Death by Prescription Drugs. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Are there better ways to heal? Could there be better ways to fight the coronavirus? (be sure to scroll down to the WHO flu graph.)
Death by prescription drugs is commonplace. Therefore, perhaps whole foods, avoidance of junk foods and plenty of sunlight are better alternatives. Thus, our approach here will be (1) to explain the health burden inflicted by prescription drugs. (2) To make nutrition suggestions and (3) finally propose exercise and sunlight as additional solutions.
Death and prescription drugs. The danger is real!
Since you probably realize that prescription drugs are ubiquitous, did you also realize just how dangerous they are? Would it get your attention to tell you that they are the fourth leading cause of death?
U.S. News published an interesting article, which makes us wonder if our pharmaceuticals do more harm that good. Are they healers of killers? Here are some of the most noteworthy facts the article presents:
Salient points from the article on Death and prescriptions.
- First, prescription medications are the fourth leading cause of death and a major cause of additional illnesses among Americans.
- A recent analysis estimates 128,000 Americans die each year due to taking medications as prescribed.
- In addition, adverse drug reactions from properly prescribed and used medicines result in 1.5 to 2.7 million hospitalizations each year.
- Sixty to 70 percent of us take at least one prescribed drug and many take an additional fistful of pills daily.
- A quote from Dr. Donald Light [apropos, no?], who analyzed the data: “By far the greatest number of [prescription drug-related] hospitalizations and deaths occur from drugs that are prescribed properly by physicians and taken as directed.” This comes from his paper entitled “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs.”
- Another quote from Dr. Light’s paper: “About 2,460 people per week are estimated to die from drugs that were properly prescribed. And that’s based on detailed chart reviews of hospitalized patients.” [That of course, does not include the 1.5-2.7 hospitalizations that occur due to prescriptions.]
- The paper continues, “And though following a doctor’s orders and medication labeling instructions can reduce harms associated with taking prescription drugs, simply taking prescribed drugs as directed can expose a person to significant risk.”
Of course, properly prescribed drugs can save lives. Yet, do these drugs give us the best odds? They do not.
All of this begs a question. Does the brouhaha caused by coronavirus not pale in comparison to the millions of lives lost to drugs? Of course, I believe in finding a cure. Nevertheless, when this pandemic subsides, should we not first look at ways to stop death due to prescription? There are better ways to prevent and cure illnesses, and the people must be educated. Knowledge not disseminated is no better than no knowledge at all.
An illustration of a better way than prescription drugs to stop death by diseases—diabetes and other maladies
An example: 2/3 of diabetics who attended our resort were able to stop medications in 11.7 days because of nutrition. In addition, of course, they soaked up the sun. Also, 85% of those who stayed for four weeks were able to leave without the meds. The avoided meds included injected insulin and hypoglycemic drugs (Metformin, Glucotrol, etc.]. That seems like a better option than another drug to “prevent” death. Of course, people must be willing to make changes to heal themselves. Avoiding death is unlikely if a person would rather die than part with junk food. The people at our resort liberated themselves from drugs by making the right choices.
And what about death from other diseases?
Diabetes, of course, was only one of myriad diseases they left behind when they returned home from their sojourns with us. A few others were arthritis, headaches, muscle pain, heart disease, lupus, asthma and obesity. Even erectile dysfunction, mood disorders, endurance and eyesight improved. In addition, nothing we did involved drugs and supplements. Good food, exercise and sunlight were the “medicines” we used. As Hippocrates once stated, “Let Food be your medicine.” He should have added, “Let sunlight and exercise also be your medicine.”
You knew I would get to sunlight and death, did you not?
Another method to enhance human health, while reducing human death: Bring people back into the safe, non-burning sunlight. My latest book, Embrace the Sun, co-authored by Dr. William Grant, has some interesting analyses. There are, in the U.S., according to our calculations, approximately 1,684,677 yearly deaths caused by diseases associated with sun deprivation. That compares to 5125 deaths from diseases associated with high sun exposure, producing a ratio of approximately 328:1. Now you can live with those odds (no pun intended)! Do we really need all those drugs if we give up our killer nutrition and soak up some non-burning sunlight?
Here are some facts everyone should know about death-preventing effects of regular, non-burning sun exposure:
- Seventy-five percent of melanomas occur on areas of the body seldom exposed to sun.
- Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight, and virtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight.
- A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as sun avoiders.
- Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
- Sun exposure decreases heart disease risk.
- Sun exposure dramatically improves mood.
- Those persons who spend more than 15 minutes outdoors have only 1/50 the risk of Parkinson’s disease!
- For each death caused by diseases associated with sun exposure, there are 328 deaths caused by diseases associated with sun deprivation.
- Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to nerve function.
- Sun exposure can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of full-body sun exposure.
- In the U.S., vitamin D deficiency in children has increased by 83 times during a 14-year period. That is likely due to indoor living and sunscreen use.
- Sunlight also directly associates with reduced incidence and death from flu. In the next three months, we may determine if it also reduces the incidence of coronavirus. (Chart courtesy of WHO. Sent by Goran Olsson, Moscow, Russia.) Note the incredible increase of flu in seasons of sun deprivation.
