Bone, vitamin D supplements, and sunlight By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Bone and vitamin D are connected, yet, it may not be in the way you think. It is probably common knowledge that vitamin D is necessary for bone strength, particularly rickets. Yet, beyond rickets, it is not settled science that supplements significantly improve bone strength.
To prove this point, and to cause thoughtful consideration, I call your attention to a meta-analysis of 23 studies. The research assessed change in bone density (BD) from measurement inception to completion of each experiment. The bone densities measured the lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, trochanter, total body, or forearm. In addition, all participants took vitamin D supplements. There was little observable change in BD, so the results were disappointing. Thus, the researchers reported, in conclusion, “Continuing widespread use of vitamin D for osteoporosis prevention in community-dwelling adults without specific risk factors for vitamin D deficiency seems to be inappropriate.” Yet, before you give up on vitamin D for bone, let us consider the weakness of the research.
Does bone require much more than 800 IU per day to increase bone strength?
In 10 of the 23 studies cited above, the vitamin D dosage was less than 800 IU per day. This is rather like throwing a packet of food coloring into the sea and expecting the sea to turn red. Direct full-body sunlight during 10-15 minutes can stimulate the skin to produce up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D. Sunlight is the natural way to obtain vitamin D and numerous other healthful photoproducts. A minuscule dose of 800 IU will probably do little for bone strength. Yet, if the researchers had found studies using 3,000 and 5,000 IU, I could have more easily believed their conclusions. However, I could easily have been wrong, as you will see.
So are there other studies that make contradictory conclusions?
No. Most of the research using high-dose vitamin D supplements also had poor results. They usually resulted in much higher fracture risk for those taking the supplements. This was especially true in those who took large, intermittent doses and or intermittent intramuscular injections. Other data showed that doses of more than 4,000 IU daily are associated with more falls and fractures. In addition, research from the Journal of the American Medical Association showed an alarming trend. First of all, treatment with vitamin D for 3 years (4000 IU) day was counterproductive. Thus, it resulted in statistically significant lower bone mineral density (BMD) in certain bones. Furthermore, the same was true for 10,000 IU per day.
Are there better ways to keep bone strong?
Another factor to consider: vitamin D supplements may not be the same as vitamin D made by the human body. The skin always makes natural vitamin D for humans during exposure to sunlight and other sources of UVB light. Irradiating sheep’s lanolin produces the Vitamin D for supplements. Therefore, although 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes is possible from sun exposure, the results are very different. Skin-produced vitamin D from sun exposure does not result in increased fracture risk and lower BMD.
The Spanish study on bone and sunlight
An important study from Spain shows that those who actively sought sun exposure had only 1/11 the risk of hip fracture compared to those who were not sun seekers! In this case, the sun-seeking people must have produced remarkable quantities of vitamin D. They also they increased bone strength remarkably. In addition, we know that the high vitamin D levels certainly caused no problem with bone density and bone strength! How can this be if high doses of vitamin D supplements lead to increased fracture rates? The difference, in my opinion, is the source.
Lessons learned, and conclusions
Therefore, we may take away important lessons from this treatise. First, vitamin D produced by sunlight is not the same as vitamin D from a pill. Moreover, vitamin D is a primary photoproduct of sun exposure. There is an exceptional difference between a pill produced from lanolin and a photoproduct produced in response to sunlight. If sun exposure can produce up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D, and it increases bone strength, something is awry with vitamin supplements, which decrease bone strength. We have produced evidence that show vitamin D supplements may increase bone fragility. It is time to accept the sun or other source of light as the major source of bone strength. That other source could be sunlamps or tanning beds.
A synopsis on bone and sunlight.
Finally, we must realize that sun exposure produces many photoproducts beyond vitamin D. Serotonin, endorphin, nitric oxide; brain-derived-neurotropic factor (BDNF) and dopamine are some of those photoproducts. All of them are vital to human health. Who is to say that these photoproducts do not form a synergistic relationship with sun-produced vitamin D to create the miracle of hip-fracture reduction? Do not neglect your regular, non-burning sun exposure. It may save your bones and your life.
The study involved 29,518 Caucasian women aged 25 to 64, and followed for 25 years, determined their risk of skin cancer and death. Therefore, the researchers formed two groups in the incipient stages of the investigation. Thus, one group was a “fair” group, or blondes, meaning they had red hair or freckles. Another group was the “non-fair” or non-blonde group and served as a control. Furthermore, the researchers matched each person in the fair group with someone in the non-fair group, during the 25-year period. This matching included similar age, smoking habits, education, marital status, and income. The main outcome desired was a comparison of all-cause death (mortality) and mortality from skin cancer in the two groups.
