The Sunlight-Avoidance Insanity is Causing Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Due to fear of melanoma, a deadly disease that has been erroneously attributed to sunlight exposure, the people are leaving the sunlight and becoming more like cave dwellers. For those of you who believe in evolution, can you imagine that after millions of years under the sun, human beings have been frightened away from their heritage?

There is an inconvenient truth about melanoma that the Powers of Darkness (those who would take away our sunlight) would prefer you not know: people who work regularly outdoors have a lower risk of melanoma than those who work indoors.

Godar, et al.[1] present evidence that outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the UVR exposure as indoor workers,[2] [3] have had no increase in melanoma since before 1940, whereas melanoma incidence in indoor workers has increased steadily and exponentially. Other research corroborates the idea that outdoor workers have fewer melanomas than indoor workers.[4] Vagero, et al.[5] showed that melanomas were less common among indoor office workers and other indoor workers than among outdoor workers, and Kennedy, et al.[6] showed that a lifetime of sunlight exposure correlated to a reduced risk of melanoma. Garland, et al.[7] showed that those who worked indoors had a 50% greater risk of melanoma than those who worked both indoors and outdoors, and Kaskel, et al.[8] demonstrated that children who engage in outdoor activities are less likely to develop melanoma than those who do not. Many other papers in the scientific literature show that both incidence and death rate from melanoma are reduced with increasing exposure to sunlight.[9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

This is not to say that sunburn does not contribute to melanoma, but it certainly shows that habitual, non-burning sun exposure correlates to a reduced risk of this deadly disease. In addition, there are approximately 105 additional diseases that are reduced among those who have higher sunlight exposure and therefore have higher levels of vitamin D (see my book for a discussion on each disease). We cannot live without vitamin D, which is not a vitamin at all, but in its most active form is a potent steroid hormone that controls at least 1,000 genes.[20] It is also important to understand that 90% of all vitamin D is produced in the skin by the action of sunlight on skin.[21]

However, blood levels of this important hormone are dropping precipitously in the American population, with a near doubling of the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency that existed 10 years ago, and with 90% of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians, and 75% of the white population now suffering from the disorder.[22]

So what does this mean to the health of US citizens? I have calculated in a manuscript currently in preparation, that the diseases that correlate to sunlight deprivation/vitamin D deficiency kill approximately 1.42 million people per year in the US. Diseases that correlate to sunlight exposure kill approximately 1,500 people per year. That produces a ratio of about 948:1. I will continue with my mid-day sunbathing, thank you!

Remember that no one is advising the injudicious use of sunlight; baking in the sun for hours is neither necessary nor desirable, but regular sunlight exposure is a sine qua non for vibrant health. To say that we should avoid sunlight is like saying we should avoid water. Water correlates to drowning, but no one asks us to avoid water; if we did the results would be catastrophic, as are the results of vitamin D deficiency due to sunlight deprivation.

Of course, there are some extremely rare conditions that may preclude sunlight exposure. Check with your (enlightened) physician.

Is it time to return to reasonable, habitual, non-burning sunlight exposure? It could save your life!