Therefore, you see, good nutrition and sunlight can reduce the need for prescriptions and lighten one more death burden. Embrace the Sun.
The phone is ubiquitous, and it may be taking away a basic human need: sound and restful sleep.
How should the sleep/wake cycle work?
First of all, we awake to bright sunshine. Light enters the eye and stimulates serotonin production. Serotonin is a natural “upper” and mood elevator. Thus, we quickly become awake and invigorated. The bright sunshine also suppresses melatonin, the sleep inducer. Yet at evening light disappears (at least that is how nature intended it), melatonin levels rise, and serotonin levels diminish. We begin to feel sleepy and ideally retire for a good night’s rest. It is a perfect system for our needs—unless we stay up beyond biologically natural hours by using artificial lighting.
Then, the phone throws a wrench into the works!
Particularly, a phone, tablet, computer monitor and other electronic device that emits blue light can interfere with sleep cycles. This may leave you wide-awake and staring at the ceiling when you should be sleeping peacefully. Furthermore, you may feel “out of sync” the next day due to lack of rest. We hear a plethora of advice about using blue-blocker screens, and heaven forbid, giving up the devices at night! Regrettably, however, some humans would rather die than not check their devices just before, and many times during, bedtime. Perhaps they are incorrigibly addicted to the phone, tablet, etc. In addition, such activities inhibit melatonin secretion. Best to eschew the phone by night and embrace the sun by day!
So, is there any way to cater to our phone addictions and still get some shut-eye?
An interesting study showed that exposure to constant bright light, for several hours daily, stopped sleeplessness and let melatonin dominate at night. The researchers compared subjects reading a book (no blue light) and a tablet (lots of blue light). They also assessed sleep patterns and melatonin concentrations. Both groups had identical results for melatonin and sleep patterns. From this research, it appears that we can have our cake and eat it too, provided we receive plenty of sunlight. Most noteworthy was that it was not lack of blue light (when the devices were removed) that enhanced sleep. Rather, it was the bright light exposure in the day. Hence, we can evade sleep-deprivation punishment for excessive device use if we take our time in the sunlight!
So is there other research indicative of the night-time-sleep-inducing effects of daytime sun exposure?
There are several. For a full discussion, I suggest you read my book, Embrace the Sun, co-authored by Dr. William Grant.
Another investigation established that people whose workplaces have windows are able to sleep about 46 minutes per night longer on average, than those who have no natural light access. Those with windows also are generally happier, have fewer ailments, and experience better vitality than their window-less counterparts.
Why is sleep so important to health, regardless of cell phone, sunlight, etc.?
Another article shows that too little sleep can be deadly. Forbes Magazine online printed an excellent article on sunlight and sleep, which listed the following horrendous statistics: “In 2012, 60 million Americans filled prescriptions for sleeping pills, up from 46 million in 2006.” The article discusses the potential dangers of sleep medications, showing that those who take 18 sleeping pills per year have a tripling of the risk of death compared to those who take fewer than 18.
Do not expect the drug companies to be touting these stats. Take matters in your own hands and get some daily, non-burning sun exposure. In addition, read Embrace the Sun,
Poisons in the blood: Chemical Sunscreens.
Poisons are something we want to avoid and reverse. Am I correct in that assumption? Yet, some scientists believe that if sunscreens are poisons, humans should continue using them until they do more research. So, suppose that people die, or develop a disease as that research takes place. Maybe then, we change our minds and say, “it seems like we made a mistake.”
We seem to be a group of guinea pigs
Sunscreen researchers seem to conclude that they need to do more investigations on blood absorption of sunscreen poisons. They would do this research while the guinea pigs (we the people) still use the poisons.
Naming and calling out the poisons
These researchers studied six different sunscreen chemicals and measured their absorption and retention in the blood. These chemicals were avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate and octinoxate. The subjects applied the sunscreens (with all of these chemicals) to 75% of the skin. The investigators then measured residual chemical concentrations at varying periods up to 21 days. Thus, they found all chemicals produced blood concentrations that were well above the Food and Drug (FDA) safety thresholds. In one case (oxybenzone), the concentration reached 360-times the FDA threshold level for safety in four days. In addition, all six chemical concentrations were significantly above the FDA threshold after only one application.
So should we use poisons that have concentrations 3,600% above the FDA threshold?
So what did these great scientists conclude? Here is their statement: “In the absence of clear data demonstrating harm, the use of chemical sunscreen may still be considered appropriate [Really?]. The use of mineral-based sunscreen is a well-established safe alternative. Elevating the science of the benefits and harms of sunscreen should be a priority. The sunscreen industry must begin conducting these safety studies as recommended by the FDA. Until then, the harms of absorption of sunscreen filters will remain uncertain.” I vehemently disagree; the harms of these toxic chemicals are well-known, and I personally do not want to absorb anything into my blood that exceeds the FDA safety thresholds by 3,600%. Chemicals that produce that excess are obviously poisons.
Are sunscreen chemicals either harmful or worthless?
