By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute
As I was searching the National Library of Medicine (PubMed) for information on sunlight and its relationship to breast cancer, a profoundly important piece of research emerged. An investigation from Iran on the association between cancer risk and vitamin D showed that low vitamin D predicted only a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. However, among women who totally covered themselves and thereby had no sunlight exposure, there was a more than a 10-times increase in the risk of the disease.
The message of the study is that sunlight avoidance, as promulgated by the sunscreen industry and dermatological societies, is one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated. Coupled with our pitiful nutritional habits, it guarantees that breast cancer will remain rampant. Women (and men), please take care of yourselves by getting regular, non-burning sunlight exposure. That habit correlates to a reduction not only in breast cancer, but also prostate cancer and about 20 other major cancers. The sun is not your enemy. Just use it wisely and don’t burn. And while you do that, please eat lots of berries, dark fruits and green vegetables.
I have written many articles on this site regarding sunlight and cancer. Use the search bar to look up and read them. I will shortly post another blog on prostate cancer and sunlight. Until then, happy and safe sunbathing!
 Bidgoli SA, Azarshab H. Role of vitamin D deficiency and lack of sun exposure in the incidence of premenopausal breast cancer: a case control study in Sabzevar, Iran. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(8):3391-6.
By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–
The evidence of the relationship of vitamin D deficiency to increased risk of breast cancer (BC) continues to mount. The latest indication of the crying need for sunshine was recently reported in the July 2013 issue American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this research, the serum levels of vitamin D among 120 Saudi women with BC were compared to 120 controls who were BC-free. Questionnaires were given to each group to determine medical and dietary background so that those factors could also be considered as possible causes.
The research showed that women who serum levels were below 10 ng/ml had 6 times the risk of having BC as those whose levels were above 20 ng/ml. Interestingly, both 10 and 20 ng/ml indicate severe deficiency, and one must wonder if even higher levels of vitamin D could have correlated to an even lower risk of the disease. We may never know, since it unlikely that the lifestyles of these women could produce levels much higher than 20 ng/ml; they receive too little sunlight.
This is a result that should have been expected, as it has been known for some time that lack of sunlight and/or vitamin D has a profound predictive influence for increased breast-cancer risk. Remember that about 80-90% of vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to sunlight exposure; therefore, research on vitamin D deficiency and disease is really research on lack of sunlight.
Let’s stop the insanity and get back to regular, non-burning sunlight exposure.
 Yousef FM, Jacobs ET, Kang PT, Hakim IA, Going S, Yousef JM, Al-Raddadi RM, Kumosani TA, Thomson CA. Vitamin D status and breast cancer in Saudi Arabian women: case-control study. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98(1):105-10.
Those who would frighten us away from the sun continue to propagandize that sunlight causes cancer. They sometimes have the decency to say “melanoma” rather than lump all cancers together, but they are dead wrong on that front also; most major cancers, including melanoma, are dramatically reduced by regular sunlight exposure (for references, see the cancer section in my book). There have been so many papers written on the protective effects of sunlight and vitamin D on cancer, that most of the newer papers serve primarily as reinforcement for what is already known. A recent study from Ontario, Canada is a case in point. The researchers determined the amount of time spent outdoors by 3,101 women with breast cancer and compared them with 3,471 women who were cancer-free. The ages of the women was also compared to the risk of cancer to determine the differences in breast-cancer risk during different periods of life. High sunlight exposure was considered to be greater than 21 hours outdoors per week; low exposure was considered to be six hours per week or less.
Among teenagers, high sunlight exposure correlated to reduced risk of breast cancer of 29% compared to those who had the lowest exposure; among those in their 20s and 30s, high sunlight exposure correlated to a reduced risk of 36%; among those in their 40s and 50s, a 26% reduced risk; and among those in their 60s and 70s, a 50% reduced risk.
Other researchers have made similar observations. One group demonstrated that girls who had the greatest exposure to sunlight during the ages of 10-19 had a 35% decreased risk of breast cancer as adults when compared to those who had the least exposure.