Who lived longer, blondes or non-blondes?The researchers showed that the blondes had significantly lower all-cause death. Still, they had a higher mortality from skin cancer.
Contrasted and compared to the non-blondes, the blondes had significantly reduced all-cause death. What could be the reason for the reduced mortality? One might surmise that sunlight probably played a part. Yet, sunlight was not a focus of this investigation.
Nevertheless, it is especially relevant that these researchers, in a 20-year study on sunlight, showed other surprising results. In a study on sunlight exposure, they demonstrated an amazing fact. They showed that low sun exposure habits were approximately as dangerous as smoking. This was probably due to reduction in cardiovascular disease (heart and vessel disease) among those who soaked up more sun.
Why might light-skinned people have an advantage?
Those who have lighter skins make vitamin D and other important sunlight photoproducts at a rapid rate. Some of those photoproducts are nitric oxide, serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and BDNF. Furthermore, all of those photoproducts are essential to human health. So could this be the reason that blondes lived longer than non-blondes? For more information on the effects of these photoproducts, visit sunlightinstitute.org and read the book, Embrace the Sun.
A final, salient point regarding sunlight, blondes and skin cancer:
A most noteworthy thought: people who have light skins and/or freckles are already at dramatically increased skin-cancer risk. Thus, it is light skin, freckles and moles that increase skin cancer; it is not sunlight. If the blondes group had accumulated more sunlight exposure, It might have actually protected them from skin cancer. Read more about how sun prevents skin cancer in Embrace the Sun. Regular, non-burning sun exposure is vital.
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.
Sunshine and Greenspace, by Marc Sorenson, EdD.
A part of my life, albeit I did not fully savor nor appreciate them.
Sunshine and greenspace should be loved by all. Greenspace is an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes. In my case, there was not much winter participation outdoors and there was not much green. There was school study inside, snow and ice outside and not much greenery. Thus, thus colds and other irritating illnesses ruled my life. In summers, I spent my life on our ranch, working hay fields, chasing cattle bare-chested and doing other sundry chores. In addition, “green” was all around me in summer, since green fields of alfalfa corn and grass were ubiquitous. Consequently, my health was perfect! Of course, because of the Sunshine that blazed much of the day, there were other benefits. I was the recipient of nitric oxide, dopamine, circadian-rhythm entrainment, serotonin, endorphin, BDNF and vitamin D. King Kong could not have felt much better than I felt.
It is apodictic that my good feelings and perfect physical rhythms were due to sunshine and greenspace. Yet, I believe I could have chosen to be outside more in the winter.
My parents raised me on the Utah/Nevada border. Hence, there was plenty of snow, but also plenty of sun in the winter. The nearby mountains and evergreen forests furnished a lot of green year-round. UVA light, lacking in the capacity to produce vitamin D, produces nitric oxide, serotonin and helps to reset the circadian rhythms. It might have enhanced my dark mood in winter. Nevertheless, due to my distaste of cold weather, I stayed inside to study and spent time in the gym.
It was not until much later that I learned the value of sunshine and greenspace.
Now it seems like there are a plethora of studies that praise the value of greenspace. I added the word “sunshine” in this paper because of my belief that majority of the benefits occur due to sunlight. The most eye opening and impressive of those studies is one called, The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Greenspace Exposure and Health Outcomes. It was a meta-analysis (highly respected and statistically believable). In addition, it used data from 103 observational and 40 interventional studies. It also measured 100 different health outcomes for people who participated (or did not) in greenspace areas and activities.
The remarkable results and health benefits of the great outdoors.
Here are the highly impressive and significant results of increased greenspace exposure.
Greenspaces associated with reduced risk of the following measurements:
- Salivary cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone).
- heart rate (-2.7 bpm)
- diastolic blood pressure (-1.97)
- HDL cholesterol (-.003)
- Low-frequency heart rate variability (-.06)
- pre-term birth (-13)
- type II diabetes (-.28)
- All-cause mortality (-.31)
- Small size for gestational age (-.19)
- Cardiovascular mortality (-.16)
In addition, there was an increased incidence of good self-reported health.
The researchers also reported, “The incidence of stroke, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, asthma, and coronary heart disease were reduced.” “For several non-pooled health outcomes, between 66.7% and 100% of studies showed health-denoting associations with increased greenspace exposure including neurological and cancer-related outcomes, and respiratory mortality.”
Save the Children!
In conclusion, one recent study on children shows that mental health problems, addiction, and neurotic or stress related disorders reduced between 40-50%. This same study showed that greenspace appeared to lower the risk of personality disorders, bipolar and mood disorders, and schizophrenia.
The message of course, is to get outdoors where it is green. Then, sunshine and greenspace can work together for wonderful health benefits.
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.