Indoor living holds no attraction for this girl.

Sunlight or vitamin D or both? Sunlight is the answer.

Sunlight or vitamin D or both? By Marc Sorenson, EdD.

Sunlight or vitamin D? That is a question that should not be necessary, yet many believe that vitamin D replaces sun exposure. So, they will state, “just take some vitamin D pills rather than go out in the sunlight, thus, you can derive sunlight benefits without the risk of skin cancer.” This opinion is incorrect, and it leads to sun deprivation.

This poor opinion of sunlight is misguided, erroneous and dangerous.

First of all, sunlight leads to production of many photoproducts when it touches the skin or enters the eyes. (Do not stare into the sun, since sufficient sun enters the eyes by reflection from objects or from the sky). These photoproducts include serotonin, endorphin, vitamin D, dopamine, brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and nitric oxide.

Furthermore, all of these sunlight photoproducts are known to have healthful effects.

In addition, there are more photoproducts that are produced by sun exposure, but they have not yet been well-studied. Yet, it is likely that all of them will be found to have salubrious effects for the human body. Hence, we need them all. Obviously, a vitamin D pill cannot provide all the health benefits that sunlight provides.

Vitamin D in isolation may not always be healthful. Consider sunlight instead.

So yes, vitamin D is an important photoproduct of sunlight, but it is just one of the photoproducts. Thus, it is along for the ride with its companions. The serum blood tests which measure vitamin D are really surrogate measures for sunlight exposure and its other photoproducts. And, these photoproducts work as a team; one might say a “holistic” team.

Sunlight or vitamin D. What does the vitamin D research tell us?

A surprising piece of recent research assessed the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation on bone strength and density. The researchers worked with 311 healthy volunteers aged 55 to 70 and these volunteers were split into three groups. One group received 400 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D, and a second group received 4,000 IU per day. Finally, a third group received 10,000 IU per day. Bone strength and density were measured at the beginning of the investigation and at intervals of 6, 12, 24 and 36 months. The researchers had thought there would be an increase in bone mass, yet, the results were opposite of their expectations. Stunningly, all three groups lost bone mass, and the higher the vitamin D dose, the more rapid the bone loss!

How can this happen? Does sunlight exposure play a part?

So, we have an interesting dichotomy here. First of all, we see that isolated vitamin D (the supplements) were counterproductive for bone strength and mass. And yet, we know that low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with low bone density. Maybe we can unravel this mystery by mentioning that almost all serum vitamin D (about 90%) is produced by sun exposure on the skin.

Therefore, low vitamin D levels are really indicative of sunlight deprivation.

And as aforementioned, one isolated chemical (vitamin D), cannot possibly be expected to take the place of the holistic sun. Especially relevant is a study that found Spanish women who sunbathed had 1/11 the fracture risk of indoor women. Is there any doubt that the strong-boned women had higher vitamin D levels than their counterparts? You see, we have gotten it backward, because greater sun exposure associates with higher vitamin D levels and predicts long life and health. Sunlight leads to vitamin D production, but vitamin D does not bring sunlight and all its additional photoproducts.

Does vitamin D supplementation protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD), or is it sunlight?

We know the answer to half of that that question due to a study of more than 83,000 people. And this study was a meta-analysis. This means a compilation and analysis of the best supplementation studies. The study compared vitamin D intake with CVD events (heart attacks, stoke, death from CVD and all-cause death). The authors found, as a result, that vitamin D supplementation was not associated with CVD.

Most noteworthy is that for years, sunlight was shown to associate to a much reduced risk of CVD.

And, that included heart attack and stroke.
Many made the mistake of giving the credit for the reduced risk to vitamin D, because of this research.The answer to health is to embrace the holistic sun and not a single photoproduct.

Sunlight related to the beta carotene study

This reminds me of research on beta-carotene, an antioxidant nutrient found in orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots. Since these vegetables have healthful properties, the researchers decided to experiment with isolated beta-carotene. They wanted determine if beta-carotene also had anti-cancer properties. To their dismay, these experiments associated to an increase in cancer. Does isolated vitamin D lead to the same deleterious outcomes? Sunlight should also be used in its whole form, just like the carrot.

