The Institute of Medicine (IOM), in 2010, put forth its recommendations for daily supplementation of vitamin D. They suggested that infants under a year old ingest 400 IU per day, that adults ingest 600 IU per day and that those over 70 years of age take 800 IU per day. Since the sunlight can stimulate the production of up to 20,000 IU per day, it can easily be seen that such recommendations are abysmally low for those addults who are not receiving any sunlight, or where winter conditions prevent any vitamin D production by the sun.
The Vitamin D Society (VDS) of Canada has just posted a press release that illustrates the incongruity of the IOM recommendations based on weight. Perry Holman, Executive Director of the Society, correctly points out that it is counterintuitive to recommend so much more vitamin D per pound to an infant than an adult. The IOM recommendations would provide a 10-pound baby 40 units of vitamin D per pound, whereas a 200-pound adult would receive only 3 IU per pound. Vitamin D scientists suggest that 1000 IU for every 25 pounds of bodyweight is best, so why should the IOM be so prejudicial as to allow adults only about one-thirteenth the amount of vitamin D per pound as an infant? These are supposed to be intelligent people, no?
In reality, The IOM recommendation of 400 IU is right on target for the 10-pound infant, considering the recommendation of the vitamin D scientists for 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of bodyweight. The problem lies in the fact that for the other two age groups, it is woefully inadequate. Thanks to Perry Holman and the VDS for pointing out the lack of consistency and clear thinking on the part of the IOM.
And remember, we do not need to worry about any of this nonsense if we simply get out in the summer sun, or, when sunlight is not available, use some other source of UVB light to produce our vitamin D. The body will self-regulate its production, and we will never need to worry about how many units are necessary. Just remember never to burn either the infant or the adult! Moderation and common sense is the key.
By: Marc Sorenson–
A recent research paper published in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 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. In mice studies, vitamin D treatment inhibits the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and minimizes or prevents the symptoms. 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. Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce the autoimmune response are likely responsible for the improvement in RA. 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. 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?
 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 />
 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.
 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.
 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.
 Cutolo M, Otsa K, Uprus M, Paolino S, Seriolo B.. Vitamin D in rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune Rev 2007;7:59-64.
 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.
By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–
According to the Centers for Disease Control in May 2011, “about one in 12 people in the United States now has asthma—a total of 24.6 million people and an increase of 4.3 million since 2001.” This is another of those diseases like diabetes that is increasing out of control and shows no sign of abating.
The Scientific American, on April 14, 2011, published an article entitled Why are Asthma Rates soaring? In that article, they lamented the fact that for the last three decades asthma rates have been surging, and that differing theories have arisen as to the reason for the increase, only to be disproven and discarded. Among those theories was the hypothesis that the world has become so “clean” or sterile, that youngsters are not subjected to infectious organisms and thereby do not develop strong immune systems capable of fighting off pollens, dust, etc. To me, that seemed like a rather lame hypothesis, and the article indicates that the idea is no longer in vogue. Another theory was that those who had allergic reactions to various environmental pollutants had weaknesses that predisposed them to asthma. Both of these ideas have failed the test of truth; neither allergy nor early-life “cleanliness” leads to an increase in asthma. The latest theory to surface is that the pandemic of obesity is to blame, because it causes inflammation throughout the body. However, there are many obese people who are not asthmatics.
Newer research has the answer. In Qatar, researchers measured serum vitamin D levels in asthmatic children and compared those levels to levels of healthy non-asthmatic controls. Deficiency was defined as having levels below 20 ng/ml. Many other possible factors were also measured, such as nutritional practices, and various serum measurements such as calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, magnesium, creatinine and Parathyroid hormone.
The results were these: asthmatic children had less exposure to sunlight (67%) and less physical activity (71.3%). Vitamin D deficiency was by far the strongest predictor of asthma; those who had the lowest vitamin D levels were nearly five-times more likely to have asthma.
The Scientific American’s editors must not to know that many scientists other than the aforementioned have suggested that vitamin D deficiency, caused by lack sunlight, leads to asthma. Much of the research was done before they published their article.
Researchers in Boston have hypothesized that the decrease in sunlight exposure and resultant vitamin D deficiency is responsible for the asthma epidemic. Others show the same facts: the increase in asthma has paralleled the decline in sunlight exposure, and asthma risk is 40% lower in children of women who have the highest vitamin D consumption during pregnancy.