The authors also indicate that sunscreens stop the development of skin cancer. Perhaps they have not read the research that indicates the direct opposite. For example, a meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Dermatology showed that there was no association between sunscreen use and skin cancer, including melanoma. Another study showed that those who used sunscreens had a far greater risk of sunburns than those who used other methods. Those other methods were seeking shade, wearing a hat or visor, and wearing long sleeves and pants. Another interesting fact is that those who used sunscreens had a 62% risk of sunburn. Those who did not use them but engaged in the aforementioned protective behaviors had a 24% risk.
What makes the term “poisons,” appropriate?
While these “researchers” are determining the sunscreen safety, and deciding if they are poisons, let us consider the research. Studies confirm that sunscreen chemicals are highly absorbed and then detected in urine and breast milk. This may cause systemic effects, including disruption of the endocrine system. In addition, pregnant mothers exposed to oxybenzone give birth to babies with low birth weights. This “programs” the developing child for greater risks of heart disease, hypertension, type-two diabetes and other diseases in adulthood. Furthermore, sun causes oxybenzone to become a potent allergen and to form free radicals. In fact, after one hour, more free radicals were created by sunlight contacting sunscreen, than sunlight on skin.” This is another indication that sunscreen use causes more damage than no sunscreens at all!
Gender-bending properties of sunscreen chemicals
Sunscreen chemicals also have potential “gender-bending” characteristics. They increase estrogen and decrease testosterone in men. In addition, they may be responsible for the nearly 50% reduction of sperm count in the last few decades. Sunscreen chemicals may cause the feminization of fish. in addition, environmental pollution by these and similarly structured chemicals may cause feminization in alligators and the gradual extinction of Florida panthers due to failure to breed. Sunscreens also increase the absorption of pesticides through the skin,
In conclusion, what are the environmental damages of sunscreen poisons?
Finally, the environmental damage may be substantial. Many beach areas have prohibited the use of sunscreen poisons due to concerns about coral-reef destruction.
So be careful when you next see a sunscreen advertisement. Protect yourself with clothing and shade when you feel that your sun exposure may become excessive. Sunscreen is not the answer. Regular, non-burning sun exposure is the answer.
Read more in our book, Embrace the Sun.
Flu: stop it with sunlight. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Flu is a killer, and the angst regarding Chinese flu is reason to “enlighten” the world about healing sunlight.
First, the flu is serious and threatening. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and others estimate that yearly deaths from flu range from about 12,000-80,000 per year. Additionally, (no surprise here), research also shows that cold and flu outbreaks are almost completely seasonal. In the northern hemisphere, they occur primarily in December through March. In the southern hemisphere, they occur June through September. Therefore, that is almost exclusively in winter in both hemispheres. In addition, the outbreaks in each case occur in times of lowest sun exposure.
Can the shots kill you?
So why not just a flu shot and some aspirin? Because flu shots, along with whatever good they do, can be fatal. One of our friends from California learned this the hard way. His doctors talked him into getting a flu shot to protect him from disease and discomfort. He then contracted a disease called Guillain-Barre (gee-yan-buh-rey) Syndrome. Loss of muscle strength, loss of or altered sensation, and sometimes paralysis are manifestations of the disease. Our friend had all of those manifestations. He had previously been a hiker, and he enjoyed trekking for up to 100 miles carrying a pack. Guillain-Barre reduced him to a bedridden invalid, and ultimately killed him. Few people succumb to Guillain-Barre, but it seems like a mistake to take the chance. However, I am not telling you not to get a flu shot. That decision is between the patient and doctor.
Stop the the disease by using the most natural method available: regular, non-burning sun exposure.
Personally, the influence of seasons on my tendency to contract colds and flu had a highly significant influence on my interest in sunlight. Until the age of thirty-five, too much of my winter life was spent fighting flu and colds. My first head cold would occur in autumn around mid-November and would keep me in bed two or three days. The illness would then subside over several weeks. Then I would contract whichever flu or cold was in vogue. These ailments took a toll on my life. Most of my friends would suffer one cold per year while nature blessed with up to a half-dozen. Winter was an unhappy time, and I dreamed of leaving the cold weather of the central Nevada-Utah border and moving to warmer climes.
Then came the late spring, summer and early fall. Goodbye flu!
Then came the late spring, summer, and early fall, when I mostly worked on my father’s ranch. The sun blazed from dawn to dusk and I soaked it up. The work on our ranch was intense. We started those sunny days with morning feeding of animals, followed by irrigating, hauling hay and performing other outdoor tasks. Despite the long hours, I loved the sun, and it made the hard work worthwhile. Whenever possible, my shirt came off, and because of my deep tan, my friends called me “brown man.”
Those were my halcyon days. I was happy and healthy and enjoyed a vigor that was lacking in winter. Later I realized there was never a flu or cold (or any other disease) under the summer sun. Whether this was due to increased vitamin D production of some of the other marvelous additional effects of sun exposure is unknown. Please remember that swallowing a vitamin D capsule can never provide the innumerable benefits of sunlight. BTW, after being a sun-seeker for most of my life, I have never had a skin cancer of any kind. Interesting for an older, blue-eyed, light-skinned Caucasian, who, according to the “experts,” should be a prime prospect for melanoma.
Stop the flu by using the most natural method available: regular, non-burning sun exposure.
The increased incidence of flu and colds during winter associates to sun deprivation. We know that most flu and colds occur in times of low sun exposure.