So in the winter, in climes where there is little sunlight, how do we get our share of life-saving light?

The best method is to use a good sunbed (tanning bed), and when the sunlight is available, to be outside enjoying it, summer and winter. Sunbed use has many life-enhancing effects, including longer life, stronger bones and better mood. Read more about sunbeds, sunlight, bone strength and health at and read the book by Sorenson and Grant: Embrace the Sun.

Happy sunning! And remember never to burn.

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Light exposure for the gut. Soak it up for health!

Light exposure for the gut, by Marc Sorenson, EdD L

Light exposure for the gut seems like a strange concept. And, rest assured we will not discuss shining light directly into the gut to optimize health. However, light exposure, according to new research, may assist in gut homeostasis and may positively alter the gut microbiome.

The thinker, worrying about light exposure to his gut.

Some words you should know to better understand light exposure for the gut:

Circadian rhythms: Circadian rhythms are variations in physiology and behavior persisting with a cycle length close to, but not exactly, 24 hours. It is necessary to synchronize the rhythms on a regular basis to maintain them. And, such synchronization is usually achieved through regular exposure to light and darkness.

Entrainment: Entrainment occurs when rhythmic physiological or behavioral events are matched to an external environmental factor. So it is ultimately the interaction between circadian rhythms and the environment, especially sunlight or darkness.

Homeostasis: The maintenance of metabolic equilibrium and balance within an animal by a tendency to compensate for disrupting changes. Thus, homeostasis is vital for good health. And conversely, a lack of homeostasis in the gut is a disease state.

Microbiome, or microbiota: A collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body. For the purposes of this discussion, we are interested in those microorganisms, such as bacteria, inhabiting the gut.

UVB: Ultraviolet B light, a part of the solar spectrum, which is also used in experiments by way of sun lamps.

Circadian rhythms: Circadian rhythms are variations in physiology and behavior persisting with a cycle length close to, but not exactly, 24 hours. It is necessary to synchronize the rhythms on a regular basis to maintain them. And, such synchronization is usually achieved through regular exposure to light and darkness.

Entrainment: Entrainment occurs when rhythmic physiological or behavioral events are matched to an external environmental factor. So it is ultimately the interaction between circadian rhythms and the environment, especially sunlight or darkness.

Homeostasis: The maintenance of metabolic equilibrium and balance within an animal by a tendency to compensate for disrupting changes. Thus, homeostasis is vital for good health. And conversely, a lack of homeostasis in the gut is a disease state.

Microbiome, or microbiota: A collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body. For the purposes of this discussion, we are interested in those microorganisms, such as bacteria, inhabiting the gut.

UVB: Ultraviolet B light, a part of the solar spectrum, which is also used in experiments by way of sun lamps.

First of all, let’s discuss the effect of light exposure on gut homeostasis.

There are specialized cells in the body called ILC3s, which are major regulators of inflammation, infection, microbiota composition and metabolism in the gut.

These cells do not function well if they are not synchronized to the biological clock (or circadian rhythm). So, the most effective way to assure that these cells are working is through external light exposure, particularly sunlight. Light signals are the major entraining cues of ILC3s.

In fact, as a result of the removal of circadian regulators in intestines, the researchers showed that many problems occur. Without regulators, light exposure can’t do its job, and therefore the circadian rhythms of the gut would be extinguished. Why? Because ILC3s could not connect to those regulators in the gut. Thus, this caused disrupted homeostasis, impaired epithelium, a deregulated microbiome, increased infection and disrupted lipid metabolism. The researchers stated that “Our work reveals a circadian circuitry that translates environmental light cues into enteric [intestinal] ILC3s, shaping intestinal health, metabolism and organismal homeostasis.” So the bottom line is, for gut health, get your sun exposure daily!


Secondly, another investigation provides more information regarding light exposure and the gut microbiome.

