Breast cancer (and other cancers) can be prevented with sunlight! By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Breast cancer risk, much as a deadly snake, strikes fear into the hearts of women and their families. First of all, there are myriad opinions on the disease, which opinions serve mostly to confuse the issue. Yet, there is one factor emerging as something women can turn to. And that factor is regular sunlight exposure. Thus, in research performed on Black women, regarding cancer risk and vitamin D, only sun exposure cut through the confusion. This study was conducted among 1724 women with breast cancer and 1233 controls (no cancer). Various quantities of vitamin D and calcium were administered to these volunteers.
As a result, it was shown that dietary vitamin D was not associated with breast cancer risk. Supplemental vitamin D did have a small, positive effect. Yet, sun exposure (as always seems to be the case) was consistently associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Yet, the results on supplementation added to confusion. So, supplementing less than 800 IU per day of vitamin D was actually more effective than supplementing more than 800 IU. How do we explain that?
A breast cancer mistake made by health professionals and others.
While many doctors know that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from sunlight reduces risk of cancer, they have missed something. Sunlight stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin. Therefore, many health professionals assume vitamin D is responsible for the reduced cancer risk. This may lead them to advocate the use of vitamin D supplementation and totally miss the bigger picture. In addition to vitamin D, UVR from sunlight or sunlamps produces many additional healthful photoproducts. Among others, nitric oxide, serotonin, endorphin and BDNF are produced by sunlight, and these photoproducts are vital to health. And, it is likely that these healthful photoproducts lead to an inhibition of breast cancer.
New research shows that sun exposure per se is capable of reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Consequently, it should not surprise us that for cancer, sunlight’s effects go beyond vitamin D. Researchers used mice that easily develop breast cancer, and treated them with UVR. [think sun exposure}
They found that UVR treatments produced significant anti-cancer effects, much as we might expect. Furthermore, they found that neither dietary vitamin D nor topical vitamin D influenced cancer risk. They stated the following because of their findings: “UVR’s inhibitory effects occur irrespective of whether or not the treatment increases circulating D3 (vitamin D) in the mice.” Also, they made one more important comment regarding their research on cancer and UVR. “Therefore, supplemental D3 may not mimic all possible beneficial effects of UVR, and uncovering non-D3-mediated mechanisms of UVR tumor inhibition may lead to novel strategies for cancer prevention.”
And here is the transcendent research regarding sun exposure and breast cancer:
Profoundly important Iranian research has also emerged regarding breast cancer and sun exposure. Most noteworthy, the investigation showed that low vitamin D predicted only a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Yet, there was a 10-fold increase in the risk of the disease. In other words, there was a 1,000% increase in breast-cancer risk due to sun deficiency. among women who totally covered themselves (no sun exposure)
An important summary regarding vitamin D, sunlight and breast cancer.
Finally, there is no doubt that vitamin D, in some cases, has anticancer benefits. In addition, the aforementioned research, however, is especially relevant in that it corroborates what I said in my book, Embrace the Sun. Therefore, we must not put all the benefits of sunlight in the vitamin D box. That is because sun exposure performs miracles beyond vitamin D. And, One of those sunlight miracles is cancer prevention and inhibition. Thus, if we erroneously believe that we can obtain all of the sun’s benefits from popping a vitamin D pill, we may miss the holistic effects of the sun, which provides a cornucopia of salubrious benefits.