One of the most recent scientific analyses indicates a profound influence of sun exposure on flu. Researchers tested number of hours of sun exposure per week in Taiwanese children. In addition, they compared that to the incidence of flu among those children. Seven 7 hours of sun per week associated to a 33% reduced risk of influenza hospitalizations. Furthermore, in my opinion, 7 hours is not enough.
Would sunbed use also reduce risk?
Another possibility occurred to me several years ago and influenced my thinking. An elderly friend of mine asked how he could reduce the colds, flu and discomfort he was experiencing each winter. I suggested regular tanning-bed use. He followed the advice and the following winter had no sign of a cold. Either the UV light protected him against his usual respiratory infections, or it was just luck. The research suggests it was the former, via increased 25(OH)D levels or due to other factors. Vitamin D stimulates the production of anti-microbial peptides that fight infection. For more information on sunbeds, visit this link.
When the sun is available, take advantage of it in a non-burning fashion. If the sun is not available, use a sunbed in non-burning fashion. Stop the flu before it stops us! Happy sunning!
Sunscreen chemicals. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Sunscreen chemicals are toxic. I have written about them previously and did an analysis of sunscreen chemicals dangers in my book, Embrace the Sun. And now, Science Digest alerts the public of new research. It indicates that even low concentrations of sunscreen chemicals can stimulate breast tissue growth. Thus, these chemicals could lead to breast cancer. Nevertheless, these chemicals affected only breast cells that had estrogen receptors. The sunscreen chemical tested was oxybenzone, which mimics estrogen in some aspects. Oxybenzone and other similar chemicals are known as xenoestrogens. They are also suspected of many injurious effects beyond possibly causing breast cancer.
Other deleterious effects of sunscreen chemicals 1
First of all, several years ago, the CDC released a study showing that 96.8% of Americans at age six are contaminated with oxybenzone. The study also showed that women were 3.5 times as likely to have high concentrations as men. The authors suggest that women’s greater use of personal-care products, most of which contain sunscreens, is the reason for their higher degree of contamination. Oxybenzone is used in 588 sunscreens and in 567 other personal-care products. Another investigation showed that up to 8.7% of oxybnezone is absorbed and accumulates in the body. It is still found in the urine 5 days after application.
Other deleterious effects of sunscreen chemicals 2
Other research papers confirm that sunscreen chemicals are highly absorbed and then detected in urine and breast milk, where they may cause systemic effects, including disruption of the endocrine system., 
In addition, pregnant mothers exposed to oxybenzone gave birth to babies with low birth weights,  which “programs” the developing child for greater risks of heart disease, hypertension, type-two diabetes and other diseases in adulthood. Furthermore, sun causes the chemical to become a potent allergen,  and to form free radicals., , ,  Free radicals are unstable atoms which lack an electron in their outer shells. One study concluded, “The surprising result is UV filters applied to the skin surface not only lose their screening capability after a period of incubation, but also may lead to enhanced ROS [free radicals] generation in nucleated epidermis through photogeneration.“ In fact, after one hour, more free radicals were created by sunlight contacting sunscreen, than sunlight on skin. To me, this is another indication that sunscreens cause more damage than no sunscreens!
Other deleterious effects of sunscreen chemicals 3
In addition to adverse effects on human health, sunscreen chemicals have potential deleterious effects on the environment. A study from the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, regarding the detrimental effects of Oxybenzone, stated that Oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant, meaning its adverse effects are exacerbated in the light. Does this toxic chemical sound like something you’d like to apply to your skin or your children’s skin while out in the sun?
The researchers also stated: “Oxybenzone is an emerging contaminant of concern in the marine environment.” They found that a small dollop of sunscreen in six Olympic-sized pools caused a disruption of coral growth. Such disruption leads to a whitening and killing of the marine activity of coral reefs. This is accomplished by ossification of a free-swimming larva called a planula, which kills the growth of coral reefs. And this information has proven to be prophetic. Many beach areas have now prohibited the use of sunscreen chemicals due to concerns about coral-reef destruction.
The final nail in the coffin for sunscreen chemicals: they may lead to sunburns.
I have often stated that sunscreens may be worthless at best and dangerous at worst. Another scientific study accidentally corroborated my conclusion. The researchers wanted to discover which sun-protection behavior was most effective in preventing sunburn. Hence, they designed a cross-sectional investigation using a nationally representative sample of about 32,000 US adults. They interviewed each participant in person. This is especially relevant when attempting to achieve the most accurate results possible. We can conclude, therefore, that their findings regarding sunscreen use and other “sun-protective” behaviors probably have validity. Seeking shade, wearing a hat or visor, and wearing long sleeves and or pants were other sun-protective behaviors included.
Fifty-four percent of the subjects were women, and 15,992 of all individuals were considered sun-sensitive (fair skinned). Those who used only sunscreen had the highest sunburn likelihood (62.4%). Also, the group with lowest likelihood of sunburn did not use sunscreen, but engaged in the other protective behaviors (24.3% sunburned). In addition, among 12,566 non–sun-sensitive individuals, those engaged in all 4 protective behaviors had the lowest sunburn (6.6%). The highest likelihood of sunburn was among those who used only sunscreen (26.2%). “The most surprising and counterintuitive finding was that regular sunscreen use, in the absence of other protective behaviors, was associated with the highest likelihood of sunburn.” according to Kasey Morris, who led the study.