Light exposure, vitamin D and microbiome makeup are all associated with inflammatory conditions like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, scientists hypothesized that a causal chain links the three. So to test the hypothesis, they used female volunteers in a scientific experiment. In addition to three one-minute sessions of full-body UVB exposures, the volunteers had their blood vitamin D levels tested. Furthermore, before and after treatment, stool samples were taken for analysis of volunteers’ gut microbiomes.

The results regarding UVB light exposure and gut microbiome.

As a result of this minuscule UVB light exposure, good bacteria increased in the microbiome, as did vitamin D. Another fact mentioned in the paper was that studies in rodents indicated UVB increased good bacteria while decreasing harmful bacteria. So does this prove vitamin D could be responsible for lessening risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and inflammatory bowel disease? No. It is especially relevant that many studies on vitamin D supplementation and MS show no effect. The one consistent outcome of the studies is that sun exposure always lessens the risk of MS. Sun exposure produces the marvelous hormone, vitamin D, but it also produces serotonin, endorphin, nitric oxide, BDNF and dopamine. In addition, there are many more photoproducts produced by sun exposure, which have not been fully studied for health benefits.

When possible, use sun exposure or other UVB light exposure to produce your vitamin D.

Therefore, vitamin D levels are, in many cases, surrogate measurements for sun exposure. The health benefits attributed to vitamin D may be due to other factors also being produced by sun exposure. The sun should be used holistically when possible. Using only one photoproduct of sun exposure seems like a mistake. Thus, it is much like extracting a single plant vitamin. That vitamin doesn’t have the health benefits of the entire plant, because it lacks fiber and other nutrients. Therefore, the closest thing to holistic sun is the use of a sunlamp or a sunbed. For more information, visit the sunlight Institute website.

In conclusion, take care of your gut and your health through non-burning, regular sun exposure.

For more information on sun exposure and MS, read the book, Embrace the Sun. Read more on circadian rhythms on

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Vitamin D Society press release. Important info for Canadians and all others.

For Immediate Distribution

TORONTO, Ont (October 25, 2019) – People around the world are losing 
their battle against vitamin D deficiency and more and more are becoming 
vitamin D deficient. It’s estimated that more than 1 billion people have 
low vitamin D levels in the world. This occurs because we are living, 
working, and spending more time indoors than ever before. We are now 
told to apply sunscreens every day, year round, which if applied 
properly prevents vitamin D production. Up to 90% of your vitamin D 
comes from sunlight. Without unprotected sun exposure (when the UV Index 
is above 3 and your shadow shorter than you are) we cannot make vitamin 
D naturally in our skin. Vitamin D levels drop rapidly as the sun 
becomes weaker in the autumn. This is why we celebrate World Vitamin D 
Day every November 2nd. We want to warn you that you are probably 
Vitamin D deficient or insufficient right now.  People need to take 
action to increase their vitamin D intake. It’s time to STOP vitamin D 
deficiency and take back your health!

This is the 10th year of celebrating World Vitamin D Day on November 2nd 
as part of Novembers Vitamin D Awareness month to highlight peoples 
plunging vitamin D levels. This is a day for you to evaluate your 
vitamin D intake and take action to prevent deficiency since outdoor 
sunlight is now too weak to make vitamin D naturally in your skin at 
latitudes above 37°. Optimal vitamin D is needed throughout the winter 
to protect your health. A new World Vitamin D Day website has been 
developed to help inform people on the importance of maintaining optimal 
vitamin D blood levels of between 100-150 nmol/L (40-60 ng/ml USA). 
Please consider sending out one of the new social media shareables to 
your friends, family and loved ones on your social network to help 
promote vitamin D health. Remember to include the special hashtag 

Why does vitamin D matter? It matters because Vitamin D helps reduce 
your risk of cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart problems, strengthens 
your bones and muscles, and helps you live longer.

