Vitamin D, prostate cancer and sunlight By Marc Sorenson, EdD
Vitamin D is a magnificent, critically important photoproduct of sun exposure, sun lamps and sunbeds (tanning beds). It is not really a vitamin, but rather a hormone that controls hundreds of genes in the body. The production of this hormone occurs in the skin in response to UVB light from the aforementioned sources. About 90% of vitamin D blood levels, across the average population in the U.S., occurs through sun stimulation to skin. Supplements and food sources provide only a small amount of vitamin D on average.
Vitamin D and other cancers, including prostate cancer (PC)
There is a close association of high vitamin D levels and lowered risk of breast cancer and many other cancers. Therefore, it seems logical that supplementation might also reduce PC risk. However, it seems like that may not be the case, and it needs further discussion. In fact, vitamin D studies show only weak correlations between vitamin D levels and a reduction in PC. The highest levels of serum vitamin D shows a J-shaped curve, meaning those levels actually associated to a slightly increased risk. No such increase occurs with the highest levels of sunlight exposure–quite the opposite. The highest levels of sunlight associated to the highest levels of protection against PC.
An interesting study on sunlight, vitamin D and prostate cancer.
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 affirming that sunlight exposure could reduce the risk of PC by 50%, the author unfortunately stated, “This does not mean 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.” Yet, this is not a statement based on science, especially considering the J-shaped curve. Thus, the author obviously assumed vitamin D caused the association of sun exposure to reduced PC risk.
Now, let’s talk about some impressive studies on sunlight per se.
Here are some rather interesting studies regarding sun exposure and PC. In addition, there are numerous others discussed in the book, Embrace the Sun. Probably the most stunning paper was one in which researchers used childhood sunburn as a measure of sun exposure. As a result, they determined that men who experienced sunburns as children were protected against PC. Consequently, they had one-fifth the risk of contracting prostate cancer as those who had not sunburned! However, please do not burn!
Let us be careful about our sunlight!
In addition, a note of caution regarding sunburn: I do not recommend that anyone sunburn to prevent prostate cancer. The researchers used sunburn to predict higher vitamin D levels. Yet, sunburn is not necessary to achieve the remarkable results, since non-burning sun is sufficient. Most noteworthy, this research also demonstrated that men with the lowest sunlight exposure had more than three times the risk of prostate cancer. A follow-up to this study was also interesting. Men in the lowest quartile of sunbathing had a 5.3-fold greater risk of prostate cancer compared with men in the highest quartile.
A final thought
One more paper, cited in conclusion. Researchers have stated, “Higher levels of cumulative sun exposure, adult sunbathing, childhood sunburn and regular sunny holidays in hot climates were each independently and significantly associated with a reduced risk of this [prostate] cancer.”
Men, protect your prostate by obtaining plenty of non-burning, regular sun exposure.
Sunlight, sex and sexual dysfunction. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Sunlight, sex and sexual dysfunction is a title that generally catches attention. Sexual dysfunction problems are rampant in our society, and those who claim to have answers usually draw immediate attention. Do I have answers and good advice? Probably—I will let you judge. Let us look at some research, and results gained, from sunlight and vitamin D.
Sexual dysfunction among women.
The first, and most recent women’s study, shows Vitamin D3 deficiency associates with Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) in Premenopausal Women. Moreover, we know that sun exposure to skin produces 90% of serum vitamin D levels. The scientists conducting this study measured vitamin D levels in 50 premenopausal women with FSD, and 58 healthy controls. The average age of the women was 35 years. Furthermore, all of these women completed a Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. The investigators then correlated sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain scores to the vitamin D levels. In addition, they evaluated all women for depression with the Beck depression Inventory (BDI).
Results for the women’s study:
Vitamin D levels were about 40% lower in the women with FSD than in the healthy controls. In addition, the results of each sexual function, spectacularly favored the healthy controls. Consequently, the researchers stated their results in this manner: “Desire (p = 0.0001), arousal (p = 0.0001), lubrication (p = 0.002), orgasm (p = 0.0001), satisfaction (p = 0.018), and pain (p = 0.010) domain scores were also correlated with the levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.”
The p score or value means the probability value. Hence, it indicates the probability of obtaining test results at least as extreme as the results actually observed. Thus, the p-value for desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm are extremely significant. The other sexual functions, satisfaction and pain (lack thereof), were also significant.
Why is sexual dysfunction in women so important?
A study in the journal, Sexual Medicine Review, showed that female sexual dysfunction affects 41% of premenopausal women around the globe. This is not normal, and in my opinion, is due to widespread sunlight deficiency. Sunlight deficiency leads to the deficiency of vitamin D, which results in untold suffering and frustration among women and their husbands. If something as normal and natural as regular, non-burning sun exposure could lead to a more satisfying sex life, would it not be worth the effort?
