Sunshine and gut inflammation by Marc Sorenson, EdD
Sunshine dampens chronic gut inflammation: Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
Sunshine helps to reduce chronic gut inflammation, which is usually due to two diseases: Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis. These two diseases are known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and worldwide, there are 800,000 people who live with those two life-long disorders. And, these diseases are autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself.
In addition, these diseases are hard to live with because they cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, inflammation and general misery. Each year more children contract IBD and each year, they contract it at younger ages. Most noteworthy, in my opinion, is the fact that IBD is, to a great extent, a sunshine deprivation disease. Children’s sunshine deprivation is horrific because it is child abuse, due to erroneous messages of dermatologists, AKA the Powers of Darkness.
Especially relevant is the fact that sunshine may profoundly decrease IBD. And, new research shows that the anti-inflammatory effects of sunshine are remarkably helpful.
And here are the salient messages of this new sunshine research:
- First of all, children who were outside and exposed to sunshine for an extra half hour a day were protected. Thus, they had a 20% lower risk of developing IBD.
- Another finding was reported by Dr. Robyn Lucas, the lead researcher. Each 10 minutes of sun exposure was associated with a six% lower risk of developing IBD, [so do you want to deprive your children of sun exposure?]
- She also stated: “At this stage what we have shown is there is a link between lack of sun exposure and increased risk of IBD…”
- Furthermore, Dr. Lucas made this observation: “Taking children to play outside in the sun could be life-changing.”
Also, I should add that what is true for these children is also true for adults. Read more in the new book, Embrace the Sun, by Marc Sorenson and William Grant. https://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Sun-Marc-B-Sorenson/dp/069207600X
Find more information on https://sunlightinstitute.org/, particularly at this link: https://sunlightinstitute.org/low-levels-of-sunlight-exposure-predispose-to-inflammatory-bowel-disease-and-fractures/
So be sure to obtain regular, non-burning sunshine, whether for yourselves or your children. Happy sunning!
 Holmes EA, Ponsonby AL, Pezic A, Ellis JA, Kirkwood CD, Lucas RM. Higher Sun Exposure is Associated with Lower Risk of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Matched Case-Control Study. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 2019; May 15 (Epub ahead of print).
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are known as Crohn’s disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). UC is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by relapsing and remitting episodes of inflammation limited to the mucosal layer of the colon. Crohn’s however, can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus, but most commonly affects the small intestine or the colon, or both.
New Italian Research
Research from Italy, published in December, 2017, shows that inadequate sun exposure is associated closely with IBD. The researchers demonstrated that “Patients with IBD are significantly less exposed to sunlight then controls in our Mediterranean Country, often to an extent that may impair Vitamin D activation.” Consequently, they suggest that increased sun exposure may prove beneficial to patients.
Furthermore, in a 12-year investigation of hundreds of thousands of IBD patients, the following was found: Hospitalizations and prolonged hospitalizations for both UC and CD were higher among those who had low sun exposure, compared to those with very high sun exposure. In addition, the same relationship was shown between sun exposure, bowel surgeries and deaths: more surgeries were needed for those IBD patients who experienced the lowest sun exposure compared to those who had the highest sun exposure, and more deaths occurred among those with low exposure.
Does sun exposure help other diseases?
Furthermore, an interesting side note to the aforementioned investigation was the large number of non-IBD patients analyzed for sun exposure levels. Most noteworthy was the finding that the same relationship existed as with the IBD patients—low sun exposure was associated with prolonged hospitalizations and more deaths when compared with high exposure. Therefore, sun exposure saves lives, whether by decreasing IBD or preventing the myriad additional diseases that we have previously discussed.
In conclusion, if you have a painful feeling deep in your gut, take action: First of all, get a diagnosis. But do it while simultaneously increasing your safe, non-burning sun exposure. It may be just what the doctor ordered!