Finally, a meta-analysis of the best research, involving 313,000 subjects found that neither melanoma nor non-melanoma skin cancer was associated with sunscreen use. And, another study indicated that in the last three decades, melanoma incidence has increased by 400% and sunscreen use has also increased by 400%. Isn’t it time that we stopped using this toxic, chemical soup?
Think carefully about this information when you next see a sunscreen ad. Enjoy the sun safely (without burning).
 Calafat, A. Concentrations of the Sunscreen Agent, Benzophenone-3, in Residents of the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004. (Available at http://dx.doi.org/).
 Environmental Working Group: Americans Carry Body Burden of Toxic Sunscreen Chemical. 25, 2008. (Available at http://www.ewg.org/node/26212).
 Hayden CG, Roberts MS, Benson HA. Systemic absorption of sunscreen after topical application. Lancet 1997:350:863-64.
 Gonzalez H, Farbrot A, Larkö A-M. Wennberg A. Percutaneous absorption of the sunscreen benzophenone-3 after repeated whole-body applications, with and without ultraviolet irradiation. British J Dermatol 2016;154:137-140.
 Krause M, Klit A, Blomberg Jensen M, Søeborg T, Frederiksen H, Schlumpf M, Lichtensteiger W, Skakkebaek NE, Drzewiecki KT. Sunscreens: Are they beneficial for health? An overview of endocrine disrupting properties of UV-filters. Int. J. Androl. 35, 424436 (2012).
 Yang Deng, Asiri Ediriwickrema, Fan Yang, Julia Lewis, Michael Girardi and W. Mark Saltzman. A sunblock based on bioadhesive nanoparticles. Nature materials: published online: 28 September 2015.
 Mary S. Wolff, Stephanie M. Engel, Gertrud S. Berkowitz, Xiaoyun Ye, Manori J. Silva, Chenbo Zhu, James Wetmur, and Antonia M. Calafat. Prenatal Phenol and Phthalate Exposures and Birth Outcomes. National Institutes of Health USA Department of Health and Human Services.(available at http://dx.doi.org/)
 Lau C, Rogers JM. 2004. Embryonic and fetal programming of physiological disorders in adulthood. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today 2004;72:300-12.
 Bryden AM, Moseley H, Ibbotson SH, Chowdhury MM, Beck MH, Bourke J, English J, Farr P, Foulds IS, et al. Photopatch testing of 1155 patients: results of the U.K. multicentre photopatch group. B J Dermatol 2006;155:737-47.
 Rodriguez E, Valbuena MC, Rey M, Porras de Quintana L. 2006. Causal agents of photoallergic contact dermatitis diagnosed in the national institute of dermatology of Colombia. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2006;22:189-92.
 Hanson KM, Gratton E, Bardeen CJ. Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Oct 15;41(8):1205-12.
 Bastien N, Millau JF, Rouabhia M, Davies RJ, Drouin R. The sunscreen agent 2-phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid photosensitizes the formation of oxidized guanines in cellulo after UV-A or UV-B exposure. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Oct;130(10):2463-7
 Gulston M, Knowland J. Illumination of human keratinocytes in the presence of the sunscreen ingredient Padimate-O and through an SPF-15 sunscreen reduces direct photodamage to DNA but increases strand breaks. Mutat Res. 1999 Jul 21;444(1):49-60.
 Environmental Working Group: Americans Carry Body Burden of Toxic Sunscreen Chemical. 25, 2008. (Available at http://www.ewg.org/node/26212).
 Hanson KM, Gratton E, Bardeen CJ. Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Oct 15;41(8):1205-12.
 C. A. Downs , Esti Kramarsky-Winter, Roee Segal, John Fauth, Sean Knutson, Omri Bronstein, Frederic R. Ciner, Rina Jeger, Yona Lichtenfeld et al. Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Oct 20 2015.
 Kasey L. Morris, PhD; Frank M. Perna, EdD, PhD. Decision Tree Model vs Traditional Measures to Identify Patterns of Sun-Protective Behaviors and Sun Sensitivity Associated With Sunburn. JAMA Dermatol. Published online June 27, 2018.
Sunbeds can be healthful devices. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Sunbeds, also known as tanning beds, have many healthful properties. They produce vitamin D, strengthen bone and reduce the risk of major cancers. Yet, sunbeds are much maligned as being a major cause of melanoma. Thus, teens in many areas have been banned from using them by misguided legislation. In addition, tanning- salon owners must live in fear of government overreach that could put them out of business.
But new research shows that the attack on sunbeds is misguided.
Because of this uproar, a group of scientists (some dermatologists), led by Dr. Jörg Reichrath, did a thorough research review. Furthermore, they published their findings in the scientific journal Anticancer Research, which presented truth about melanoma and sunbeds. This information is most noteworthy since it is contrary to the prevailing papers that emanate from the Powers of Darkness. The Powers of Darkness are those who love to attack both sun exposure and sunbeds.