Sunlight prevents breast cancer. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Sunlight prevents breast cancer by many means. Many scientists believe this. Moreover, sunlight also stimulates human skin to produce vitamin D. Therefore, many professionals assume vitamin D is responsible for the reduced risk. Thus, this may lead them to advocate the use of vitamin D supplementation and totally miss the bigger picture. In addition to vitamin D, sunlight or sunlamps produce many supplementary and healthful photoproducts. Among others, sunlight produces nitric oxide, dopamine, serotonin, endorphin and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). In addition, all these photoproducts are vital to health. Hence, it is likely that these healthful photoproducts lead to an inhibition of breast cancer.
New research shows that sunlight prevents breast cancer independently of vitamin D.
Consequently, it should not surprise us that for breast cancer, sunlight’s effects go beyond vitamin D. Researchers at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, used a mouse model that easily develops breast cancer. They also treated them with UVR light such as found in sunlight. Much as we might expect, they found that UVR treatments produced significant anti-cancer effects. Furthermore, they found that neither dietary vitamin D nor topical vitamin D influenced cancer risk. Because of their findings, they stated the following: “UVR’s inhibitory effects occur irrespective of whether or not the treatment increases circulating D3 in the mice.” Then they also made another important comment regarding their research. “Therefore, supplemental D3 may not mimic all possible beneficial effects of UVR. Uncovering non-D3-mediated mechanisms of UVR tumor inhibition may lead to novel strategies for cancer prevention.”
An important point about how sunlight prevents breast cancer.
Finally, there is no doubt that vitamin D has anticancer benefits. This research however, is especially relevant because it corroborates what I have said in my book, Embrace the Sun. Consequently, we must not put all of the benefits of sunlight in the vitamin D box. Furthermore, sun exposure performs myriad miracles beyond vitamin D. One of those miracles may be breast cancer prevention and inhibition. In addition, if we erroneously believe we can obtain all of the sun’s benefits from popping a pill, we may miss the holistic effects sunlight, which provide a cornucopia of salubrious results.
So, safely (without burning) embrace the sun, since it helps prevent breast cancer.
For more information, visit sunlightinstitute.org. Another great tip is to read the book, Embrace the Sun.
Sunlight outside the body, as regards Covid-19, may be a rather new and intriguing concept. Yet, we have alluded to it briefly in a previous blog. Research from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) corroborates the idea that direct sunlight rapidly kills the Covid-19 virus. The researchers tested effects of sunlight on Covid-19 viruses in aerosols, suspensions of solid particles or liquid droplets in air. These aerosols represent a potential route of disease transmission, and in this case, transmissions of Covid-19 viruses. Therefore, if sunlight exposure accelerates the decay of these viruses, it prevents an avenue of human-to-human transmission. Thus, breathing in of viruses coughed, sneezed, or even breathed out by others (as in saliva) ceases to be problematic. Sunlight outside the body inactivates the viruses due to decaying them.
The bottom line regarding outside sunlight and Covid-19.
Because of this research, it we know that without sun exposure, the time required to decay the virus was 125 minutes. With direct sunlight, the time ranged from 6 to 19 minutes, according to the intensity of the exposure. That is a profoundly significant change, and is probably why Florida fared so much better than New York, with Covid-19.
Hence, we have shown that sunlight is a two-edged sword; sunlight outside the body helps to halt transmission of the disease. Sunlight’s ability to produce vitamin D in the skin (inside the body) prevents the cytokine storm, which is how Covid-19 kills.
People have long believed that sunlight was the best disinfectant.
First, the German microbiologist Robert Koch, who isolated TB bacteria in 1882, showed that sunlight had disinfectant qualities; it destroyed tuberculosis bacteria. In addition, even earlier, in 1877, other researchers discovered that sugar water left in the shade became cloudy, indicative of bacterial growth. However, if exposed to sunlight, it remained clear. Dr. Zane Kime, in his book, Sunlight Could Save Your Life, wrote that history. In addition, he also reviewed the results of research conducted between 1886 and 1909. Most noteworthy, it showed that the following bacteria succumbed to ultraviolet light: Anthrax, plague, streptococci, tubercle bacillus, cholera, staphylococcus, colon bacillus and dysentery bacillus. Nevertheless, most people forgot sunlight with the advent of antibiotic drugs, but now the interest has returned. (Cited in Kime, Z. Sunlight Could Save Your Life. World Health Publications, Penryn, CA 1980:126-30.) Also, read Embrace the Sun.
So, please realize that the master disinfectant, sunlight, is the best in the world. Thus, it is ready to do battle with the worst the Covid-19 virus can throw at the human body. Get your share of non-burning sunlight and survive this pandemic. For more information, visit sunlightinstitute.org and read the book, Embrace the Sun.
Sunlight and Health: by Marc Sorenson, EdD
Sunlight and health is an article written to fulfill a request from Grassroots Health (GRH). GRH is a marvelous organization; its purpose is to promote the healthful benefits of vitamin D (and sunlight).
