of death. The researchers took significant measures to ensure the accuracy of their data. They only included people who were born and died in states in the same solar radiation range. And they classified farmers in their own occupational category, separate from other outdoor jobs, as they have been shown to have higher overall rates of certain types of cancer. They also narrowed down the cases substantially with a long list of exclusions.

Even after all those adjustments, the results were compelling. Overall, people who lived in the highest solar radiation range (in states like Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, and Texas) had less risk of dying of breast, ovarian, prostate, or colon cancer than those who lived in the lowest range (states like Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Washington). The occupational difference was most significant in relation to cases breast and colon cancer; across all levels of solar radiation, people who worked outside had 20 to 25 percent less risk of these two types of cancer. And the benefits of outside work weren't attributable to the amount of hard labor. Even after the researchers adjusted for level of physical activity, the reduction in risk remained. In their discussion, the NCI researchers theorize that sunlight offers cancer protection through its contribution of vitamin D. Recent laboratory tests have shown that vitamin D can slow or halt the proliferation of breast and colon cancer cells. And in other research, breast cancer patients showed lower serum concentrations of a form of vitamin D when compared with healthy controls. It's the great cancer cover-up. Panicked into avoiding sunlight by health experts, people are now dying in the thousands from diseases linked to deficiencies of vitamin D. But still the exaggerated warnings come. - Oliver Gillie

Related: Sunbathing an hour a day played a big role in my health recovery - Shirley

You Can Naturally Relieve Pain With Simple Sunlight

Psychosomatic Medicine January/February 2005; 67(1):156-163

Exposure to sunlight may be the newest method of easing pain. According to a report, boosting the amount of sunlight in a patient's hospital room decreases their perception of pain and their need for painkiller medication. Researchers enrolled nearly 90 patients who had undergone spinal surgery and placed them in randomly assigned hospital rooms--the rooms were either sunny or dim upon their return from surgery. With the aid of light meter measurements, researchers found:

  • Patients assigned to bright rooms received an average of 46 percent more natural sunlight a day, compared to patients in the dim room, which translated to an average 21 percent reduction in the cost of painkiller medication for patients in bright rooms
  • Bright-room patients had considerably lower stress scores and slightly lower pain scores when they left the hospital, compared to patients in dimmer rooms.
  • These results may motivate hospital administrators to relocate patients with high painkiller requirements to rooms with higher intensity sunlight.
Lack of sunlight prevents the formation of Vitamin D

Since a, it may be that high cholesterol levels result from a simple lack of sunlight. People who stay indoors all the time and only go outside using industrial-strength sun block (as opposed to increasing sun exposure gradually and letting it fall on bare skin) would be subject to increased cholesterol levels for that reason.

Exposure to sunlight may reduce asthma

Sun ray valley Australian researchers have found that exposure to measured doses of ultraviolet light, such as sunlight, could reduce asthma. The research team at Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, through funding provided by the Asthma Foundation of WA, studied the effect of ultraviolet light on the development of asthma-like symptoms in mice, such as inflamed airways and lungs. The study found that exposure to ultraviolet light for 15 to 30 minutes before allergen exposure significantly reduces the development of asthma-like symptoms This UV exposure produces a cell type that, when transferred into other mice before they're sensitised to an allergen, can prevent the development of some of the asthma-like symptoms. Associate Professor Prue Hart, leader of the research team, which includes Dr Debra Turner, Dr Shelley Gorman and PhD student Jacqueline McGlade, is excited by the ground-breaking results and possible future applications

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Healing Sun: Sunlight and Health in the 21st Century

Richard Hobday

The healing sun Richard Hobday, MSc, PhD is a member of the British Register of Complementary Practitioners and has studied traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese exercise systems in China. Dr. Hobday has many years experience of solar design in buildings and is a leading authority on the history of sunlight therapy.

The human race evolved under the sun, and for thousands of years lived in harmony with its heat and light. Yet over the last fifty years we have lost this close contact with the sun and its healing powers. We have become afraid of it.

However the sun is central to our well being and health. Did you know that: designing and building sunlit houses can help prevent disease, make us feel happier and save energy; sunlight can help prevent and heal many common and often fatal diseases like breast cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis; before antibiotics, sunlight was used successfully to speed up the healing of wounds; tanning moderately throughout the year is better than avoiding the sun altogether; sudden bursts of strong solar radiation are unnatural and dangerous, protection needs to be built up slowly; early morning sunlight in cool temperatures is particularly beneficial to the body.