“Mortality is the most important clinical outcome. Maintaining optimal 
vitamin D blood levels of 100-150 nmol/L (40-60 ng/ml USA) may increase 
your life expectancy by 2 years.” Dr. William B. Grant

How does vitamin D do all that? Research has found that optimal vitamin 
D levels reduces your risk of many major diseases. Vitamin D controls 
the switches that guide cellular life in your body. Vitamin D tells your 
genes and DNA what to do.

To STOP Vitamin D Deficiency, adults will need a vitamin D intake of 
approximately 4,000 IU or 100 mcg a day to reach the optimal blood 
levels of vitamin D of between 100-150 nmol/L ( 40-60 ng/ml USA). 
According to Statistics Canada, 93% of Canadians do not meet this level 
and are therefore deficient.

To increase your vitamin D intake through the winter when sunshine is 
diminished and the UV index is below 3, consider using indoor sources 
such as UVB emitting sunbeds or sunlamps as a surrogate for summer 
sunshine. You can also try and eat more fatty fish in your diet such as 
salmon or take a daily D3 supplement of up to 4000 IU or 100 mcg/day 

“Vitamin D made in the skin lasts at least twice as long in the blood as 
vitamin D ingested from the diet. When you are exposed to sunlight, you 
make not only vitamin D but also at least five and up to ten additional 
photoproducts that you would never get from dietary sources or from a 
supplement.” Dr. Michael F. Holick

To find out if you are vitamin D deficient ask your doctor for a 25(OH)D 
blood test. Another option is to purchase a vitamin D home test kit. 
Remember to always get your score and compare it with the level 
recommended by an expert panel of 48 vitamin D scientists and their 
consensus called D*action. It recommends that everyone, all ages, 
maintain a vitamin D blood level of between 100-150 nmol/L (40-60 ng/ml 
USA) for best overall health and wellness.

“Your personal health requires your guidance for disease prevention. Be 
proactive. Don’t wait until you have a disease only to discover that you 
may have prevented it with optimal vitamin D levels, says Perry Holman, 
Executive Director for the Vitamin D Society. “Please STOP vitamin D deficiency.”

For more information on World Vitamin D Day on November 2nd, visit our 
new website and help take action to STOP vitamin D deficiency.

We have developed a number of social media shareables and encourage you 
to help us communicate the vitamin D message to the world on November 
2nd using the hashtag #WorldVitaminDDay

About the Vitamin D Society:

The Vitamin D Society is a Canadian non-profit group organized to 
increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to 
vitamin D deficiency; encourage people to be proactive in protecting 
their health and have their vitamin D levels tested annually; and help 
fund valuable vitamin D research. The Vitamin D Society recommends 
people achieve and maintain optimal 25(OH)D blood levels between 100 – 
150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA).

To learn more about vitamin D, please visit

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Macular degeneration. Stop blaming the sun!

Macular degeneration and sun exposure. By Marc Sorenson, EdD

Macular degeneration [or age-related macular degeneration (AMD)] is a cause for concern because it causes blindness, especially in the elderly. As of 2010, 2.5 percent of white adults age 50 and older had the disease. And by comparison, macular degeneration affected 0.9 percent each of blacks, Hispanics and people of other races. So what is the macula? It is the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision and consequently lets us see objects clearly.

So what causes AMD?

Due to the sun phobia promulgated by the sunscare industry, one might think that sun exposure is a major cause. Therefore, there are a plethora of online articles suggesting people avoid sunlight, especially in the eyes. While it is not good to stare at the sun, sun exposure to the eyes is necessary for good health. Because sun exposure to the eyes causes the production of serotonin, it lifts our moods and enhances our lives. And because sun exposure assures the proper development of the eye in children, it helps prevent myopia. Furthermore, sunlight daily resets our circadian rhythms. It therefore helps us sleep properly and function better both physically and mentally. And most noteworthy, it does not cause macular degeneration.

But what really causes the disease?