Sunlight and health, from the earliest human civilizations to our current battle with COVID-19, have an inseparable link. Dr. John Fielder’s exceptionally well-written paper, History of Heliotherapy, provides insight into the past. Many ancients deified sunlight. The populations of those times had no doubt of its healing powers. Hippocrates, the Greek physician known as the “father of medicine,” recommended sunbathing and had his own large solarium, an enclosed area for sunning. In addition, the ancient Romans, used thermae (hot tubs and baths) that were equipped with solaria. The Roman philosopher Pliny wrote, “Sun is the best remedy.”
Sunlight and health maintained a link well into the 20th century.
In the early 19th Century, scientists began to experiment with heliotherapy (sunlight therapy) as a healer. They were duly impressed with their results. Therefore, they attempted to build a new system of therapeutics based on heliotherapy. In 1857, Madame Duhamel exposed children with TB to sunshine because it hastened their recovery. Many other doctors also used heliotherapy with great success. Dr. Fielder said that sunbathing was so successful, all doubt as to its place in the hygienic system was ensured.”
Though nothing has really changed, regarding sunlight and health, doubts about the relationship have crept in.
In the early 20th Century, people noticed that farmers developed common skin cancers on their faces and hands. This news began the war on sunlight. Nevertheless, the sun held its own for some time, because research also showed sunlight had anti-cancer properties. This idea triggered a 1932 editorial in The Lancet medical Journal. It suggested sunlight was so effective in promoting health, that the government should reserve public areas for nude sunbathing! (Dawson, Lord. Naked and Unashamed. Lancet 6, 1932:688.)
Then, the tide began to turn. Scientists completely misrepresented the association of common skin cancers and melanoma:
Due to this egregious misrepresentation, scientists decided, regrettably, that that sunlight must cause melanoma, the deadly skin cancer. A new fear had been born, along with a new industry-sunscreen and new medical profits. Even though moderate, regular sun exposure protects against melanoma, this fear-vs-fact based decision launched an all-out assault on the sun. Moreover, it continues today. Unfortunately, it has also become ‘rewarding’ to the industry that provides tanning lotions and treatments for the cancers. View this video by Dr. Edward Gorham to learn more about this subject: Vitamin D: Skin Cancer/Sunscreen – the Dilemma.
To dispel the myths, here are the facts about melanoma:
Seventy-five percent of melanomas occur on body areas seldom exposed to sunlight.
In the U.S., as sun exposure has decreased by about 90% since 1935, melanoma incidence has increased by 3,000%. Documentation in Embrace the Sun. See the graph below.
As in the US, while sun exposure in Europe has profoundly decreased, there has been an exponential increase in melanoma.
Men who work outdoors have about half the risk of melanoma as men who work indoors.
Outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the sun exposure as indoor workers, have had no increase in melanoma since 1940. Melanoma incidence in indoor workers has increased steadily and exponentially.
Sunscreen invention, and its steadily increasing use, has not reduced the risk of melanoma. In fact, melanoma increased as sunscreen use increased. Documentation in Embrace the Sun.
Because of all this, increasing melanoma incidence significantly correlates with decreasing personal annual sunlight exposure.
Outdoor workers do get numerous sunburns and still have a dramatically lower risk of contracting melanoma.
Thus, melanoma increases as sun exposure decreases. Therefore, there is much need to provide the education and data to everyone so they can avoid blaming the sun.
Here are more facts about melanoma and its prevention:
Another cause is alcohol; those persons in the highest fifth of alcohol consumption have a 65% increase in melanoma risk.
In addition, meat consumption may increase melanoma risk by 84%.
Furthermore, daily fruit consumption may reduce the risk of melanoma by nearly 50%.
Persons with the highest levels of PCBs (banned industrial chemicals) have 7-times the melanoma risk as those with lowest levels.
There is a positive association between melanoma and obesity. It is also interesting to note that the increases in both diseases have progressed in unison.
Furthermore, the highest number of new melanoma cases are in Utah, followed closely by Vermont, Minnesota and New Hampshire. Another “surprising” fact is that by far the lowest number of new cases are in Texas.
So, since melanoma continues to increase in lock step with reduced sun exposure, should we continue to blame the sun?
We have destroyed the misconception that sunlight is a major cause of melanoma. Let us proceed to the magnificent health-protective effects of regular, non-burning sun exposure against other diseases:
Research from Indonesia shows COVID-19 deaths are 20 times higher among those with vitamin D levels less than 20 ng/ml. That is, when compared to those with levels greater than 30 ng/ml. Consequently, had the researchers had subjects vitamin D levels greater than 50 ng/ml, I would predict no deaths at all. In addition, remember that sun exposure to the body produces 90% of serum vitamin D levels (in the overall population). Therefore, we see the profound effect sun exposure could have on COVID-19.
