Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute
Last week, my wife, Vicki and I hosted Dr. William Grant and Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren and his fiancée, Ossy, at our ranch in Nevada’s high country. We had many interesting conversations, most of them focusing on human health, sunlight and vitamin D. As we discussed some of the beneficial effects of sunlight, including those that did not require vitamin D, Dr. Grant informed me of a consensus paper, of which he was a co-author, by a group of vitamin D scientists. The paper is entitled, Sunlight and Vitamin D: Necessary for Public Health. It is an exceptionally important paper, since it refutes much of the false dogma being perpetrated by the large anti-sun organizations. Here are the some of the salient points made in the paper regarding the mantras of said organizations:
- The WHO recommends avoiding outdoor activities at midday and wearing clothing that covers the whole body.
- The ACS advocates Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap!, to make sure skin is covered in clothing or sunscreen and to avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- The Surgeon General has issued a Call to Action focused on reducing ultraviolet (UV) exposure, whether from indoor UV or from the sun.
You and I know that this advice leads to vitamin D deficiency and poor health. The paper goes on to champion the protective effects of sunlight on various cancers, type-one diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. An important statement in the introduction to the paper is the following: “Though adherence to the current sun-protective recommendations would likely result in the reduction of non-melanoma skin cancer, that reduction would likely be overshadowed by the potential reduction in deaths from other cancers and from cardiovascular disease, which could be achieved by doubling average blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) to 40 ng/mL through a combination of sun exposure and supplements.”
Those deaths were also analyzed in a cost benefit analysis, predicting a potential reduction of as many as 336,000 deaths each year, including 180,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 20,000 from colorectal cancer, 12,000 from breast cancer, 70,000 from other cancers and 15,000 from Alzheimer’s disease. The authors also estimated a cost savings for health care of $130 billion yearly.
The production of nitric oxide and beta-endorphins, and the regulation of circadian rhythms were also mentioned as other positive physiological responses to sunlight.
Kudos to lead author Carole Baggerly, one of the most dynamic advocates that I have met. She works tirelessly to promote the truth about sunlight and vitamin D, and she provided the impetus for this exceptionally important paper. She was quoted as follows regarding the materials presented in the paper: “Humans have adapted to sun exposure over many thousands of years and derive numerous physiological benefits from UV exposure in addition to vitamin D. These benefits far outweigh those derived from vitamin D intake by supplements, and therefore sun avoidance being recommended by the US Surgeon General and others is unnecessarily putting Americans at risk.”
Carole and the rest of these scientists are correct. Reasonable sunlight exposure can save the lives of millions who are being led down the path to destruction by those who would rob us of our sunlight. For the full paper, click here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07315724.2015.1039866
 Carole A. Baggerly, BA, Raphael E. Cuomo, MPH, Christine B. French, MS, Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, FACE, Edward D. Gorham, PhD, William B. Grant, PhD, Robert P. Heaney, MD, Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, Bruce W. Hollis, PhD, Sharon L. McDonnell, MPH, Mary Pittaway, MA, RD, Paul Seaton, MS, Carol L. Wagner, MD, Alexander Wunsch, MD. Sunlight and Vitamin D: Necessary for Public Health. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2015.1039866.