The primary suspect is poor nutrition. First of all, Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that accumulate in the retina of the eye and stop free-radical damage. Consequently, these marvelous nutrients furnish protection against AMD. They are particularly available in dark green leafy vegetables, pistachio nuts and eggs. Thus, a diet lacking green vegetables would be a cause of macular degeneration. In addition, lack of omega-3 fats and surplus of omega-6 fats in the modern diet can contribute to macular degeneration. Hence, we should stop eating junk and we should stop blaming the sun!

What does the research show regarding sunlight and macular degeneration?

Opposite from the prevailing view of sunlight and macular degeneration, research does not support sunlight as a causative factor. A meta-analysis of studies on the subject concludes that sun exposure has no influence on the disease. The researchers assessed 44,000 subjects in 14 studies, and found no significant association either with sun exposure or sun avoidance. In conclusion to their research, the investigators stated their findings. “The results indicate that sunlight exposure may not be associated with increased risk of AMD (macular degeneration) based on current published data.”

Since there is no significant association between sun exposure and macular degeneration, let’s stop blaming the sun.

For more information on the health benefits of sun exposure, visit and read the book, Embrace the Sun.

Happy sunning!

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Indoor living holds no attraction for this girl.

Protect the children with sunshine #7. Arthritis

Protect the children with sunshine. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.

Protect the children against illness? That is a great idea, and sunshine is one of the most effective “protectors” we can use.

“Children and arthritis” is not something we hear about because arthritis is thought to be an adult’s disease. Yet tragically, an estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition. And this represents approximately 1 in every 250 children in the US.[1] Thus, we must be concerned and promote actions that protect the children.

Do we need to be even more concerned to protect the children in northern climes?

Also, the numbers of children with arthritis increase dramatically In Canada and the Northern U.S. This could be as a result of either vitamin D deficiency or sunlight deficiency or both. Since 90% of vitamin D blood levels are due to sunlight, it is likely that sun deprivation is the cause. So, if our desire is to protect the children, we must insist that they receive plenty of non-burning sun exposure. And in the winter, a vitamin-D producing sunlamp should be the first choice. When we use lamps to produce vitamin D, we also protect the children with other critically important photoproducts. Some of these photoproducts are endorphins, serotonin, nitric oxide brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), dopamine and endorphin. And all of these photoproducts are necessary for health. So, to help the children, we should be sure that they have ample sunshine or light for the aforementioned sun lamps.

Articles from the UK and scientific journals help us to protect the children.

An article from the Express, a UK online newspaper, describes research published in the scientific journal, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. They state, “Millions of people could protect themselves from crippling arthritis by getting a regular dose of sunshine.” And although the research involved women, we can easily extrapolate to children, since mothers to a great extent, determine their children’s habits.

To learn more about arthritis and the influence of sun exposure, read this article (and others) posted on Sunlight Institute. First of all, go to the news section and search “arthritis.” You will find numerous articles on the subject. Also, read the book, Embrace the Sun.

Remember to obtain regular sun exposure to protect yourself and to protect the children. Happy sunning!

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: arthritis-related statistics.

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Children’s diseases associated with sun deprivation. #6

Children’s diseases associated with sun deprivation. by Marc Sorenson, EdD

Children’s diseases that are associated with sun deprivation are legion. So, how do I know this? Because my last five blogs discussed this topic, and I’m a long way from finishing the theme.

To subject our children to sun deprivation is child abuse. It results in either lifelong or temporary children’s diseases.

So, the first of the children’s diseases discussed this week will be acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI). In addition, the second will be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ALRI are a leading cause of sickness and mortality both in children and adults worldwide. Furthermore, ALRI are not uniformly defined and this may hamper a true appreciation of their importance. Also, from an epidemiological point of view, the definition of acute lower respiratory infections includes other diseases. The most noteworthy of these diseases are acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis, influenza and pneumonia. The NCBI also states that acute respiratory infections, and particularly lower respiratory tract infections are deadly. Another fact is that these diseases are the leading cause of death among children under five years of age.  Especially relevant is that they are estimated to be responsible for between 1.9 million and 2.2 million childhood deaths globally.