Especially relevant points regarding sunbeds and melanoma risk, from Anticancer Research:
- First of all, Reichrath and colleagues performed a systematic literature search. This research was undertaken to identify and evaluate research that investigated relationship of solarium use (sunbed use) and melanoma risk. And as a result, they stated the following: “We found no studies that demonstrate a causal relationship between moderate solarium use and melanoma risk.” In addition, they indicated that the quality of the observational studies was low and that bias may have existed.
- Another interesting finding was that although moderate sunbed use had no effect on melanoma, something else did affect melanoma. An unhealthy lifestyle involving extensive sunbathing, alcohol and smoking associated to a 20% increase in the disease. Also, the researchers mention that individuals with unhealthful lifestyles use tanning salons more often.
At this time, I must make a point. Those who are regularly in the sun have stronger bones and less cancer than sun avoiders. So I’m not sure what “extensive” sunbathing entailed. And, another point is this: As time spent in the sun has decreased profoundly in both Europe and the U.S., melanoma has increased exponentially. Read my book, Embrace the Sun, to see the discussion on this topic.
Could sunbeds actually decrease the risk of melanoma?
Another salient finding of the research review: A study from Europe showed that sunbed use was associated with a 30% reduced risk for developing melanoma. Reichrath and colleagues made this comment on that study: “Those findings indicate that solarium [sunbed] use may even have a protective effect.”
Sunbeds: beyond melanoma. Here are a few truths about sunbeds that are seldom discussed:
The transcendent sunbed study showed that during 20-years, women who used them reduced all-cause mortality by 23%. So let’s suppose that that there were some health problems with using sunbeds. That negative possibility pales in comparison to the remarkably reduced risk of death, does it not? And, I am not stating that there were negatives for sunbed use in this research.
What are some of the reasons that sunbed use is associated with a lower risk of all cause death?
Another investigation showed that sunbeds were associated with a reduced the risk of breast cancer.
In addition, research showed that sunbeds were associated with 90% higher vitamin D levels and significantly stronger bones.
Also, they are useful in treating psoriasis and other skin disorders.
Sunbeds are also useful in treating pain and in improving mood.
Finally, these devices have been shown to associate with lower clot risk.
The takeaway from all of these studies is that there is no credible research that melanoma is increased by using sunbeds. And, sunbeds have remarkably healthful effects. When receiving sun exposure or using sunbeds, be sure not to burn.
For more information, read the book, Embrace the Sun.
MS can be prevented. By Marc Sorenson, EdD
MS (Multiple sclerosis MS) is an autoimmune disease in which T-cells initiate an inflammatory response against myelin, the protective cover of nerves.,  Hence, This process, known as demyelination, leaves the nerves bare and susceptible to “short circuiting.” MS is a debilitating, sometimes painful disease that may be fatal.
Symptoms and prevalence of MS:
Here are some of the symptoms of MS, as listed by the Mayo Clinic:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements
- Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
- Partial or complete loss of vision and
- Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function.
Nearly one million people are living with MS in the United States.
Salient points regarding MS and sun exposure:
It has long been known that there is an inverse association between sunlight and MS. So In other words, the greater the sunlight exposure, the lesser the risk of contracting MS. For example, it has been known for decades that those who live closer to the equator had a lower risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). And in fact, the risk of MS in far northern areas is more than 100 times greater than it is in equatorial areas, where sunlight is intense, and the rate of MS approaches zero., ,  Sunlight is usually much more intense at low latitudes than high latitudes.
Sunlight, MS and relapse rate.
MS also goes through periods of remission and then relapse, and of course, it is important to avoid relapse as much as possible. A sunlight and disease relationship was also noted in MS relapse rate: Each degree of latitude increase was associated with a 1% increase in the odds of having relapses over the previous year. A 1% increase may not seem impressive. Yet, in a country with a 30% higher latitude, the increased risk of relapse would be 30%. And, the increased risk of disability would be 60-90%. This is exceptionally important, since MS damages the cerebral cortex of the brain. And, that damage is more severe during the relapse phase.
Does sun exposure during youth confer protection against the disease?
Australian research compared the numbers of daily hours subjects spent in the sun when they were six to fifteen years of age. Adults who were in the lowest “childhood sun-exposure” category were three times as likely to develop MS as those in the highest category.
What part does vitamin D play in sunlight’s protection against MS?
Most scientists conclude that vitamin D production, by sun stimulation of skin, leads to the irrefutable correlation between high sun exposure and low MS risk. On the surface, this conclusion seems entirely plausible, since summer sun exposure at midday can produce up to 20,000 international Units in 20 minutes. However, correlation does not prove causation.
Consider this: As with certain other diseases, sun exposure may have a positive influence on multiple sclerosis, independent of vitamin D production:
Researchers used animals with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) (an experimental form of MS deliberately induced in animals in a laboratory setting) to determine the relative influences of UVR [sunlight] and vitamin D on the disease. They concluded, “These results suggest UVR [sun] is likely suppressing disease independent of vitamin D production, and vitamin D supplementation alone may not replace the ability of sun (UV) to reduce MS susceptibility.” Later on, some of these same researchers investigated the mechanism by which sun exposure suppressed the disease and determined that UV light selectively inhibits spinal cord inflammation and demyelination.Thus, it is light, not vitamin D, that protects against MS.