[1] Godar DE, Landry RJ, Lucas AD. Increased UVA exposures and decreased cutaneous Vitamin D3 levels may be responsible for the increasing incidence of melanoma. Med hypothesis (2009), doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.09.056
[2] Godar D. UV doses worldwide. Photochem Photobiol 2005;81:736–49.
[3] Thieden E, Philipsen PA, Sandby-Møller J, Wulf HC. UV radiation exposure related to age, sex, occupation, and sun behavior based on time-stamped personal dosimeter readings. Arch Dermatol 2004;140:197–203.
[4] Lee J. Melanoma and exposure to sunlight. Epidemiol Rev 1982;4:110–36.
[5] Vågero D, Ringbäck G, Kiviranta H. Melanoma and other tumors of the skin among office, other indoor and outdoor workers in Sweden 1961–1979 Brit J Cancer 1986;53:507–12.
[6] Kennedy C, Bajdik CD, Willemze R, De Gruijl FR, Bouwes Bavinck JN; Leiden Skin Cancer Study. The influence of painful sunburns and lifetime sun exposure on the risk of actinic keratoses, seborrheic warts, melanocytic nevi, atypical nevi, and skin cancer. Invest Dermatol 2003;120:1087–93.
[7] Garland FC, White MR, Garland CF, Shaw E, Gorham ED. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the USA Navy. Arch Environ Health 1990; 45:261-67.
[8] Kaskel P, Sander S, Kron M, Kind P, Peter RU, Krähn G. Outdoor activities in childhood: a protective factor for cutaneous melanoma? Results of a case-control study in 271 matched pairs. Br J Dermatol 2001;145:602-09.
[9] Garsaud P, Boisseau-Garsaud AM, Ossondo M, Azaloux H, Escanmant P, Le Mab G. Epidemiology of cutaneous melanoma in the French West Indies (Martinique). Am J Epidemiol 1998;147:66-8.
[10] Le Marchand l, Saltzman S, Hankin JH, Wilkens LR, Franke SJM, Kolonel N. Sun exposure, diet and melanoma in Hawaii Caucasians. Am J Epidemiol 2006;164:232-45.
[11] Armstong K, Kricker A. The epidemiology of UV induced skin cancer. J Photochem Biol 2001;63:8-18
[12] Crombie IK. Distribution of malignant melanoma on the body surface. Br J Cancer 1981;43:842-9.
[13] Crombie IK. Variation of melanoma incidence with latitude in North America and Europe. Br J Cancer 1979;40:774-81.
[14]Weinstock MA, Colditz,BA, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ. Bronstein, BR, Speizer FE. Nonfamilial cutaneous melanoma incidence in women associated with sun exposure before 20 years of age. Pediatrics 1989;84:199-204.
[15] Tucker MA, Goldstein AM. Melanoma etiology: where are we? Oncogene 20f03;22:3042-52.
[16] Berwick M, Armstrong BK, Ben-Porat L, Fine J, Kricker A, Eberle C. Sun exposure and mortality from melanoma. J Nat Cancer Inst 2005;97:95-199.
[17] Veierød MB, Weiderpass E, Thörn M, Hansson J, Lund E, Armstrong B. A prospective study of pigmentation, sun exposure, and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma in women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95:1530-8.
[18] Oliveria SA, Saraiya M, Geller AC, Heneghan MK, Jorgensen C. Sun exposure and risk of melanoma. Arch Dis Child 2006;91:131-8.
[19] Elwood JM, Gallagher RP, Hill GB, Pearson JCG. Cutaneous melanoma in relation to intermittent and constant sun exposure—the western Canada melanoma study. Int J Cancer 2006;35:427-33
[20] Luz E. Tavera-Mendoza and John H. White. Cell Defenses and the Sunshine Vitamin. Scientific American 2007;November, p.42.
[21] Reichrath J. The challenge resulting from positive and negative effects of sunlight: how much solar UV exposure is appropriate to balance between risks of vitamin D deficiency and skin cancer? Prog Biophys Mol Biol 2006;92(1):9-16.
[22] Adams, J and Hewison, M. Update in Vitamin D. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010;95: 471–478.

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About The Sunlight Institute

Sunshine is free. No one sells it. It has neither a marketing team nor an advocate to defend it against the lies and the all-out assault by those who make billions of dollars annually preaching an over-the-top message of “Sun Scare” instead of teaching a balanced message of proper sun care.

There is no doubt that the benefits of regular sun exposure — highlighted by, but not limited to, vitamin D production — are among the most under-appreciated of all preventive health measures available to us today. And yet, 3 out of 4 Americans are Vitamin D deficient. This misguided epidemic is not only harming us physically and mentally, it’s costing the very health care system that sustains us billions of dollars each year.

