Sun deprivation and bone health by Marc Sorenson, EdD
Sun deprivation associates very closely to bone health, and that fact has been made abundantly clear by my previous blogs. So now, another small report adds credence to an already overwhelming volume of evidence. This evidence will shortly be discussed. Because bone weakness and fractures are pandemic due to osteoporosis, this blog serves as a reminder. Due to the potential pain, disability and deterioration of life quality caused by this disease, drastic action is needed. So, let me give a stark warning to both women and men! First of all, both should to seek regular, non-burning sun exposure. Furthermore, they should eat plenty of green vegetables, give up smoking and do some impact exercise several times weekly. (Also, check with a doctor before doing impact exercise.)
A startling, but obviously true statement regarding sun deprivation and bone health
Almost all problems with bone health would disappear if the people regularly utilized the aforementioned advice on reducing osteoporosis. While weak bones are caused by neglecting sunlight, vegetable consumption and exercise, one factor stands above the others. Thus, let’s consider the prophylactic effect achieved by soaking up the sun:
The study from Spain: Sun deprivation is the biggest problem.
Research in Spain showed this astounding result: Women who were sun-seekers had only about one-eleventh the risk of hip fracture as those who were not. Most people would probably say that this was due to vitamin D production by the skin when exposed to sunlight. And many would also say that vitamin D supplements could achieve the same results. However, it is especially relevant that I have not seen any study on supplements that demonstrates that degree of protection. In addition to vitamin D, sun exposure also produces many other vital photoproducts. So, sunlight is “holistic” medicine, whose benefits go far beyond vitamin D production.
Now let’s discuss the latest study on sun deprivation and bone health.
Since we believe sun deprivation leads to weakened bones, let’s look at recent research on a single individual. (See the first link in this article.) The study involved osteomalacia, a soft-bone disease related to osteoporosis.
The researchers described the individual’s problems thusly: “We report a case of 51-years-old woman, with a religious garment, with slowly progressing weakness of the proximal limb muscles, extreme fatigue, chest and lower spine pain, paresthesia [a burning sensation in the extremities}, depression, difficulties in walking and waddling gait.” A rather miserable condition, no? This woman improved due to vitamin D supplementation. And how much more might she have improved if she could have done some full-body sunbathing?
In conclusion: These bone diseases, caused by sun deprivation, could be eradicated almost totally by non-burning sun exposure and the few other lifestyle changes suggested above. Embrace the Sun!