Tag Archives: sun exposure

Irish Beauty Expert now recommends daily Sun Exposure.

By: Marc Sorenson, EdD Sunlight Institute–


After so many years in which both dermatologists and beauty experts had recommended almost total sun abstinence, brave souls from each group are gingerly beginning to espouse the importance of a few minutes of regular, sun exposure, without sunscreen, to ensure good health.

The latest of these is Liz Earle, a beauty guru (and a beauty) who owns an extremely successful skin-care company, and who is concerned about bone health, suggests that women get some sun exposure between the hours of 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. She chooses those times, because she understands that they are the times of greatest vitamin D production. She is now joining Gwyneth Paltrow and other luminaries in suggesting that some sun exposure is necessary for strong bones.

I congratulate MS Earle, and strongly suggest that you read the article in the Irish News.

Read the article.


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Being Smart in the Sunlight

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–

The website, mcall.com, has posted an excellent article called Smart Sun Exposure. It discusses sunlight as being the only natural way to obtain vitamin D and points out that pharmaceutical companies promote 24-hour sun protection products—advice that poses the problem of vitamin D deficiency—leading to breast cancers, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature labor and other women’s health problems.

Perhaps the most interesting part to the article is the mention of high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables as the best SPFs available to replace the dangerous chemical sunscreens. This is something I have been saying for years: eat colorful fruits and vegetables to reduce skin damage.

Read the article at: http://www.mcall.com/health/inspirehealth/tips/inspire-health-mc-smart-sun-exposure-story,0,4170416.story. Also click on the tips below the article, especially the one entitled Protect Yourself from the Inside Out. In those tips, dark, organic dark chocolate is mentioned as a potent antioxidant containing 712 compounds, many of which are potently antioxidant and skin protective. But remember that typical milk chocolate is not worth anything in terms of enhancing health. I have been touting the benefits of dark, natural chocolate for some time, but did not know about its skin-protective effects.

Everyone who loves the sun should read this article.


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Can Sunlight Exposure Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer by 50%?

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–


I have previously written that sunlight exposure correlates to a profoundly reduced risk of prostate cancer (PC). I also and noted that that sunlight exposure per se appeared to be much more important in reducing that cancer than was vitamin D. In fact, some vitamin D studies showed only weak correlations between vitamin D and a reduction in cancer, and the highest levels of serum vitamin D showed a J-shaped curve, meaning that the highest D levels actually correlated to a slightly increased risk. No such increase has been shown with the highest levels of sunlight exposure–quite the opposite. The highest levels of sunlight correlated to the highest levels of protection against PC.

This would indicate that sunlight has protective effects beyond the production of vitamin D. Such effects may be due to the production of serotonin, endorphins and nitric oxide, substances other than vitamin D that are produced by the skin in response to sunlight.

It was with interest, therefore, that I read a recent article describing the effect of sunlight on PC, called “Sunlight could decrease prostate cancer risk.” After reading that sunlight exposure could reduce the risk of PC by 50%, the author unfortunately stated that “this does not mean that men should deliberately sunbathe to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. Outdoor exercise and an adequate amount of vitamin D from diet should be sufficient to afford protection from the disease.” This is not a statement based on science.

The author assumed, of course, that it was vitamin D that caused the correlation of sunlight exposure to reduced risk of PC—a conclusion that may be wholly in error. What we can glean from the research is only that Sunlight exposure correlates to reduced risk of PC. There is no proof whatsoever that the correlation was caused by vitamin D, which is only one of several metabolites produced in the body after stimulation by sunlight.

I have not as yet been able to find the original research on which the article was based and cannot provide a reference at this time. However, you can read the article by going to: http://www.newsfix.ca/2013/05/06/sunlight-could-decrease-prostate-cancer-risk/.


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Youngsters Should have at Least TEN HOURS of Sunlight Exposure per week to prevent myopia.

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–


Research from the University of Sidney in Australia suggests that children under the age of six should spend at least 10 hours per week in the sunlight. This is another in a series of research studies that show that sunlight exposure is vital to the visual health of children; it profoundly reduces the risk of myopia, or short-sightedness. Without sunlight, the eye develops an oval rather than a round shape.

One of the researchers also noted that “prevention of myopia is important for future eye health as even low levels of the condition place you at higher risk of cataracts and glaucoma in adulthood.” This is an important statement, since many physicians believe that sunlight exposure leads to cataracts and other eye disorders.