Studies regarding children’s diseases indicate that sun exposure has protective effects, whether due to vitamin D production or another factor.

First of all, in one study, children placed outside in sunlight were less than half as likely to suffer ALRI. Another investigation on sunlight compared vitamin D levels and sun exposure habits in children with and without ALRI. And, there was virtually no difference in vitamin D levels between the sick and healthy groups. Yet, those children who had a higher percentage of the body exposed to sunlight were less likely to have ALRI. Therefore, this reinforces the fact that sun exposure has preventive effects beyond vitamin D for children’s diseases.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is another of the disheartening children’s diseases.

ADHD is the most prevalent of mental disorders in children. And, it causes significant problems with executive functions (e.g. attentional control and inhibitory control). In addition, it causes attention deficits, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness not appropriate for a person’s age. Thus, it is certainly another of the important children’s diseases. Also, researchers have found that sun exposure correlates to a decreased risk of ADHD. The investigators assessed the relationship between ADHD prevalence and sun intensity in various nations and in US states. As a result, they found a close association between low sunlight intensity and the prevalence of ADHD. Another finding was that it explained 34%–57% of the variance in ADHD prevalence, with high sunlight intensity having a preventive effect.

It seems like the advice to deprive our children of sun exposure, in order to a prevent melanoma, is disastrous. Do we want to increase the chance of ALRI, ADHD or other children’s diseases we have already discussed? In conclusion, let’s love our children and be sure that they receive plenty of regular, non-burning sun exposure. And for more information, read the book, Embrace the Sun.

Happy sunning!

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Indoor living holds no attraction for this girl.

Childhood diseases prevented by sunlight, part 5.

Childhood diseases prevented by Sunlight. by Marc Sorenson, EdD

Childhood diseases are directly associated with sun deprivation: Therefore, childhood death and disability can be due to lack of sun exposure!

Childhood diseases and disorders that are prevented by sun exposure have been discussed on many of my recent blogs. Our children are becoming ill due to our neglect. We must insist that they (or in some cases their mothers) play outside each day while eschewing their electronic devices. So, let’s now discuss a few more childhood diseases that are associate with sun deprivation. First of all, there is a 61% increase in death risk among children born to women with low 25(OH) D levels. Since sun exposure on skin is the main source of that photoproduct (vitamin D), the mothers lack sufficient sun exposure. Therefore, they do not furnish the necessary vitamin D to deliver a healthy baby. Furthermore, they are unlikely to bring their babies out in the sun after birth.

It is probably important at this point to mention a vital point. In many cases, vitamin D is exceptionally important. And in other cases, vitamin D may have little to do with the childhood diseases being considered. Since sun exposure leads to vitamin D production, vitamin D levels may simply be a surrogate measurement for sun exposure. Therefore, it may be other photoproducts of sun exposure that are creating some of the health benefits. And what are some of those other photoproducts that may reduce childhood diseases?

  1. Serotonin, which is one of the body’s natural “uppers”
  2. Endorphin, another feel-good hormone
  3. Dopamine, which affects learning and behavior and may help schizophrenia, to attention disorders, and cognitive reasoning
  4. Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which is essential for nerve growth
  5. Nitric oxide, which reduces blood pressure and may help prevent heart disease.

Whenever vitamin D deficiency is blamed for childhood diseases, sun-exposure deficiency—which causes vitamin D deficiency—is the actual culprit.

Here are three more childhood diseases that are associated with low sunlight exposure:

Eczema: a disease that can be a part of childhood diseases

First of all, a study of children aged 0-17 years showed sun exposure was associated with lessened prevalence of eczema.  Hence, children in the highest fourth of exposure were 20% less likely to experience eczema. This is one of the common childhood diseases.

Lack of bone mineralization and size: another of the childhood diseases.

An English investigation, involving 7,000 children, found bone size was positively related to sun exposure of mothers during pregnancies. Researchers conducted another study on children with on poor bone mineral density that predicted fractures. All of them had a significant increase in bone density because of a sun-exposure program that lasted a year. It is also most noteworthy that none of these children had a fracture after the start of the sun-exposure program.