 Peppercorn M, Cheifetz, A, Rutgeerts P, Grover S. Definition, epidemiology, and risk factors in inflammatory bowel disease. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/definition-epidemiology-and-risk-factors-in-inflammatory-bowel-disease.
 Web MD http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/inflammatory-bowel-syndrome.
 Vernia P, Burrelli Scotti G, Dei Giudici A, Chiappini A, Cannizzaro S, Afferri MT, de Carolis A. Inadequate Sunlight Exposure in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Dig Dis. 2017 Dec 18. doi: 10.1111/1751-2980.12567. [Epub ahead of print]
 Limketkai BN, Bayless TM, Brant SR, Hutfless SM. Lower regional and temporal ultraviolet exposure is associated with increased rates and severity of inflammatory bowel disease hospitalization. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Sep;40(5):508-17.
Marc Sorenson, EdD
IBD consists of two primary diseases, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). UC is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by relapsing and remitting episodes of inflammation limited to the mucosal layer of the colon.  Crohn’s however, can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus but most commonly affects the small intestine or the colon or both. The most common symptoms of IBD are abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, rectal bleeding, skin and eye irritations and diarrhea.
In a 12-year year investigation of hundreds of thousands of IBD patients, measuring both UC and CD, hospitalizations and prolonged hospitalizations for both diseases were higher among those who had low sunlight exposure compared to those with very high sunlight exposure. The same relationship was shown between sunlight, bowel surgeries and deaths; more surgeries were needed for those patients who experienced the lowest sunlight exposure compared to those who had the highest sunlight exposure, and more deaths occurred among those with low exposure.
An interesting side note to this investigation was that a large number of non-IBD patients were also analyzed for sunlight exposure amounts. As with the IBD patients, low sunlight exposure was associated with prolonged hospitalizations and more deaths when compared with high exposure.
French research has shown that high residential sun exposure is associated with a low risk of CD, but not UC. Women who were in the highest third of sunlight exposure had only half the risk of CD compared to those in the lowest third, but UC was increased 21% by high sunlight exposure. This study was the only one I have seen—other than studies on non-melanoma skin cancer—that indicated a positive association of sunlight exposure with disease risk. None of the other studies mentioned here showed that relationship with UC. Another interesting side note to this research was that vitamin D intake was not associated with decreased risk of CD.
It has also been shown that in both Europe and the US, there is a north-south gradient for IBD, meaning that the risk of developing IBD is significantly lower for the southern latitudes (where sunlight exposure is greater). And finally, another French study has demonstrated that low sunlight exposure is associated with an increased incidence of Crohn’s disease.
So for a healthy gut, sunlight exposure plays a vital role.
 Mark A Peppercorn, Adam S Cheifetz, Paul Rutgeerts, Shilpa Grover. Definition, epidemiology, and risk factors in inflammatory bowel disease. Uptodate http://www.uptodate.com/contents/definition-epidemiology-and-risk-factors-in-inflammatory-bowel-disease. Accessed July 1, 2015.
 Web MD http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/inflammatory-bowel-syndrome. Accessed July 1, 2015.
 Limketkai BN1, Bayless TM, Brant SR, Hutfless SM. Lower regional and temporal ultraviolet exposure is associated with increased rates and severity of inflammatory bowel disease hospitalization. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Sep;40(5):508-17.
 Jantchou P1, Clavel-Chapelon F, Racine A, Kvaskoff M, Carbonnel F, Boutron-Ruault MC. High residential sun exposure is associated with a low risk of incident Crohn’s disease in the prospective E3N cohort. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2014 Jan;20(1):75-81.
 Schultz M1, Butt AG. Is the north to south gradient in inflammatory bowel disease a global phenomenon? Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Aug;6(4):445-7.
 Nerich V1, Jantchou P, Boutron-Ruault MC, Monnet E, Weill A, Vanbockstael V, Auleley GR, Balaire C, Dubost P, Rican S, Allemand H, Carbonnel F. Low exposure to sunlight is a risk factor for Crohn’s disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Apr;33(8):940-5.