By Marc Sorenson, EdD, promoting sun exposure..
The world of science is waking up! New research states that 330,000 lives could be saved by optimizing vitamin D levels through sun exposure. That compares to 450,000 deaths linked to tobacco. This is to be expected, since a Swedish study demonstrated that over a 20- year period, women who avoided the sun were TWICE AS LIKELY TO DIE OF ANY CAUSE, as women who were sun-seekers,  and the researchers stated the following: “Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking.”
It is no surprise that sun exposure saves lives. Here are a few facts that I have written about on the Sunlight Institute site. Go to news and search the fact you would like to read.
- As sun exposure in the U.S. has DECREASED by 90% during the last century, melanoma incidence has INCREASED BY 3,000%.
- A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
- Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
- Women who totally avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
- Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart attack risk.
- Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential to human survival, and sun exposure is the only natural way to obtain it. Sunbathing can produce 20,000 units of vitamin D in 20 minutes of whole-body exposure.
- Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
- Beyond vitamin D, sun exposure also stimulates the production of endorphin, nitric oxide and BDNF, all of which are vital to human health.
- Regular sun exposure also reduces high blood pressure, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis (MS).
- So enjoy your sunshine, but don’t burn.
 David G. Hoel, Marianne Berwick, Frank R. de Gruijl & Michael F. Holick
(2016) The risks and benefits of sun exposure 2016, Dermato-Endocrinology, 8:1, e1248325,
 Lindqvist PG, Epstein E, Nielsen K, Landin-Olsson M, Ingvar C, Olsson H. Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort.
J Intern Med. 2016 Oct;280(4):375-87
 Lindqvist PG, Epstein E, Landin-Olsson M, Ingvar C, Nielsen K, Stenbeck M, Olsson H. Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for all-cause mortality: results from the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort. J Intern Med. 2014 Jul;276(1):77-86