Indonesians have taken this research seriously. Below is a photo of Indonesian men “social distancing” in the sunlight.
Another fact about sunlight and health with Covid-19
Recent research from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showed another interesting aspect of sun exposure’s influence on Covid-10. They demonstrated that direct sunlight “quickly” killed all Covid-19 viruses both in aerosols and on objects. Thus, sunlight not only stops the disease inside the body, but also stops transmission of the disease outside the body. This makes sunlight a powerful, two-edged sword against the disease.
Sunlight and Health: More facts regarding the influence of sun exposure on disease.
Influenza diminishes almost to nothing during late spring, summer, and early fall – times of greatest sun exposure. See the chart below, produced by the WHO and provided by Goran Olsson of Moscow, Russia.
Yet, we do not yet have annual data for COVID-19, a “flu-like” disease. However, it did emerge in the northern hemisphere in winter when sun exposure and vitamin D levels are low.
Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death, over a 20-years period, compared to those who stay indoors.
In addition, a Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as sun avoiders.
Another fact is that those who avoid sun have 10-times the breast cancer risk as those who embrace the sun.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight and virtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight.
Additionally, sun exposure decreases heart disease risk through nitric oxide production.
Morning sun exposure resets the circadian rhythm, which synchronizes physical, emotional and mental processes and associates with lower cancer rates.
Those persons who spend many hours daily outdoors have only 1/50 the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
For each death caused by diseases associated with sun exposure, there are 328 deaths due to diseases associated with sun deprivation.
Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), essential to nerve function and protection.
Furthermore, sunlight produces up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of exposure at midday in sunny seasons.
In England, vitamin D deficiency in children increased by 83 times during a 14-year period. That is likely due to indoor living and sunscreen use.
Finally, as part of my analysis of sunlight’s positive powers, I, and my coauthor, Dr. Bill Grant, performed a death analysis.
First of all, we assessed the number of deaths caused by diseases associated with high sun exposure. In addition, we performed another analysis of the number of deaths associated with diseases of sun deprivation. Here are the deaths for diseases associated with low sun exposure:
Diseases associated with low sun exposure in the USA
|Oral and pharyngeal cancer||2016||9,570|
|HIV – AIDS||2013||6,995|
|Total annual deaths, approximated||1,684,677|
There were few deaths from diseases associated with high sun exposure-approximately 5,125.
Consequently, there are, according to our calculations, approximately 1,684,677 yearly deaths caused by diseases associated with low sun exposure. This compares to 5125 deaths from diseases associated with high sun exposure, and produces a ratio of approximately 328:1. Therefore, based on this analysis we concluded that it defies common sense to continue the anti-sun campaigns prevalent today. This ratio demonstrates that regular, non-burning sun exposure (without sunscreens), is desirable. It should be encouraged as a prudent precaution. It would to yield a highly beneficial effect on health and well-being. This ratio should make anti-sun advocates think twice about suggesting that we avoid sun exposure. This is particularly important for African Americans, who have the highest risk of death from Covid-19.
With COVID-19 attacking us like a bad horror movie, we must act now to stop the carnage, and bring the citizens back into the sunlight. Sunlight is a requirement for optimal human health.
For more information on sunlight and health, visit sunlightinstitute.org and read the book, Embrace the Sun.Happy sunning!
Coronavirus, sunlight and vitamin D. More compelling information. Take action now. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Coronavirus, (Covid-19), like most flu-like diseases, will probably disappear in much of the Northern hemisphere in the coming summer. Nevertheless, it will return on steroids in the fall and winter. Yet, it does not have to return to you or your family and friends. We can do something! However, why wait? Let us start now! Does anyone reading this really want to wait for the “second wave” and then go into panic mode? Of course not. In addition, do you want to let the vaccine Nazis also spend $billions more of our tax dollars looking for a vaccine? Of course not. The answer to stopping coronavirus is all around us. We need only to seek it and use it.
Two papers show remarkable associations of coronavirus with vitamin D.
If you are not convinced of the power of sunlight after reading this, I despair of being able to help you prevent this fall’s “second wave.”
The first paper was by a team of Indonesian researchers. One might think that Indonesians would have ample vitamin D levels due to an abundance of sunlight. Thus, this should protect them from vitamin D deficiency. However, most Indonesians avoid the sun and keep their skins as white as possible. It is a national quest in the Philippines to be as light-skinned as possible, so that they can consider themselves as “upper crust.” Hence, the population has a great deal of vitamin D deficiency.
The researchers focused on identifying patterns of mortality (death) between coronavirus deaths and vitamin D levels. They conducted the study with a sample of 780 subjects, all who had laboratory confirmed coronavirus infection.
Here are the findings on vitamin D levels and coronavirus mortality:
- Mortality rates were 13 times higher in patients who were vitamin D insufficient (21-29 ng/ml) compared to those who had normal levels (>30 ng/ml).