And what about prostate cancer? It has been established that men who are in the lowest forth of sunlight exposure have three times the risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those in the highest forth. And young boys who are exposed to lots of sunshine have only about one-fifth the risk of contracting prostate cancer—as adults—when compared to those who have had little sun exposure.
So, are the dermatologists doing us a favor by frightening us away from the sun? You may make your own conclusions. Just remember to avoid burning if you choose to enjoy the health benefits of your solar friend.
 Anderson LN, Cotterchio M, Kirsh VA, Knight JA. Ultraviolet Sunlight Exposure During Adolescence and Adulthood and Breast Cancer Risk: A Population-based Case-Control Study Among Ontario Women. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]
 Knight J. et al. Vitamin D and reduced risk of breast cancer: a population-based case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16:422-29.
 Moon, S. et al. Ultraviolet radiation: effects on risks of prostate and other internal cancers. Mutat Res 2005; 571:207–219.
 Luscombe, C. et al. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation: association with susceptibility and age at presentation with prostate cancer. Lancet 2001;358:641–42.
By: Marc Sorenson–
A 2010 study from France has shown that women who were exposed to a combination of sunlight and dietary vitamin D had up to a 45 percent reduced risk of contracting breast cancer, according to Cancer Epidemiol, Biomarkers & Prevention.
The researchers noted that high dietary vitamin D by itself did not correlate to a reduced risk of breast cancer, whereas sunlight exposure alone did correlate to a lowered risk.
This research should come as no surprise, as there is miniscule vitamin D in the typical diet. For example, the typical 3½-ounce piece of farmed salmon contains about 175 International Units of vitamin D; 8 ounces of fortified milk 100 IU; and 8 ounces fortified orange juice 100 IU. The amounts typically derived from eggs, oils and margarine is negligible.
It is now believed by many experts in the vitamin D field that 4,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D supplementation is necessary for optimal health, so it can be seen that trying to optimize breast health with the paltry 400-500 IU from diet is like trying to color the ocean with a cup of tomato paste.
Conversely, 20 minutes of full-body exposure to summer sunlight at noon can produce as much as 20,000 IU, according to a 2005 Journal of Nutrition article, showing that sunlight correlates far better to lowered breast cancer risk than does dietary vitamin D.
However, most people are not actively seeking the sunlight and are not even close to producing 20,000 IU. In the French breast cancer study, it was probably the combination of both sunlight-produced vitamin D and dietary vitamin D that sufficiently increased blood levels to a threshold that triggered vitamin D’s cancer protection mechanisms, which are numerous.
Other research including a 2007 study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has shown that when vitamin D supplementation is more than 1,100 IU daily, there is a profound correlation to a lowered risk — from 60-77 percent — of all cancers in women.
As to sunlight, Dr. Esther John and colleagues conducted research on the sun-exposure habits of women and correlated those habits to the risk of developing breast cancer. Those women who had the greatest exposure to sunlight were 65 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
Should we then shun the sunlight? This newest study is another in a long series of vitamin D/cancer research that has shown a striking lowering of breast cancer incidence with higher sunlight exposure and greater vitamin D levels in the blood. The sunlight is one of St. George’s greatest assets and should be embraced, not shunned.
After the Institute of Medicine made their inanely low recommendations for vitamin D supplementation — 600 IU daily for all ages — it is good to see that research belying that foolishness continues to surface.
Sunlight exposure is the most natural way to produce vitamin D and if supplements are going to be used when sunlight is not available, a minimum of 2,000-4000 IU daily is necessary to optimize blood levels for best health. Check with your physician before making changes in sunlight exposure or vitamin D intake.
Marc Sorenson is a resident of St. George. He and his wife, Vicki, founded National Institute of Fitness, in Ivins. They helped thousands of people from all over the world with fitness, weight issues and degenerative diseases. Marc Sorenson received his doctorate from Brigham Young University. He is an author, speaker and founder of the Sunlight Institute, as well as executive director of the Vitamin D Health Initiative.
Log onto vitaminddoc.com or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
A new study from France has shown that women who were exposed to a combination of sunlight and dietary vitamin D had up to a 45% reduced risk of contracting breast cancer (BC). The researchers noted that “high” dietary vitamin D by itself did not correlate to a reduced risk of BC, whereas sunlight exposure alone did correlate to a lowered risk.