Americans carry body Burden of Toxic Sunscreen Chemicals

A team of researchers from the University of California has found that sunscreen can do more harm than good once it soaks into the skin, where it actually promotes the harmful compounds it is meant to protect against. The research team found that three commonly used ultraviolet (UV) filters -- octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone 3 and octocrylene -- eventually soak into the deeper layers of the skin after their application, leaving the top skin layers vulnerable to sun damage. UV rays absorbed by the skin can generate harmful compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. The researchers found that once the filters in sunscreen soak into the lower layers of skin, the filters react with UV light to create more damaging ROS.

Dr. Zane Kime wrote that suntan lotions should not be used because they can cause cancer. Sunscreen may actually increase the risk of cancer, so proposed California researchers in a paper published in January, 1993 in the Annals of Epidemiology. Gray also wrote that those who smoke tobacco and marijuana and expose them-selves to sunlight tend to get skin cancer. Cancer is common in those who over-consume coffee and teas which contain toxic caffeine and tannic acid, and expose themselves to sunlight, wrote Dr. Becker and D. Alexander.

Immuno-suppressant drugs may contribute to skin cancer as well as x-rays and chemotherapy. We may be able to reduce our cancer deaths by inducing a partial or complete immunity by exposure of suitable skin areas to sunlight, wrote Dr. Frank Apperly.

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Basking in the Sun for Optimal Wellness

Sunbather Beach The sun provides the basis for all life on earth. The sun is the source of energy for all plants, and indirectly, for all animals. Take away the sunlight and all life on earth would soon perish. Deprived of sunlight, man loses physical vigor and strength and will develop a disinclination for activity, wrote Dr. Herbert Shelton.

I sunbathe nude almost everyday, at noontime, the hottest part of the day, for several hours, and at age 67, having done this for over 45 years, I have never developed skin cancer, wrinkles or dryness.

Sunbathing does not cause cancer of the skin nor wrinkles nor drying of the skin. Healthy people do not get skin cancer - unhealthy people do. Sunbathing helps heal those with cancer by building up the body's vital energies and increasing the oxygen in the tissues. Sunbathing helps heal cancer of the skin, wrinkles and drying of the skin. Unfortunately, those who develop skin cancer and/or wrinkles and also coincidentally sunbathe have had many unhealthful habits that cause their skin cancer, wrinkles and drying of their skin.

Chronic sunburn on skin containing free radicals leads to skin cancer. Repeated sunburning, not suntanning itself, causes skin cancer, wrote Dr. Michael Gray. Sunlight may change free radicals, dietary fat from animal sources, cholesterol from animal sources and deranged antioxidants brought to the skin from the eating of cooked foods into carcinogenic substances. Antioxidant vitamins C and E are reduced or deranged by cooking. Furthermore, fats and oils applied to the skin in suntan lotions and other cosmetics are sources of free radicals which can lead to skin cancer.

Sunbathing helped heal the skin cancer of Dr. Harland G. Call.

Sunbather His skin cancer was diagnosed by two M.D.s, one of whom was a surgeon who recommended surgical removal. Call employed sunbathing of the effected area, Within a short time, the skin cancer disappeared, after which he reported back to the M.D. who had recommended surgical removal. When the M.D. examined him, he confirmed that the skin cancer had disappeared without surgical removal.

A man had recurrent skin cancer. His doctor recommended surgery. The cancerous man rejected the surgery. Instead he followed the advice of Dr. John Ott to sunbathe without his glasses and after five months his skin cancer completely disappeared. Sunlight treatments reduced malignant cancer growths 50% in animal experiments in Russia, writes A.P. Zabaluyeva.

Sunlight helps the body heal wounds and injuries and overcome virtually any illness. Dr. Carl Hoffminster wrote that soldiers in World War II healed and survived much better when their open wounds and broken bones were exposed to sunlight.

Sunbathing helps strengthen muscles. Dr. Zane Kime wrote: Tuberculosis patients being treated by sunbathing have been observed to have well-developed muscles with very little fat, even though they have not exercised for months. He also reported that a study on the effects of sunlight on a group at a health resort showed that the group that was getting more sunshine with their exercise had improved almost twice as much as the group that avoided sunshine as revealed by their electrocardiograms. Kime also wrote, The Romans made use of the sun in training their gladiators, for they knew that sunlight seemed to strengthen and enlarge the muscles. Cancer of the breast, prostate reproductive organs and colon may be caused by not exposing these vital organs to the sun and air. Anything that blocks sunshine from penetrating the skin will reduce the amount of Vitamin D that the body makes. People with lower levels of Vitamin D are at greater risk for colon cancer, writes the Lancet.

Sunlight helps people overcome winter depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) hits around 100,000 people and develops into severe depression as daylight decreases in the winter. If SAD sufferers get out and get some sunlight during winter, they will relieve their depression, writes Dr. Keki Sidhwa.