- Mortality rates were 19-times higher in patients who were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/ml).
- Even when controlling the data for age, gender and preexisting conditions, the vitamin D deficient cases were more than 10 times more likely to die than those who had normal levels.
No wonder the Indonesians are now seeking the sun and appreciating it after years of avoiding it. See the picture below of Indonesian men social distancing while soaking up the rays.
An important point regarding vitamin D and coronavirus:
Vitamin D levels above 30 ng/ml are not necessarily “normal,” and it is likely that 50-60 ng/ml would be a better number. People who are constantly in the sunshine, i.e. lifeguards, often have levels above 70 ng/ml. Dr. Bruce Hollis and his colleagues suggested that lifeguards have the “true normal” levels. They believe that a population of “normal” volunteers with average levels of 27 ng/ml may exhibit vitamin D deficiency. Another similar study showed that “normal” adults had 25(OH)D levels of about 27.2 ng/ml, whereas lifeguards had levels of approximately 70 ng/ml].
Could the real pandemic be a pandemic of sunlight deficiency resulting in a pandemic of vitamin D deficiency?
If >30 ng/ml provides this much protection against coronavirus, levels > 60 ng/ml would probably provide complete protection. Everyone should have a vitamin D assessment, and then get out in the sun, during this time of the coronavirus epidemic. For your own health, and the health of those you love, schedule a test, and make your goal 60 ng/ml.
Paper # 2
Another paper by Mark Alipio, done in the Philippines, was similar to the Indonesian study. Thus, it showed that coronavirus patients with normal vitamin D levels had a mild disease outcome. The outcome for those patients was 19.6 times better than for those with low levels.
A fact everyone should remember:
Ninety percent of serum vitamin D levels are due to sun exposure, which causes the skin to produce vitamin D3. Therefore, vitamin D levels are surrogate measurements for sun exposure. You must not assume that vitamin D capsules will supply all the beneficial effects of sun exposure or sunbed exposure. Both sunlight and sunbed light produce photoproducts that have health effects far beyond vitamin D. Safely sunbathe (without burning) to achieve optimal vitamin D levels. Moreover, while so doing, you will produce other remarkably important health benefits.
Covid-19 and sunlight, in our hearts and minds, by Marc Sorenson, EdD
Covid-19 (coronavirus) is a topic that is inescapable in our times. The media discusses it relentlessly and it is in the hearts and minds of nearly every citizen. And why not? We all know of friends or acquaintances who have had the disease, and it has become a political football. So what can we do about it? There are certain geographical and population differences in Covid 19 incidence and death that may provide some insight. Thus, New York and Florida provide interesting contrasts for the difference in incidence.
Shawn Hannity’s interview with Florida’s Governor DeSantis provides thought-provoking insight and fascinating facts regarding Covid-19.
First of all, Florida and New York are heavily populated states. Yet, as you can see from this graph, death risk is minuscule in Florida compared to New York. The graph shows the comparison of death rates.
Because of New York’s high population density, with people living nearly on top of each other, epidemic diseases spread easily. Thomas Jefferson, third president of United States, once made this clairvoyant statement. “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” Perhaps he should have used the word “ill” rather than corrupt.
Here are more reasons for the stark contrast in Covid-19 deaths between New York and Florida.
Here are New York’s responses to the Covid-19 epidemic.
- New York shut down nearly all social gathering places. Yet, their leaders in the beginning told people to congregate and have a good time.
- New York made homes a breeding ground for Covid-19 infection with “shelter in place” orders.
- New York forced many elderly patients and others, whom they had no room for in regular hospitals, to live in nursing homes. Thus, they produced a hotbed for infection. Twenty-five percent of all deaths from Covid-19 in New York occurred in nursing homes.
- New York has resisted the demand to return people to work and to use outdoor areas with social distancing.
- Furthermore, New York City was appallingly unprepared to provide masks, ventilators and other medical equipment.
The reaction to Covid-19 in Florida.
- Florida allowed access to its beaches and provided guidelines for social distancing.
- Florida also continued to allow golfing, with guidelines.
- In addition, Florida acted quickly against Covid-19. A research study shows that Florida is entering a safe area of declining contagion.
- Florida immediately concentrated on the elderly and other at-high-risk populations, in spite of an exceptionally large elderly population. Thus, they had a remarkably low death rate among the elderly.
- Florida showed far better preparation than New York. Thus, it moved quickly to impede the epidemic. Consequently, one of the charts on the interview with Hannity showed that fatalities per 100,000 were 1.8 in Florida. Yet, there were to 101.2 fatalities per 100,000 in New York.
- Florida has much more sunshine simply because it is in the South. I showed a plethora of healthful effects offered by regular, non-burning sun exposure in my last blog. I will list them once more here to refresh your memory:
The power of sunlight for health beyond Covid-19
- Influenza diminishes almost to nothing during late spring, summer, and early fall, times of greatest sun exposure and vitamin D production.