This is an excellent article and belies the idea that sunlight exposure is harmful to children.


Read more at:  http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-eyes-sun-child-sunshine-exposure.html#jCp

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Worried about a Hysterectomy? Sunlight Exposure Reduces Risk of Uterine Fibroids.

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–


Hysterectomy, or the removal of the uterus, is an extremely common surgery among women in the United States, second only to childbirth by cesarean-section.[i]There are many experts such as Dr. Stanley West who believe that up to 90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary, since they are usually done in response to the presence of uterine fibroids, which are not cancerous.[ii]

Nevertheless, if uterine fibroids lead to hysterectomies, anything that would prevent fibroids from forming  would lead to a dramatic decrease in these procedures.

According to one recent research report, women who spent at least an hour outdoors daily, had a 40% reduced risk of uterine fibroids.[iii] Dr. Donna Baird the leader of the research team, stated, “It would be wonderful if something as simple and inexpensive as getting some natural sunshine on their skin each day could help women reduce their chance of getting fibroids.”

Once again, we see the power of sunlight. It reduces the risk not only of a benign fibroid, but also the risk of unnecessary surgery. Perhaps we should also mention the reduction in health-care costs.

Since sunlight is free, it seems irrefutable that a daily dose of sun would be far superior to an expensive and unnecessary surgery. What do you think?



[i] http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/hysterectomy.cfm

[ii] http://www.repmed.com/hysterectomy.html

[iii] http://news.yahoo.com/exposure-sunlight-lowers-risk-uterine-fibroids-100815575.html


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Exceptionally important findings on Sunlight Exposure, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Brain Volume, Independent of Vitamin D

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–


It has been known for decades that those who live closer to the equator have a lower risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).[1] In various pieces of research, Vitamin D produced by sunlight, has been suggested as the factor responsible for the decreasing risk of MS based on proximity to the equator. However, a recent study shows that sunlight, while obviously being critical in the production of vitamin D, has its own profound influence in lessening the degeneration of nerves (neurodegeneration) in those with MS.[2]

By measuring whole brain volume (WBV) and grey-matter volume (GMV) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scientists determined that greater summer sunlight exposure predicted greater WBV and GMV in MS patients. Interestingly though, when vitamin D levels were measured, they had no influence on the positive effects of sunlight 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.”

This research opens the door to a whole new area of research on vitamin D. The idea that brain volume is correlated to sunlight exposure independently of vitamin D blood levels causes one to wonder how many other research papers, touting the benefits of vitamin D, might be reassessed to determine if sunlight exposure had its own benefits beyond its ability to cause the production of vitamin D in skin.

The idea that WBV and GMV are greater in those exposed to sunlight also brings up the possibility that IQ could be influenced positively by sunlight exposure. It has also been shown that autism is more prevalent in areas of less sunlight exposure and more common to occur in children with wintertime births. Could the pregnant mother’s sunlight exposure have an influence on fetal-brain development beyond the level of vitamin D produced in her body? Could that influence improve IQ? Could factors such as nitric-oxide production by the UVA portion of sunlight play a role?  And, beyond brain and nerve protection and development, could there be independent protective influences of sunlight on the myriad diseases correlated to vitamin D deficiency—diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and cancer?

As Dr. Bernard Ackerman once stated, “the sun, now incriminated as the major culprit responsible for an “epidemic” of melanoma, will be rehabilitated from its status current of pariah, our worst enemy, to its place rightful, all things considered, namely, humankind’s best friend.”[3]

The fact—that research is proving sunlight has beneficial effects beyond vitamin D production—shows that the rehabilitation has begun.



[1] 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.

[2] 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 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

[3] A Bernard Ackerman, dermatologist.  The Sun and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma: Myth on Myth!  2008.


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Dr. Sato has now Proven, Three Different Times, that Sunlight Exposure can Reverse Osteoporosis and Prevent Hip Fracture. Is Anyone Paying Attention?

