Sunlight may reduce the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women

Sunlight may reduce the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women

By: Marc Sorenson–


A recent research paper published in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases[1] showed that older women, who lived in areas where the most sunlight was available, were at about a 20% reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Younger women did not see the same reduction in RA. In my opinion that is because younger women have been brainwashed by the Powers of Darkness (The American Academy of Dermatology, Skin Cancer Foundation, etc.) into staying indoors and slathering on sunscreen. The older (30-55 in 1976) group of women was followed from 1976 to 2008; the younger (25-42 in 1989) group was followed from 1989 until 2009.

This study is not the first to show a positive effect of sunlight and vitamin D on RA. RA is one of several rheumatic diseases that affect bones, muscles, joints and tendons.  In a study of 29,000 women, those who ranked in the top third of vitamin D consumption had one-third less risk of RA.[2] In mice studies, vitamin D treatment inhibits the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and minimizes or prevents the symptoms.[3]  And in another human study, subjects diagnosed with a form of the disease known as inflammatory arthritis, the lower the vitamin D levels are, the higher is the disease activity.[4]  Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce the autoimmune response are likely responsible for the improvement in RA.[5]  Investigations also find that RA is more common in winter; consistent with the idea that vitamin D, or sunlight itself, is a major factor in reducing the risk.[6] We must remember in all of this research showing a positive effect of vitamin D, that 90% percent of vitamin D is produced by sunlight. Safe Sunlight exposure is the key, because it will furnish the correct amount of vitamin D and simultaneously lead to the production or nitric oxide, endorphins, serotonin and other factors that enhance human health. Vitamin D is only one product of Sunlight, which is the King!

However, sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels are not the only factors in arthritis. The inflammatory foods we consume also lead to deterioration of the joints. At our health resort, about 4 weeks ago, we had a guest show up with severe rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. We put her on a pure, plant-based diet with lots of greens and colorful fruit. increased her exercise and told her to take more vitamin D (no D-producing sunlight when she arrived). In one week she was off all arthritis meds, lost 12 pounds and 12 inches and felt renewed. Can you imagine what we could do for arthritis with a combination of sunlight and a plant-based diet?

Read the journal abstract.


[1] Elizabeth V Arkema, Jaime E Hart, Kimberly A Bertrand, et al. Exposure to ultraviolet-B and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis among women in the Nurses’ Health Study. Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202302. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />

[2] Merlino LA, Curtis J, Mikuls TR, Cerhan JR, Criswell LA, Saag KG. Vitamin D intake is inversely associated with rheumatoid arthritis: Results from the Iowa Women’s Health Study.  Arthritis & Rheumatism 2004;50:72-77.

[3] Cantorna MT, Hayes CE, DeLuca HF. 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol inhibits the progression of arthritis in murine models of human arthritis.  J Nutr1998;128:68-72.

[4] Patel S, Farragher T, Berry J, Bunn D, Silman A, Symmons, D. Serum vitamin D metabolite levels may be inversely associated with current disease activity in patients with early inflammatory polyarthritis.  Arthritis Rheum 2007;56;2143-49.

[5] Cutolo M, Otsa K, Uprus M, Paolino S, Seriolo B..  Vitamin D in rheumatoid arthritis.  Autoimmune Rev 2007;7:59-64.

[6] Cutolo, M. et al.  Circannual vitamin D serum levels and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis: Northern versus Southern Europe.  Clin Exp Rheumatol 2006;24:702-4.


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