- Seventy-five percent of melanomas occurs on areas of the body seldom or never exposed to sun.
- Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of deathduring a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
- A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture riskas sun avoiders.
- Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanomaas those who work indoors.
- Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast canceras those who embrace the sun.
More benefits of sunlight exposure
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight, andvirtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight.
- Sun exposure decreases heart disease risk through nitric oxide production.
- Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through production of serotonin.
- Those persons who spend many hours daily outdoors have only 1/50 the risk of Parkinson’s disease!
- For each death caused by diseases associated with sun exposure, there are 328 deaths caused by diseases associated with sun deprivation.
- Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to nerve function.
- Sun exposure can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of full-body sun exposure.
- In the U.S., vitamin D deficiency in children has increased by 83 times during a 14-year period. That is likely due to indoor living and sunscreen use.
Conclusions regarding New York, Florida and Covid-19
Florida made better choices and earlier choices regarding the Covid-19 epidemic. They also opened their beaches in a reasonable manner. This allowed more sun exposure.
When the disease diminishes this summer, it will be due to sun exposure that produces vitamin D and many other healthful photoproducts. In addition, remember, that sun exposure effects positive changes well beyond stopping the coronavirus.
Non-burning sun exposure is essential, and best around midday. Do not overexpose. My previous blog presented guidelines for sun exposure. Also, be sure to read my book, Embrace the Sun. In addition, visit my previous blog for more information.
The UV index is a measure of the intensity of ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) from the sun. It is expressed as a number on a scale of 0-11. A higher number indicates a higher sunlight intensity. Exposure to the ultraviolet B (UVB) portion of sunlight is necessary to cause the skin to produce vitamin D. Nevertheless, unless the body is deeply tanned or naturally very dark, a very high UV index can cause sunburn, so caution is necessary.
A low UV index is also problematic.
However, if the UV index is very low, it cannot stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D production is essential for human health. Thus, lack of vitamin D may be a major reason that flu-like diseases occur primarily during winter, when there is little or no vitamin D production. This, of course varies according to latitude.
A List of vitamin D benefits from Business Insider.
A recent article from Business Insider (a Philippines online paper) discussed various health effects of vitamin D and sun exposure. Here are some of their salient points, not all of which are correct.
- The primary cause of vitamin D deficiency is sun deprivation (correct).
- Vitamin D helps keep the immune system, so deficiency could be the reason for frequent flu (correct).
- You can get more vitamin D by spending at least 5 to 10 minutes outside 3 times a week without sunscreen (correct).
How much vitamin D does a person need?
- The most incorrect statement of the article is this. The average adult needs around 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day (not correct). For reference, a serving of salmon contains roughly 400 IU (not correct). 20 minutes of full-body, unobstructed sunlight can cause the skin to produce up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D. If 600 IU were the only source of vitamin D, one would produce a level of six ng/ml, which would be woefully inadequate. 600 IU is only slightly better than nothing.
- Fifteen minutes of non-burning midday sun (without sunscreen) would optimize vitamin D levels in a few days. Dark-skinned individuals would need much more exposure, up to an hour.
Getting more frequent colds or respiratory infections could be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency (correct). However, it is even more likely to be a sign of sunlight deprivation.
- Colds and flu nearly disappear in the summer when the sun is direct. During this time of the coronavirus epidemic, everyone on earth needs daily direct or indirect sun exposure. Those who do not tan can obtain plenty of sunlight from being outdoors under an umbrella or even in the shade near where the sun is shining.
Bone diseases, vitamin D and sunlight.
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause Osteomalacia and Osteoporosis, conditions where your bones become less dense (correct). Sun exposure produces about 90% of the body’s serum levels of vitamin D. In addition, not all vitamin D supplement studies have produced stronger bones.
Sunlight is king for increasing bone strength.
- However, sun exposure, or exposure to sunbeds (tanning beds) produces marvelous results. For example, a Spanish study showed that women in Spain—those who regularly enjoyed sun exposure—had about one-eleventh the risk of hip fractures as women who had little exposure. Women who use sunbeds also have profoundly higher bone mass than women who do not use them. Their vitamin D levels are also remarkably higher.
Mental problems due to a low UV index and subsequent vitamin D deficiency.
- Vitamin D has some links to depression (correct). Nevertheless, that link in my opinion is 100% due to to sun deprivation. Dr. Gavin Lambert and his colleagues in Australia measured serotonin levels in response to varying degrees of bright light. To do so, they drew blood samples from the internal jugular veins of 101 men and compared the serotonin concentrations of the blood to weather conditions and seasons. The results were remarkable: Men measured on a very bright day produced eight times more serotonin than those measured on a cloudy, dismal day.
More on the UV index and “solar noon.”