Dr. Jacob Liberman. - Sunglasses block healing ultra-violet light and thus contribute to the increased incidence of blindness and eye disease in this country"

Eyeglasses and contact lenses rob you of energy by blocking some of the ultra violet rays that travel through the eyes to the pineal gland, wrote Patricia McCormac. After discontinuing wearing his eyeglasses, Dr. John Ott wrote that he exposed his eyes to sunlight without lenses and his vision was much improved. He recommended similar therapy to his friends and they gained similar improvement in their vision. Ott wrote that nothing should block out the full spectrum of sunlight, no glasses of any kind should block the ultra violet rays, and especially no dark glasses.

Dr. Shelton wrote, "In truth man was designed by the Creator to enjoy the direct rays of the sun and the soothing strengthening influence of the winds over the whole surface of the body. He is by nature a nude animal."

Arnold Rickli, whose sun and air institution in Switzerland attracted patients from all over the world in the 19th century, wrote, Man is made to live in the open air; therefore when exposed to the action of the light, air and sun, he is in his real element. If we choose to expose our nude skin to the sunshine, all we need to do is pay attention to our bodies. Our bodies are always talking to us, and we must learn to listen. If the sunshine is going to be harmful, our bodies will feel uncomfortable in the sunshine. This will force us to withdraw our bodies from the sunshine before it can injure us.

"A full sunbath in the nude is ideal. This is not a mere cosmetic measure, but a health requirement for greatest value" wrote Dr. Shelton MD.

Bernarr McFadden - "From the dawn of history the sun has been utilized specifically as an aid to restoration of health and s a means of maintaining and increasing it. The ancient Greeks and Romans, Egyptians and Assyrians, Arabians, Babylonians and Cretans, the AZT:astonishing factsecs, the early Chinese and Japanese, the inhabitants of India and most other nations that were glorious in their day derived their superb health partly from their contact with the rays of the sun, and healed their ailments by their aid. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, practiced the sun-cure in the temple of Esculapius on the island of Cos in ancient Greece."

Everyone sick or well looks better, feels better, gets better and functions better after exposing every part of their nude bodies to the beautiful sunshine. Sunbathe each moment you can. It helps you in every possible way!

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Light: Medicine Of The Future

Health and Light Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D. explains how to utilize the therapeutic benefits of light. He says that "light is the basic component from which all life originates, develops, heals, and evolves." Everything that humans do is affected in some way by light. Light has been used for healing since the time of ancient Egypt.

Modern scientists began recognizing the benefits of light therapy in the late 1700's. Although many people believe the ultraviolet (UV) light is harmful, Dr. Liberman maintains our bodies need at least a small amount of UV light in order to function properly. He cites studies which indicate that, due to all the ways in which we block sunlight from our lives, including wearing sunglasses designed to block out UV rays, "it is possible that we are unknowingly contributing to the increased incidence of blindness and eye disease in this country." Dr. Liberman does warn against looking at the sun directly, or exposing ourselves to it between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., but emphasizes that light is a nutrient for the body.

He says people need to be outside in natural light, without sunglasses or sun block, for a minimum of one hour a day. He warns that warm-white and cool-white fluorescents "should absolutely be avoided." People who cannot get outside regularly need to equip their work areas with full-spectrum light fixtures. Syntonics is the name given to light therapy, which involves utilizing specific colors for healing specific ailments. Dr. Liberman discusses its benefits in treating vision problems, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), cancer, and learning disabilities. He says that "as we continue to discover and understand the role that light plays in our lives, its use as both a therapeutic and preventive tool will become more evident."

Natural Vision Health

Health of the eye depends on the well-being of one's entire body. Vision problems are multiplying at epidemic proportions in our society. Over half of the population over 75 years old has either cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. This page show people how to become active participants in their own vision care, giving back the power and responsibility they have so trustingly handed over to their eye doctors. The information here offerss a practical approach to keeping your eyes healthy based on the underlying philosophy that emphasizes prevention rather than cure, based on the latest scientific research.

The Silent Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D cure An examination of 506 regions found a close inverse correlation between cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet B light. The likeliest mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight is vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B. The study's author, Dr William Grant, says northern parts of the United States may be dark enough in winter that vitamin D synthesis shuts down completely. While the study focused on white Americans, the same geographical trend affects black Americans, whose overall cancer rates are significantly higher. Darker skinned people require more sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.