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–


In 1997, Dr. Y Sato and colleagues showed that sunlight deprivation (due to being hospitalized)  in Parkinson’s patients resulted in compensatory hyperparathyroidism, which in turn led to reduced bone mass and excessive hip fractures.[1] In 1998, he made the same observation regarding elderly women with Alzheimer’s disease.[2] Then, in 2003, he reported that sunlight deprivation was also a cause of hip fractures in elderly women who suffered from stroke.[3] This time, however, he studied the effects of sunlight—or the lack thereof—on the bone mass of elderly women who were either exposed to sunlight or were kept inside a care facility.  Over twelve months, 129 women were exposed to regular sunlight and another 129 received no sunlight exposure.  The results were startling: in these sedentary women, the sunlight group increased bone mass by an average 3.1%; in the non-sunlight-exposed group, it decreased by 3.3%, a swing of 6.4%.

Of course, one might ask why a small increase in bone density in one group and a loss of bone density in the other makes any difference; the real question is whether it prevented hip fractures. Now consider this: as proof of the efficacy of improving bone mass, the women who had the benefit of sunlight had only one bone fracture in their group.  The sunlight-deprived group had six fractures!  This is obviously a reversal of osteoporosis and a reversal of fracture risk.

Sato was not through with his research; in 2005, he and his colleagues exposed a group of Alzheimer’s patients to sunlight for one year, and another was kept in a typical indoor hospital setting.[4]  In the sunlight group a 220% increase in vitamin D levels was found, and bone mass increased by 2.7%.  In the indoor group, bone mass decreased by 5.6%.  That is a difference of 7.3% in only one year!  The final proof, of course, is with fractures.  In the sunlight group, there were three fractures; in the sunlight-deprived group there were eleven, or 3.7 times more.

Finally, in 2011, Dr. Sato and his group did a similar study on elderly patients with Parkinson’s disease.[5] A two-year program of sunlight exposure was compared to a two-year program of continued sunlight deprivation. This time, the sunlight group experienced an increase of 3.8% bone mass, whereas the sunlight-deprived group lost 2.6% bone mass. The sunlight group experienced three fractures and the sunlight deprived group, eleven fractures, as in the aforementioned study.

One more thought: An investigation in Spain concluded that women who actively participated in sun exposure had one-eleventh the chance of a hip fracture as those who stayed indoors.[6]

The conclusion: sunlight exposure not only prevents, but can also reverse osteoporosis and fractures. Every physician who treats this disease should have sunlight exposure as his number-one treatment protocol. But is anyone listening?



[1] Sato Y, Kikuyama M, Oizumi K. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and reduced bone mass in Parkinson’s disease. Neurology. 1997 Nov;49(5):1273-8.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

[2] Sato Y, Asoh T, Oizumi K. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and reduced bone mass in elderly women with Alzheimer’s disease. Bone. 1998 Dec;23(6):555-7.

[3] Sato, Y.   Amelioration of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis D by sunlight exposure in stroke patients.  Neurology 2003;61:338-42.

[4] Sato Y, Iwamoto J, Kanoko T, Satoh K. Amelioration of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis d by sunlight exposure in hospitalized, elderly women with Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized controlled trial.  J Bone Miner Res. 2005;20:1327-33.

[5] Sato Y, Iwamoto J, Honda Y. Amelioration of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis D by sunlight exposure in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2011;17(1):22-6.

[6] Larrosa, M.  Vitamin D deficiency and related factors in patients with osteoporotic hip fracture.  Med Clin (BARC) 2008;130:6-9.

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More research showing that sunlight is essential to Breast-cancer prevention

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–

This is the latest of several studies indicating that women who receive less sunlight exposure are at greater risk for breast cancer. This time the research comes from Australia, and shows that women living in the southern part of the country, which is colder and has less sunlight, are more likely to contract the cancer. The research keeps coming, but is anyone in medical circles or government agencies paying any attention?

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Lack of Sunlight Exposure Leads to Greater Cancer Rates in China

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Insitute–

 A study by Dr. Wanquing Chen and colleagues in China demonstrates that lack of sunlight leads to increasing rates of several cancers, including those of the cervix, rectum, colon, stomach and esophagus. It is good to see that sunlight and vitamin D deficiencies are now being recognized throughout the world as detriments to optimal human health.

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Should we expose our babies to sunlight?

By: Dr. Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–

This article from India is generally a good explanation of the benefits of sunlight and vitamin D, but its most interesting point is that Indian physicians are recommending sunlight exposure for babies. Congratulations to these brave doctors!

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