When meteorologists report UV index, the emphasis usually warns against the maximum UV level. That level generally occurs around “solar noon.” Solar noon is a four-hour period stretching from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. As you have probably noticed, forecasters constantly warn us to avoid the 10:00 to 2:00 hours. Avoiding intense UV radiation is their watchword. Many of them say, “Get sun exposure in the early morning or late afternoon to produce vitamin D.” They should know that the UV index must be over 3 to produce vitamin D.
These reporters do not understand how low UV index hinders vitamin D production.
They do not comprehend that UV index is so weak in the morning that it produces absolutely no vitamin D. The same is true in the evening. Therefore, the closer to solar noon you plan your outdoor time, the more vitamin D you will produce. Vitamin D produced in the skin from solar UVB exposure does not lead to vitamin D toxicity and is safe, as the body limits its own production.
Another method to measure the efficacy of sunlight for vitamin D is to stand in the sun at any time of day and observe your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than your height, you are producing vitamin D. This, the shorter the shadow, better.
Caveats regarding the UV index and vitamin D. Morning sun is still very healthful.
Early morning sun exposure, when the UV index is very low, (under 3) has remarkable health effects. These include resetting the circadian rhythm, increasing production of serotonin, lowering blood pressure through nitric-oxide production and assisting weight loss. Nevertheless, vitamin D stimulation in the skin is not one of the health effects of early morning light.
So safely soak up the sun at any time of day and reap the health benefits. Never burn.
Death by Prescription Drugs. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Are there better ways to heal? Could there be better ways to fight the coronavirus? (be sure to scroll down to the WHO flu graph.)
Death by prescription drugs is commonplace. Therefore, perhaps whole foods, avoidance of junk foods and plenty of sunlight are better alternatives. Thus, our approach here will be (1) to explain the health burden inflicted by prescription drugs. (2) To make nutrition suggestions and (3) finally propose exercise and sunlight as additional solutions.
Death and prescription drugs. The danger is real!
Since you probably realize that prescription drugs are ubiquitous, did you also realize just how dangerous they are? Would it get your attention to tell you that they are the fourth leading cause of death?
U.S. News published an interesting article, which makes us wonder if our pharmaceuticals do more harm that good. Are they healers of killers? Here are some of the most noteworthy facts the article presents:
Salient points from the article on Death and prescriptions.
- First, prescription medications are the fourth leading cause of death and a major cause of additional illnesses among Americans.
- A recent analysis estimates 128,000 Americans die each year due to taking medications as prescribed.
- In addition, adverse drug reactions from properly prescribed and used medicines result in 1.5 to 2.7 million hospitalizations each year.
- Sixty to 70 percent of us take at least one prescribed drug and many take an additional fistful of pills daily.
- A quote from Dr. Donald Light [apropos, no?], who analyzed the data: “By far the greatest number of [prescription drug-related] hospitalizations and deaths occur from drugs that are prescribed properly by physicians and taken as directed.” This comes from his paper entitled “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs.”
- Another quote from Dr. Light’s paper: “About 2,460 people per week are estimated to die from drugs that were properly prescribed. And that’s based on detailed chart reviews of hospitalized patients.” [That of course, does not include the 1.5-2.7 hospitalizations that occur due to prescriptions.]
- The paper continues, “And though following a doctor’s orders and medication labeling instructions can reduce harms associated with taking prescription drugs, simply taking prescribed drugs as directed can expose a person to significant risk.”
Of course, properly prescribed drugs can save lives. Yet, do these drugs give us the best odds? They do not.
All of this begs a question. Does the brouhaha caused by coronavirus not pale in comparison to the millions of lives lost to drugs? Of course, I believe in finding a cure. Nevertheless, when this pandemic subsides, should we not first look at ways to stop death due to prescription? There are better ways to prevent and cure illnesses, and the people must be educated. Knowledge not disseminated is no better than no knowledge at all.
An illustration of a better way than prescription drugs to stop death by diseases—diabetes and other maladies
An example: 2/3 of diabetics who attended our resort were able to stop medications in 11.7 days because of nutrition. In addition, of course, they soaked up the sun. Also, 85% of those who stayed for four weeks were able to leave without the meds. The avoided meds included injected insulin and hypoglycemic drugs (Metformin, Glucotrol, etc.]. That seems like a better option than another drug to “prevent” death. Of course, people must be willing to make changes to heal themselves. Avoiding death is unlikely if a person would rather die than part with junk food. The people at our resort liberated themselves from drugs by making the right choices.
And what about death from other diseases?
Diabetes, of course, was only one of myriad diseases they left behind when they returned home from their sojourns with us. A few others were arthritis, headaches, muscle pain, heart disease, lupus, asthma and obesity. Even erectile dysfunction, mood disorders, endurance and eyesight improved. In addition, nothing we did involved drugs and supplements. Good food, exercise and sunlight were the “medicines” we used. As Hippocrates once stated, “Let Food be your medicine.” He should have added, “Let sunlight and exercise also be your medicine.”