Dr. Mercola:- "The growing health problem of vitamin D deficiency is considered a 'Silent Epidemic' for a very good reason -- most people aren't aware it even exists. And as research continues in this area of concern, the list of diseases potentially caused by this epidemic continues to grow and grow. Diseases like osteoporosis, osteomalacia (the adult form of rickets), some cancers, and even Alzheimer's disease. Sunlight is man's primary source of vitamin D. It seems quite obvious that man developed in tropical or subtropical areas and thus, has a need for sunlight as a nutrient.When we migrated further away from the equator, our ability to obtain valuable sunlight and its important influence on our health, was dramatically reduced.

Most all of us need to expose far more of our skin to the sun during the noon hour to get the beneficial UV-B. Now, I can just hear scores of you getting alarmed that this recommendation will increase your risk of skin cancer. Well folks, nothing could be further from the truth. I will provide all of the documentation and scientific research to support this assertion in future issues. But, I am convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that as long as you avoid being sunburned, sun exposure at noon on unexposed skin, is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. Krispin has been kind enough to mentor me in the incredible value of vitamin D and how it is one of the biggest missing nutritional links not being addressed, even by incredibly astute physicians.

Using foods to optimize people's health has been my driving passion for more than a decade. I have reviewed tens of thousands of articles and I missed it big time, so I am sure many others have also. I will be providing a series of articles in the upcoming weeks to further expand on this extremely important topic. The necessary doses for vitamin D are far higher than previously imagined. Most of us would likely benefit from doses closer to 4,000 units, not 400 units. This is a full order of magnitude higher than the RDAs.

However, the best way to get this is through sun exposure, NOT though supplements. Unfortunately, for most of us in the U.S. there are only a few months of the year where this is even possible. Then, even in those months, if you live in a polluted urban area, or it is cloudy, there will not be enough UV-B to penetrate the clouds, smog, or ozone to stimulate vitamin D production in your skin.

I am working with a company on a very inexpensive UV-B meter that can be brought with you places, so you can know exactly how much sunlight you need on a given day to generate vitamin D exposure. It is a complex determination, since you also need to factor in the color of your skin. So, most of us will be stuck using supplements. My favorite is cod liver oil, since that solves another major issue in our diet, omega three deficiency. However, one needs to be cautious with supplements at these doses, and the solution will be to monitor your blood levels of vitamin D."

Naked at Noon, Understanding the Importance of Sunlight and Vitamin D

For the past number of years clinicians, physicians, national media and the National Institute of Health have been warning Americans to stay out of the sun. The purpose of this warning was intended to prevent melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. In spite of the ever-increasing use of sunscreens and intentional reduction of sun exposure, incidence of this cancer is on the upswing. There is some evidence that the advice given regarding sunlight may have actually contributed to an increase in incidences of melanoma because of issues relating to genetics, UV-A radiation, UV-B radiation and extended exposure times due to reduction in sun-burning by sunscreen use.

One of the known protectors of skin cells from pre-cancerous changes is vitamin D. For most Americans the only source of vitamin D is sunlight. We have a national disaster in progress due to a misunderstanding of the nature of and need for UV-B and vitamin D.

The book explains how we get D from food, sunlight and supplements and how we have become so seriously D deficient by changes in location (immigration to genetically unfriendly climates), attitudes and lifestyles. There is a chapter on skin cancer and another on the importance of essential fats. It also covers information related to vitamin D's intimate relationship with calcium and magnesium.

"Ultraviolet (UV) light is divided into 3 bands or wavelength ranges, which are referred to as UV-C, UV-B and UV-A.6 UV-C is the most energetic and shortest of the UV bands. It will burn human skin rapidly in extremely small doses. Fortunately, it is completely absorbed by the ozone layer. However, UV-C is present in some lights. For this reason, fluorescent and halogen and other specialty lights may contribute to skin cancer.

UV-A, known as the “tanning ray,” is primarily responsible for darkening the pigment in our skin. Most tanning bulbs have a high UV-A output, with a small percentage of UV-B. UV-A is less energetic than UV-B, so exposure to UV-A will not result in a burn, unless the skin is photosensitive or excessive doses are used. UV-A penetrates more deeply into the skin than UV-B, due to its longer wavelength. Until recently, UV-A was not blocked by sunscreens. It is now considered to be a major contributor to the high incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.7 Seventy-eight percent of UV-A penetrates glass so windows do not offer protection.

The ultraviolet wavelength that stimulates our bodies to produce vitamin D is UV-B. It is sometimes called the “burning ray” because it is the primary cause of sunburn (erythema). However, UV-B initiates beneficial responses, stimulating the production of vitamin D that the body uses in many important processes. Although UV-B causes sunburn, it also causes special skin cells called melanocytes to produce melanin, which is protective. UV-B also stimulates the production of Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH), an important hormone in weight loss and energy production.