Food allergy emergency: Another of the childhood diseases

Research from Boston states that children younger than 5 years, who were born in fall or winter (times of low sun exposure) had bad outcomes. They had about 50% increase in the risk of emergency room visits for food allergies. That is, compared with children born in spring or summer. Hence, the authors suggested this finding was related to differences in UVB (sun) exposure during their mother’s pregnancies.

In subsequent blogs we will discuss more childhood diseases that are triggered by sun deprivation. In the meantime find more information at and read the book, Embrace the Sun.

Happy sunning!

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Children preventing Pediatric multiple sclerosisMS

Sun deprivation and bone health

Sun deprivation and bone health by Marc Sorenson, EdD

Sun deprivation associates very closely to bone health, and that fact has been made abundantly clear by my previous blogs. So now, another small report adds credence to an already overwhelming volume of evidence. This evidence will shortly be discussed. Because bone weakness and fractures are pandemic due to osteoporosis, this blog serves as a reminder. Due to the potential pain, disability and deterioration of life quality caused by this disease, drastic action is needed. So, let me give a stark warning to both women and men! First of all, both should to seek regular, non-burning sun exposure. Furthermore, they should eat plenty of green vegetables, give up smoking and do some impact exercise several times weekly. (Also, check with a doctor before doing impact exercise.)

 A startling, but obviously true statement regarding sun deprivation and bone health

Almost all problems with bone health would disappear if the people regularly utilized the aforementioned advice on reducing osteoporosis. While weak bones are caused by neglecting sunlight, vegetable consumption and exercise, one factor stands above the others. Thus, let’s consider the prophylactic effect achieved by soaking up the sun:

The study from Spain: Sun deprivation is the biggest problem.

Research in Spain showed this astounding result: Women who were sun-seekers had only about one-eleventh the risk of hip fracture as those who were not. Most people would probably say that this was due to vitamin D production by the skin when exposed to sunlight. And many would also say that vitamin D supplements could achieve the same results. However, it is especially relevant that I have not seen any study on supplements that demonstrates that degree of protection. In addition to vitamin D, sun exposure also produces many other vital photoproducts. So, sunlight is “holistic” medicine, whose benefits go far beyond vitamin D production.

Now let’s discuss the latest study on sun deprivation and bone health.

Since we believe sun deprivation leads to weakened bones, let’s look at recent research on a single individual. (See the first link in this article.) The study involved osteomalacia, a soft-bone disease related to osteoporosis.

The researchers described the individual’s problems thusly: “We report a case of 51-years-old woman, with a religious garment, with slowly progressing weakness of the proximal limb muscles, extreme fatigue, chest and lower spine pain, paresthesia [a burning sensation in the extremities}, depression, difficulties in walking and waddling gait.” A rather miserable condition, no? This woman improved due to vitamin D supplementation. And how much more might she have improved if she could have done some full-body sunbathing?

In conclusion: These bone diseases, caused by sun deprivation, could be eradicated almost totally by non-burning sun exposure and the few other lifestyle changes suggested above. Embrace the Sun!

Happy sunning.

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Embrace the Sun for health

Sun deprivation and retarded growth:

Sun deprivation and its deleterious effects on children. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.

Sun deprivation is a tragedy!          

Sun deprivation, first of all, has been discussed in my last four blogs and it has concentrated on children’s health. The last blog discussed sun deprivation and rickets. And I will continue to pursue this subject until people stop abusing their children by denying them natural sunlight. For more on the tragic consequences of sun deprivation, visit

Was sun deprivation always practiced, or is it a new phenomenon?

It seems like, in the past, both the people and the government understood the vital necessity of sun exposure. Consequently, In the 1930s, the Department of Labor printed a pamphlet called Sun for Babies. So here is a quote from that pamphlet. “Every mother who wishes her baby to have robust health should give him regular sun baths from early infancy until he is old enough to play in the sun himself.” They continued: “If the sun’s rays are to help the baby grow properly and to prevent rickets, they must fall directly on the skin and tan it.” While that may have been popular advice in the 1930s it would not be popular today. Hence, it is likely that any parent practicing “baby tanning” would be arrested for child abuse. Since the 1930’s the dermatological profession has come a long way… in the wrong direction!