That’s why I’ve started the Sunlight Institute —to shed some light on what should be blatantly obvious to us all. Sunshine is natural and intended. Neither our planet nor we could live without it. That message needs to get out. But it’s not enough, we also need to bring to light the issues, organizations, and individuals who are keeping us in the dark, while we advocate for change.

The mission of the Sunlight Institute is fourfold:

Enlighten the public on the benefits of sunlight.

Expose those who promote academic omissions about UV light, the financial motivations of those who block the right message and the real costs of sunlight deprivation to society.

Advocate for the sun and consumer health through public outreach, letters to lawmakers, and requests for additional vital research on vitamin D.

Unite our communities to “spread the sunshine” and the truth about the critical health benefits of sunlight, and celebrate those who at the forefront of the fight.

Consider: if a pharmaceutical company could patent sunshine, the marketing of UV science as we know it would be completely different. It’s time for us to step back into the light, instead of cowering from the sun as we and the public have so often been told.

I’m asking you to join me in the Sunlight Institute as we strive to enlighten our fellow colleagues, researchers, legislators, the media, and health consumers everywhere about the positive benefits of sunlight. With your help, I know we can save hundreds of thousands of lives each year as we strive to eradicate vitamin D deficiency.

I look forward to your ongoing support.


Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Founder, Sunlight Institute

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Vitamin D Boosts Immunity Against Flu

By Dr. Patrick Massey
June 14, 2010

Vitamin D may be as effective as vaccination for seasonal flu.

In a recently published clinical trial, children who took a vitamin D supplement had a significantly lower risk of seasonal flu than children who took a placebo. Risk reduction with vitamin D was comparable to that seen in children who received the flu vaccine.

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Contact Us

Dr. Marc Sorenson, EdD
Founder, The Sunlight Institute

Health education expert Dr. Marc Sorenson has become one of North America’s leading independent sunlight and vitamin D advocates, traveling throughout the United States and Canada to deliver the message that vitamin D deficiency is killing people and that sun avoidance is unwarranted. Sorenson is the author of “Vitamin D3 and Solar Power for Optimal Health” (http://www.vitaminddoc.com) – a book detailing the benefits of vitamin D produced naturally through sun exposure. Sorenson is a regular sun tanner and believes that the benefits of regular non-burning sun exposure outweigh the risks associated with overexposure, which can be minimized by avoiding sunburn.

A health education expert, Sorenson founded the National Institute of Fitness as one of the top health resorts in the world, helping clients lose a total of 110 tons of fat and helping two-thirds of his diabetic guests become symptom-free and off of medication. His book Megahealth was a top-seller and was a Book of the Month selection by Doubleday’s Health Book Club. – See more at: https://www.sunlightinstitute.org/contact-us#sthash.ovSkzSvB.dpuf

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Sunlight as a Psoriasis Treatment

New Treatment For Psoriasis

May 31, 2010

If you have always been searching for an impressive psoriasis treatment, you should not look for high priced medicines and uncomfortable procedures. You could be surprised but you could be able to get a therapy for the complaint at no cost. To make matters better, you could easily have fun while getting an intervention. This is because sunshine has been seen to facilitate natural remedy for the skin condition.

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Study: Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer

By Andrew Schneider

WASHINGTON (May 24) — Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.

AOL News also has learned through documents and interviews that the Food and Drug Administration has known of the potential danger for as long as a decade without alerting the public, which the FDA denies.

The study was released with Memorial Day weekend approaching. Store shelves throughout the country are already crammed with tubes, jars, bottles and spray cans of sunscreen.

The white goop, creams and ointments might prevent sunburn. But don’t count on them to keep the ultraviolet light from destroying your skin cells and causing tumors and lesions, according to researchers at Environmental Working Group.

In their annual report to consumers on sunscreen, they say that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use.

The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factor (SPF) numbers:

  • The use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream.
  • Overstated claims about performance.
  • The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

But the most alarming disclosure in this year’s report is the finding that vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.