You knew I would get to sunlight and death, did you not?
Another method to enhance human health, while reducing human death: Bring people back into the safe, non-burning sunlight. My latest book, Embrace the Sun, co-authored by Dr. William Grant, has some interesting analyses. There are, in the U.S., according to our calculations, approximately 1,684,677 yearly deaths caused by diseases associated with sun deprivation. That compares to 5125 deaths from diseases associated with high sun exposure, producing a ratio of approximately 328:1. Now you can live with those odds (no pun intended)! Do we really need all those drugs if we give up our killer nutrition and soak up some non-burning sunlight?
Here are some facts everyone should know about death-preventing effects of regular, non-burning sun exposure:
- Seventy-five percent of melanomas occur on areas of the body seldom exposed to sun.
- Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight, and virtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight.
- A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as sun avoiders.
- Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
- Sun exposure decreases heart disease risk.
- Sun exposure dramatically improves mood.
- Those persons who spend more than 15 minutes outdoors have only 1/50 the risk of Parkinson’s disease!
- For each death caused by diseases associated with sun exposure, there are 328 deaths caused by diseases associated with sun deprivation.
- Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to nerve function.
- Sun exposure can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of full-body sun exposure.
- In the U.S., vitamin D deficiency in children has increased by 83 times during a 14-year period. That is likely due to indoor living and sunscreen use.
- Sunlight also directly associates with reduced incidence and death from flu. In the next three months, we may determine if it also reduces the incidence of coronavirus. (Chart courtesy of WHO. Sent by Goran Olsson, Moscow, Russia.) Note the incredible increase of flu in seasons of sun deprivation.
Therefore, you see, good nutrition and sunlight can reduce the need for prescriptions and lighten one more death burden. Embrace the Sun.
The phone is ubiquitous, and it may be taking away a basic human need: sound and restful sleep.
How should the sleep/wake cycle work?
First of all, we awake to bright sunshine. Light enters the eye and stimulates serotonin production. Serotonin is a natural “upper” and mood elevator. Thus, we quickly become awake and invigorated. The bright sunshine also suppresses melatonin, the sleep inducer. Yet at evening light disappears (at least that is how nature intended it), melatonin levels rise, and serotonin levels diminish. We begin to feel sleepy and ideally retire for a good night’s rest. It is a perfect system for our needs—unless we stay up beyond biologically natural hours by using artificial lighting.
Then, the phone throws a wrench into the works!
Particularly, a phone, tablet, computer monitor and other electronic device that emits blue light can interfere with sleep cycles. This may leave you wide-awake and staring at the ceiling when you should be sleeping peacefully. Furthermore, you may feel “out of sync” the next day due to lack of rest. We hear a plethora of advice about using blue-blocker screens, and heaven forbid, giving up the devices at night! Regrettably, however, some humans would rather die than not check their devices just before, and many times during, bedtime. Perhaps they are incorrigibly addicted to the phone, tablet, etc. In addition, such activities inhibit melatonin secretion. Best to eschew the phone by night and embrace the sun by day!
So, is there any way to cater to our phone addictions and still get some shut-eye?
An interesting study showed that exposure to constant bright light, for several hours daily, stopped sleeplessness and let melatonin dominate at night. The researchers compared subjects reading a book (no blue light) and a tablet (lots of blue light). They also assessed sleep patterns and melatonin concentrations. Both groups had identical results for melatonin and sleep patterns. From this research, it appears that we can have our cake and eat it too, provided we receive plenty of sunlight. Most noteworthy was that it was not lack of blue light (when the devices were removed) that enhanced sleep. Rather, it was the bright light exposure in the day. Hence, we can evade sleep-deprivation punishment for excessive device use if we take our time in the sunlight!
So is there other research indicative of the night-time-sleep-inducing effects of daytime sun exposure?
There are several. For a full discussion, I suggest you read my book, Embrace the Sun, co-authored by Dr. William Grant.
Another investigation established that people whose workplaces have windows are able to sleep about 46 minutes per night longer on average, than those who have no natural light access. Those with windows also are generally happier, have fewer ailments, and experience better vitality than their window-less counterparts.
Why is sleep so important to health, regardless of cell phone, sunlight, etc.?
Another article shows that too little sleep can be deadly. Forbes Magazine online printed an excellent article on sunlight and sleep, which listed the following horrendous statistics: “In 2012, 60 million Americans filled prescriptions for sleeping pills, up from 46 million in 2006.” The article discusses the potential dangers of sleep medications, showing that those who take 18 sleeping pills per year have a tripling of the risk of death compared to those who take fewer than 18.
Do not expect the drug companies to be touting these stats. Take matters in your own hands and get some daily, non-burning sun exposure. In addition, read Embrace the Sun,