More on sun exposure, vitamin D and MS
Another study showed that sun exposure, while obviously being critical in the production of vitamin D, had its own profound influence in lessening the degeneration of nerves (neurodegeneration) in those with MS. By measuring whole brain volume (WBV) and grey-matter volume (GMV) utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scientists determined that greater summer sun exposure predicted greater WBV and GMV in MS patients. Interestingly though, when 25(OH)D levels were measured, they had no influence on the positive effects of sun exposure with WBV or GMV. The researchers concluded: “Sun exposure may have direct effects on MRI measures of neurodegeneration in MS, independently of vitamin D.” Sun exposure is known to increase the quantity of brain-derived neurotropic factor, which is essential for the protection and replenishing of nerve cells. Could it be one of the photoproducts beyond vitamin D that protects against MS? Time will tell after more research is done.
Many other studies have concluded that MS risk is reduced by sun exposure, independently of vitamin D. I would suggest that you read about that research in my book, Embrace the Sun, which is co-authored by Dr. William Grant. Also follow this link to read more about this subject: . http://sunlightinstitute.org/sun-not-vitamin-d-reduces-ms/
The most recent research on Sunlight, multiple sclerosis and vitamin D.
In 2018, research showed that living in areas of high sunlight exposure during the ages of 5-15 years, was associated with a 45-55% reduced risk of the disease. The authors of this research also noted that higher summer sun exposure in high sunlight areas was also associated with a reduced risk. So, this would indicate that we need to not only live in areas of high sun exposure to reduce MS, but also to be sure to spend plenty of time outdoors.
In 2019, other research showed that MS prevalence is strongly positively associated with increasing latitude and that the gradient is increasing, suggesting that potentially modifiable environmental factors, such as sun exposure, are still strongly associated with MS risk. The researchers also stated that “it is important to acknowledge that UVR effects need not solely be via vitamin D.” Again, this statement means to me that sun exposure always works to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, but it is not certain that vitamin D is the key. If it is not the key, then taking vitamin D supplements will be of no value for the disease.
The bottom line: Soak up plenty of non-burning sun, being sure not to burn. It will help to reduce the risk.
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 Markovic-Plese S, McFarland HF. Immunopathogenesis of the multiple sclerosis lesion. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2001;1:257-62
 Acheson ED. Some comments on the relationship of the distribution of multiple sclerosis to latitude, solar radiation, and other variables. Acta Neurol Scand 1960;35:132-47.
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 Jelinek GA, Marck CH, Weiland TJ, Pereira N, van der Meer DM, Hadgkiss EJ. Latitude, sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation: associations with quality of life and disease outcomes in a large international cohort of people with multiple sclerosis. BMC Neurol. 2015 Aug 5;15:132.
 Gracien RM, Jurcoane A, Wagner M, Reitz SC, er C, Volz S, Hof SM, Fleischer V, Droby A, Steinmetz H, Groppa S, Hattingen E, Deichmann R, Klein JC. Multimodal quantitative MRI assessment of cortical damage in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 6. 10.1002.
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 Becklund BR, Severson KS, Vang SV, DeLuca HF. UV radiation suppresses experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis independent of vitamin D production. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:6418-23.
 Wang Y, Marling SJ, Beaver EF, Severson KS, Deluca HF. UV light selectively inhibits spinal cord inflammation and demyelination in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2015 1;567:75-82
 Zivadinov R, Treu CN, Weinstock-Guttman B, Turner C, Bergsland N, O’Connor K, Dwyer MG, Carl E, Ramasamy DP, Qu J, Ramanathan M. Interdependence and contributions of sun exposure and vitamin D to MRI measures in multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;84(10):1075-
Breast cancer (and other cancers) can be prevented with sunlight! By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Breast cancer risk, much as a deadly snake, strikes fear into the hearts of women and their families. First of all, there are myriad opinions on the disease, which opinions serve mostly to confuse the issue. Yet, there is one factor emerging as something women can turn to. And that factor is regular sunlight exposure. Thus, in research performed on Black women, regarding cancer risk and vitamin D, only sun exposure cut through the confusion. This study was conducted among 1724 women with breast cancer and 1233 controls (no cancer). Various quantities of vitamin D and calcium were administered to these volunteers.
As a result, it was shown that dietary vitamin D was not associated with breast cancer risk. Supplemental vitamin D did have a small, positive effect. Yet, sun exposure (as always seems to be the case) was consistently associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Yet, the results on supplementation added to confusion. So, supplementing less than 800 IU per day of vitamin D was actually more effective than supplementing more than 800 IU. How do we explain that?
A breast cancer mistake made by health professionals and others.
While many doctors know that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from sunlight reduces risk of cancer, they have missed something. Sunlight stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin. Therefore, many health professionals assume vitamin D is responsible for the reduced cancer risk. This may lead them to advocate the use of vitamin D supplementation and totally miss the bigger picture. In addition to vitamin D, UVR from sunlight or sunlamps produces many additional healthful photoproducts. Among others, nitric oxide, serotonin, endorphin and BDNF are produced by sunlight, and these photoproducts are vital to health. And, it is likely that these healthful photoproducts lead to an inhibition of breast cancer.