Does sun deprivation affect a child’s growth?

So, research related to bone growth in children shows that they grow more rapidly during summer months. And, other researchers have also observed that children seem to grow more rapidly in summer.  Why should this be? Probably because sun exposure is greater in the summer. And, that sun exposure stimulates the vitamin D necessary for robust bone growth. For full documentation, see the book Embrace the Sun.

Because we love them and want them to have good health, we should give them regular non-burning sunlight. We want our children to have reasonable growth rates. The vitamin D produced by sun exposure can produce larger and stronger bones. Sun deprivation may retard growth. And, vitamin D may also be accompanied by factors such as nitric oxide, serotonin, endorphins and other healthful photoproducts. Consequently, these photoproducts may assist vitamin D. Whatever the mechanisms, we now know that the sun has one more critically important effect on human health: accelerated growth among our children.

Protect your children from the Powers of Darkness. Happy sunning.

Embrace the Sun.

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Save a child by preventing rickets.

Save a child with sunlight! A call to action

Save a child, by Marc Sorenson, EdD

Save a child, and save the children, are part of a series of blogs promoting sunlight for our youth. It is astounding how closely childhood diseases and disorders associate to sun deprivation. Let’s get serious! Many of these diseases occur due to indoor lifestyles and sun “protection.”

Save a child with sunlight and prevent a disastrous disease.

Let’s discuss a terrible disease that is totally unnecessary and can scar a child’s life forever. It is the horrible disease of bone deformity and weakness called rickets. And, it is a disease almost wholly due to vitamin D deficiency. It is most noteworthy that rickets was once thought to be eradicated by vitamin D supplementation in the food supply. But due to lack of sunlight (always the best source of vitamin D), the disease is again rearing its ugly head. Addition of vitamin D has not been sufficient to overcome vitamin D deficiency due to sun deprivation.

Save a child in a sunny state.

Furthermore, rickets is occurring in sunny states, where one would think it could not exist. Another fact is that 83% of cases occur in black children. Black children and adults need more time in the sun to produce vitamin D than do Caucasians.  And, 96% of the cases were breast-fed, demonstrating a lack of vitamin D in their mothers’ milk. Yet, the primary cause is living indoors and avoiding sun. Therefore, this alarming comeback by rickets is not a surprise. And it is not confined to the U.S.

Can sunlight save a child in Ethiopia?

Especially relevant to the widespread geography is a study in Ethiopia showing 42% of children are vitamin D deficient. And, the prevalence of deficiency is significantly higher among urban children and in children less exposed to sun. The researchers who produced this data, trying to save a child, made the following observations regarding their findings: “Behavior change communication to enhance exposure to ultraviolet light is critical to prevent vitamin D deficiency in a tropical country like Ethiopia. Further study is required to assess the deleterious effect of its deficiency on bone mineral homeostasis of growing children in Ethiopia during their most critical period of bone development.”

In addition, to save a child from rickets may also save that child from terrible dental health.

Rickets is also associated with destruction of dental health. In the medical journal Pediatrics, an interesting report discussed the plight of two young girls who suffered from severe tooth decay related to rickets. We have already discussed that rickets is characterized by defective bone growth and horribly deformed bodies. And we now see that it may also be characterized by teeth without enamel. Rickets is also associated with autism. Save a child from both physical and mental disability by getting him or her out in the sunlight.

No one ever needs to have rickets. Pregnant mothers, get out in the sun for a few minutes around midday and make certain your children play in the sun regularly. Just take care not to burn. Save a child! If all mothers and children would follow this advice, rickets would cease to exist.

Happy sunning.

For more information, peruse the literature on bone diseases on, or read the book, Embrace the Sun.

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