A dangerous additive
The industry includes vitamin A in its sunscreen formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging.

But the EWG researchers found the initial findings of an FDA study of vitamin A’s photocarcinogenic properties, meaning the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.

“In that yearlong study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream,” the report said.

The conclusion came from EWG’s analysis of initial findings released last fall by the FDA and the National Toxicology Program, the federal government’s principle evaluator of substances that raise public health concerns.

EWG’s conclusions were subsequently scrutinized by outside toxicologists.

Based on the strength of the findings by FDA’s own scientists, many in the public health community say they can’t believe nor understand why the agency hasn’t already notified the public of the possible danger.

“There was enough evidence 10 years ago for FDA to caution consumers against the use of vitamin A in sunscreens,” Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research, told AOL News.

“FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now 10 years later, they say nothing about it, just silence.”

On Friday, the FDA said the allegations are not true.

“We have thoroughly checked and are not aware of any studies,” an FDA spokesperson told AOL News. She said she checked with bosses throughout the agency and found no one who knew of the vitamin A sunscreen research being done by or on behalf of the agency.

But documents from the FDA and the National Toxicology Program showed that the agency had done the research.

“Retinyl palmitate was selected by (FDA’s) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for photo-toxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail products for use on sun-exposed skin,” said an October 2000 report by the National Toxicology Program.

FDA’s own website said the animal studies were done at its National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark.

Link: http://bit.ly/9AJgEK


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Latest Report Warns That Most Sunscreens May Offer More Harm Than Benefit

By Jed Shlackman

As summertime approaches and residents and visitors flock to South Florida beaches and swimming spots there are more hazards present than oil slicks, alligators, or sharks in the water. Naturally, the risk of sunburn increases during summer months. This leads many to cover their exposed skin with various sunscreen products, believing that these protect the skin from harm. However, research publicized by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has shown that most sunscreens may present more harm than benefit. Skin cancer rates continue to rise and sunblocks fail to prevent long-term damage from the UV light exposure associated with skin cancers. Furthermore, many sunscreens contain hormone disruptors and Vitamin A derivatives that can foster skin cancers when applied topically and exposed to the sun. The Food And Drug Administration’s research has exposed the danger of Vitamin A compounds in sunscreens yet the agency failed to alert the public to this hazard or take action against the use of these compounds in sunscreens. The FDA has acknowledged that SPF factors reported by sunblock makers are often misleading, yet the manufacturers continue to include these misleading numbers on their products.

In the EWG’s annual report on sunscreens only 39 of 500 products tested were deemed safe and effective for consumers to use. None of the sunscreens widely sold in the USA are considered ideal by the EWG, as an ideal sunscreen would have to completely block harmful UV wavelengths, remain effective on the skin for several hours, and not break down into harmful chemicals when exposed to sunlight or other elements. In light of these findings consumers may want to consider traditional methods of sun protection – clothing, hats, umbrellas, natural shade, and avoiding exposure during mid-day hours. Good nutrition and anti-oxidant supplementation are also helpful in preventing and repairing damage caused by excessive sun exposure. Exposure to sunlight is healthy in moderation, so we can learn to manage our sun exposure to gain the benefits of sunlight (such as Vitamin D) while minimizing the hazards of being exposed for too long. So far, efforts to use chemicals on the skin to prevent sun damage seem to have backfired, as they’ve merely suppressed nature’s warning to us that we’ve been in the sun too long, offering a false sense of protection.

Link: http://bit.ly/aSLyJo


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How Do You Get Your Vitamin D?