New research shows that sun exposure per se is capable of reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Consequently, it should not surprise us that for cancer, sunlight’s effects go beyond vitamin D. Researchers used mice that easily develop breast cancer, and treated them with UVR. [think sun exposure}
They found that UVR treatments produced significant anti-cancer effects, much as we might expect. Furthermore, they found that neither dietary vitamin D nor topical vitamin D influenced cancer risk. They stated the following because of their findings: “UVR’s inhibitory effects occur irrespective of whether or not the treatment increases circulating D3 (vitamin D) in the mice.” Also, they made one more important comment regarding their research on cancer and UVR. “Therefore, supplemental D3 may not mimic all possible beneficial effects of UVR, and uncovering non-D3-mediated mechanisms of UVR tumor inhibition may lead to novel strategies for cancer prevention.”
And here is the transcendent research regarding sun exposure and breast cancer:
Profoundly important Iranian research has also emerged regarding breast cancer and sun exposure. Most noteworthy, the investigation showed that low vitamin D predicted only a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Yet, there was a 10-fold increase in the risk of the disease. In other words, there was a 1,000% increase in breast-cancer risk due to sun deficiency. among women who totally covered themselves (no sun exposure)
An important summary regarding vitamin D, sunlight and breast cancer.
Finally, there is no doubt that vitamin D, in some cases, has anticancer benefits. In addition, the aforementioned research, however, is especially relevant in that it corroborates what I said in my book, Embrace the Sun. Therefore, we must not put all the benefits of sunlight in the vitamin D box. That is because sun exposure performs miracles beyond vitamin D. And, One of those sunlight miracles is cancer prevention and inhibition. Thus, if we erroneously believe that we can obtain all of the sun’s benefits from popping a vitamin D pill, we may miss the holistic effects of the sun, which provides a cornucopia of salubrious benefits.
Embrace the sun and ease your mind about cancer. Always avoid burning.
Marc Sorenson, EdD, Author of Embrace the Sun
Lymph cancers and sun exposure:
Research published in the journal Blood, demonstrated remarkable risk reduction (due to sun exposure), of cancers known as lymphoid malignancies. These are cancers of the lymph system or lymph cancers. And, they include non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, multiple myeloma and classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. All of them can be deadly. This is vital information, and I have previously written about the effect of sunlight and its protective effect on children’s’ lymph cancers. http://sunlightinstitute.org/sunlight-helps-children-to-reduce-the-risk-of-non-hodgkin-lymphoma/
First of all, the researchers measured exposure to the sun among residents in different geographic areas. Then they compared the different categories of exposures to the risk of contracting these cancers.
What were the results regarding sun exposure and lymph cancers?
As a result, it was shown that those residents living in the areas with the highest quartile (fourth) of sun exposure were impressively protected against lymph cancers. That is, when compared with those in the lowest quartile. So the overall reduction in risk was 43% reduced risk of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition, they had a 64% decrease in the risk of one of its subcategories, known as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Furthermore, the risk of another subcategory of lymph cancers, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, was reduced by 54%. Multiple myeloma was also associated with a reduced risk of 43% among those in the highest quartile of sun exposure.
Especially relevant was the fact that dietary vitamin D was not associated with the risk of lymph cancers.
The researchers stated, “These results support a protective effect of routine residential [sun exposure] against lymphomagenesis [lymph cancer production] through mechanisms possibly independent of vitamin D.”
What is the salient finding of this lymph cancer research and other sunlight/vitamin D/cancer research?
Most noteworthy, in perusing the research of sunlight and disease, I noted that vitamin D was effective for some diseases. Yet, I also noted it was only minimally effective, or ineffective, for others like lymph cancer. Also, it became obvious that exposure to the sun or other sources (sunlamps) was usually profoundly effective.
So should sunlight research on lymph cancer and other cancers focus on vitamin D?
So rather than focus on vitamin D as the only photoproduct of sun exposure, the authors should have examined the big picture. In other words, the holistic sun. Thus, many of these studies should have mentioned the effect of sun exposure on vasodilation, mediated by the skin’s production of nitric oxide. Also, they could have discussed the influence of sun exposure on the production of beneficial serotonin, dopamine, BDNF and endorphin. Vitamin D is an exceptionally important photoproduct of sun exposure, but it is not the only photoproduct. Thus, I predict that a new field of research, regarding other photoproducts of sun exposure, will soon emerge. And, it will provide impressive new knowledge regarding the life-and-health-giving benefits of our most precious friend, the sun.
The takeaway for sunlight and lymph cancer:
In conclusion, these findings are doubly important. They indicate sun exposure has protective effects against lymph cancers independent of vitamin D. This is also true of other cancers we have discussed or will discuss in other blogs. It is probably also true that vitamin D produced through sun exposure is superior to that obtained through food or supplements. Thus, it appears that “Mother Nature knows best.” It seems like the sun’s rays, one of God’s greatest gifts, should not be ignored as powerful therapeutic and preventive therapy.
Read this book:
For more information on the influence of sunlight on lymph cancer, and other destructive diseases, read the book Embrace the Sun, by Sorenson and Grant.
Happy sunning, and do not burn.