This research should come as no surprise, since there is a miniscule amount of vitamin D in the typical diet. For instance, the typical 3 ½-oz piece of farmed salmon contains about 175 International Units (IU) of vitamin D; 8 oz. of fortified milk 100 IU; 8 oz. fortified orange juice 100 IU. The amounts typically derived from eggs, oils and margarine is negligible. It is now felt by many experts in the vitamin D field that 4,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D supplementation is necessary for optimal health, so it can be seen that trying to optimize breast health with the paltry 400-500 IU from diet is like trying to color the ocean red with a cup of tomato paste.
Conversely, 20 minutes full-body exposure to summer sunlight at noon can produce as much as 20,000 IU; so this study, showing that sunlight correlates far better to lowered BC risk than does dietary vitamin D, would be expected. However, most people are not actively seeking the sunlight and are not even close to producing the 20,000 IU mentioned. Therefore, in this French BC study, it was probably the combination of both sunlight-produced vitamin D and dietary vitamin D that sufficiently increased blood levels to a threshold that triggered vitamin D’s cancer protection mechanisms, which are numerous.
Other research—a double blind, placebo controlled interventional study—has shown that when vitamin D supplementation is over 1,100 IU daily, there is a profound correlation to a lowered risk (from 60-77%)of all cancers in women.
And as to sunlight per se, Dr. Esther John and colleagues conducted research on the sun-exposure habits of women and correlated those habits to the risk of developing BC. Those women who had the greatest exposure to sunlight were 65% less likely to develop BC.
After the Institute of Medicine (IOM) made their inanely low recommendations for vitamin D supplementation (600 IU daily for all ages), it is good to see that research belying that foolishness continues to surface. We must remember that sunlight exposure is the most natural way to produce vitamin D, and that if supplements are going to be used when sunlight is not available, a minimum of 2,000-4000 IU daily is necessary to optimize blood levels for best health.
 Engel P, Fagherazzi G, Mesrine S, Boutron-Ruault MC, Clavel-Chapelon F. Joint effects of dietary vitamin D and sun exposure on breast cancer risk: results from the French E3N cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]
 Hollis BW. J Nutr 2005;135:317-22
 Lappe J, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies M, Recker R, Heaney R. Vitamin
D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1586 –91.  John, E. et al. Vitamin D and breast cancer risk: The HANES 1 epidemiologic follow-up study, 1971-1975 to 1992. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 1999;8:399-406.
By Anne Harding
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women’s dietary intake of vitamin D and calcium doesn’t seem to influence their risk of breast cancer, before or after menopause, new research from Canada shows. But the findings do suggest that taking vitamin D in supplement form may be protective against the disease. Health
Given these new findings on vitamin D supplements, “it looks promising for vitamin D,” Laura N. Anderson, one of the study’s authors and a doctoral student at Cancer Care Ontario in Toronto, told Reuters Health. “We certainly need more research done in this area,” she said.
Some prior studies have suggested that vitamin D may reduce breast cancer risk. Breast cells have receptors for vitamin D, Anderson noted, raising the possibility that the nutrient could help regulate the division and proliferation of these cells; there’s also growing evidence that vitamin D could help protect against other types of cancer.
When it comes to diet and supplements, vitamin D and calcium often go hand in hand, she added. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption, so women who want to keep their bones strong as they age are advised to take both; also, many calcium-rich foods, like milk, are enriched with vitamin D.
Anderson and her team sought to separate out the effects of vitamin D and calcium on breast cancer risk by surveying 3,101 breast cancer patients and 3,471 healthy controls about their intake of food and supplements.
The researchers found no relationship between overall vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk; nor was there any association between overall calcium intake and risk of the disease.
However, women who reported taking at least 400 international units of vitamin D every day were at 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Right now, Anderson noted, health authorities in Canada, the US and other countries are looking at revising the current recommendations on vitamin D intake upward, given that it looks like higher intakes of the vitamin D may be more beneficial.
Further research is needed, she and her colleagues conclude, to investigate the relationship between bigger doses of vitamin D and calcium and breast cancer risk.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online April 14, 2010.