A scientific experiment from Australia also demonstrated that when asthmatic mice were exposed to ultraviolet light, before being exposed to an asthma-causing allergen, asthma symptoms were reduced. Finally, another study from Spain showed that children exposed to the most sunlight have much lower risks of asthma. To me, it is amazing that the article in Scientific American never even mentioned the possibility of asthma being caused by deficiency of vitamin D brought on by lack of sunlight. Now that this latest research is in, It is my hope that they will correct the mistake and use their considerable prestige to promulgate the vitamin D/sunlight/asthma connection. It is time to return to the sun.
 Vital Signs: Asthma Prevalence, Disease characteristics, and self-Management education—United States, 2001-2009. MMWR 2011;60(17):547-552
 Bener A, Ehlayel MS, Tulic MK, Hamid Q. Vitamin D deficiency as a strong predictor of asthma in children. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2012;157(2):168-75.
 Devereux, G. et al. Maternal vitamin D intake and early childhood wheezing. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:853-59
 Camargo, C. et al. Maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and risk of recurrent wheeze in children at 3 y. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:788-95.
 Hart, P. et al. Sunlight may protect against asthma. Perth (Australia) Telethon institute for child health research. Quoted in Australian AP Oct 24, 2006.
 Arnedo-Pena, A et al. Sunny hours and variations in the prevalence of asthma in schoolchildren according to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies (ISAAC) Phase III in Spain. Int J Biometeorol 2011;55:423-434.
By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–
Earlier this year I published, with the assistance of Dr. William B Grant, a paper entitled “Does Vitamin D Deficiency Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?”[i] In that paper, we made the point that low levels of vitamin D correlated to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. For example, Giovannucci and colleagues showed that men with the lowest levels of serum vitamin D had a 2.4-times-increased risk of heart attack.[ii] ED is often an important indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and a powerful early marker for asymptomatic CVD.Erection is a vascular event, and ED is often a vascular disease caused by endothelial damage and subsequent inhibition of vasodilation—the expansion of arterial width that is necessary for optimal blood flow throughout the body, including the penis.
One of the interesting findings of the literature search was the fact that sunlight stimulates vasodilation through a mechanism that has nothing to do with vitamin D. That mechanism is the production of nitric oxide (NO) by exposure to another spectrum of light, the non-vitamin-D-producing light called UVA. (NO is a well-known, potent vasodilator). Whole-body irradiation with UVA has been shown to lower blood pressure by stimulating NO production in the skin, which then significantly lowers blood pressure. These increased NO levels are accompanied by increased vasodilation and blood flow in the brachial artery.[iii] It is likely that such vasodilation may also enhance sexual function in men by increasing vasodilation and blood flow in the penile arteries, thereby reducing ED. If sunlight exposure causes vasodilation that lowers blood pressure, there is no reason to doubt that it would be a tremendous asset to men with ED. Both sunlight and tanning beds produce high quantities of UVA light. Perhaps research should be conducted to see whether Cialis or UVA exposure would cause the quickest relief of the ED condition. 🙂
One of our guests at our health resort (National Institute of Health and Fitness, http://www.nihf.com/ spent four weeks with us and sunbathed almost every day. His blood pressure decreased from 159/97 to 125/54 and leveled off at 115/70 when he returned home. I believe that the UVA light in the sunlight, and the subsequent production of NO, was greatly responsible for his blood pressure normalization. Now, I’m curious about his love life but probably won’t discuss it with him unless he volunteers!
At our health resort, we consider safe sun an integral part of our program. Call me at 888-798-6443 if you’d like to discuss this and other health benefits such as weight loss and reversal of diabetes.
[i] Sorenson M, Grant WB. Does vitamin D deficiency contribute to erectile dysfunction? Dermato-Endocrinology 4;2:128–136.
[ii] Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in
men. Ann Intern Med 2008; 168: 1174-80.
[iii] Opländer C, Volkmar CM, Paunel-Görgülü A, van Faassen EE, et al. Whole body UVA irradiation lowers systemic blood pressure by release of nitric oxide from intracutaneous photolabile nitric oxide derivates. Circ Res. 2009;105:1031–40.
Bridget Krutzik, a natural health consultant, has written a nice article on sunlight and melanoma, providing evidence that increased sulight correlates to a lesser risk of melanoma. Bridget has other posts that discuss the vegan diet and other health enhancing habits that I heartily endorse. I hope to read her posts often.