By Aubrey Vaughn

Vitamin D is officially having a moment. To date, there is some research that suggests D can help build bones, strengthen your immune system, and lower the risk for diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart and kidney disease. Yet, as has been widely reported, half or more of all children and adults may be vitamin D deficient. (You can read more about vitamin D and its effects in Vitamin D: Sunshine and So Much More, and in Vitamin D, Miracle Drug: Is It Science or Just Talk?) As a result, interest in vitamin D is at an all-time high — which is great news. Public interest and media coverage have led to increased individual vitamin D testing, increased discussion among medical professionals and, perhaps most important, to more funding for reliable studies to determine just how important, effective and safe it really is. In the meantime, there are at least a dozen new vitamin D books out this year, and there’s much discussion about how exactly to get more of this currently in vogue vitamin. (In addition to supplements, the easiest way to get vitamin D is from sunshine. You can also get it from fortified milk; oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel; eggs (free-range have more D); and shiitake mushrooms.)

Have you been tested for vitamin D and/or increased your intake? How do you get your vitamin D?

Link: http://bit.ly/9BYmjM

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Vitamin D deficiency finally being recognized as increasingly common

By David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) Doctors are becoming increasingly concerned about growing rates of vitamin D deficiency, leading many of them to recommend that people get more sun or even take supplements.

Vitamin D has long been known to play an important role in bone health. Deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in adults, and in children and some adults can lead to a bone-softening disease known as rickets.

Although the vitamin is synthesized by the body upon exposure to sunlight, people living far from the equator can have trouble producing enough of it in the winter time. For this reason, numerous governments began fortifying dairy products with vitamin D decades ago, leading directly to a near-elimination of rickets. The disease is starting to make a resurgence, however, even as researchers start to believe that humans may need higher levels of the vitamin than previously thought.

Although the U.S. government recommends a daily vitamin D intake of 200 to 600 IU per day, researchers are increasingly suggesting amounts of closer to 1,000 IU. These amounts are based on new studies finding that higher levels of vitamin D can help regulate the immune system and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

“It helps boost your ability to fight infection, and it also reduces some destructive inflammation in your body, including inflammation with periodontal disease,” said Mark Ryder of the University of California-San Francisco. “Every five or 10 years, a new vitamin becomes the vitamin of the moment. The hot one right now is probably vitamin D, and so far all of the evidence looks encouraging.”

Yet even according to the lower government standards, at least one in three U.S. residents are not getting enough vitamin D.

“We’ve become a culture that shuns the sunshine and doesn’t drink milk,” said Dr. Donald Abrams of San Francisco General Hospital.

Sources for this story include: www.sfgate.com.

Link: http://bit.ly/cIiIkj

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Many Pregnant Woman Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

By Alan Mozes

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) — Seventy percent of pregnant women in the United States don’t get enough vitamin D, new research reveals.

What’s more, the regimen of prenatal vitamins that many women take do not always provide enough vitamin D to boost levels when needed, researchers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine (UCDSM) and Massachusetts General Hospital cautioned.

“Prenatal vitamins do help raise vitamin D levels, but many women start taking them after becoming pregnant,” UCDSM’s Dr. Adit Ginde said in a news release. “Although research is ongoing, I think it’s best for women to start a few months before becoming pregnant to maximize the likely health benefits.”

The finding was published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Although the study did find that some women are getting the vitamin D they need, the authors warned that many are not. Those most at risk are women with darker skin, those living in northern regions during the winter, and those who tend to cover up their skin for religious and/or cultural purposes.

In general, vitamin D levels seem to have been dropping in recent years, the researchers noted — perhaps due to a dip in outdoor activity. Vitamin D deficiency in the first years of life is associated with a higher risk for respiratory infection and childhood wheezing, while adults who lack an adequate supply bear a greater risk for heart disease and certain cancers.

Testing and supplementation could be the answer to the apparent problem. However, there may be risks from excessive vitamin D intake, the researchers said.

“We need more data from clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women,” study co-author Dr. Carlos Camargo, of Massachusetts General, said in the news release. “If the ongoing trials continue to show benefit, the best strategy will likely be measuring vitamin D levels through a simple blood test and choosing supplementation doses according to those levels.”

Link: http://bit.ly/aA3KM4

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