by Marco Torres
Mainstream science is absolutely addicted to demonizing the sun and blaming its beautiful rays as the primary cause of skin cancer. Despite our presence on Earth for countless millennia and the fact that people closest to the equator have the lowest incidence of skin cancer, the sun is always cast as the culprit. Worse yet is people still fall for this nonsense, slather on the sunscreen in hopes to protect against a non-existent foe. If the sun was really that harmful, we’d all be dead long ago. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence shows that blocking the sun’s rays from reaching our skin dramatically influences our optimal vitamin D levels, leading to higher mortality, critical illness, mental health disorders and ironically, cancer itself.
The sun not only increases beneficial levels of critical vitamin D in the body, but it is responsible for a diversity of biological mechanisms controlling everything from hormones to behavior.
Exposure to ultraviolet B radiation in sunlight provides the mechanism for more than 90% of the vitamin D production in most individuals. The widespread use of sunscreens, particularly those with high sun protection factors (SPF), may lead to a significant decrease in solar-induced previtamin D3 in the skin, resulting in a vitamin D level which is insufficient for protection against a wide range of diseases.
Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light has been repeatedly shown to NOT be the cause of skin cancer. Scientists from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported UVA exposure is unlikely to have contributed to the rise in the incidence of melanoma over the past 30 years.
The idea that sunscreen prevents cancer is also a myth promoted by pharmaceutical companies, conventional medicine and the mainstream media for one purpose…profit. The sunscreen industry makes money by selling lotion products that actually contain cancer-causing chemicals. It then donates a portion of that money to the cancer industry through non-profit groups like Cancer Societies which, in turn, run heart-breaking public service ads urging people to use sunscreen to “prevent cancer.”
Numerous studies have linked vitamin D levels to a reduction in the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer, but much debate has focused on the means to boost vitamin D levels — supplements or sunlight.
Spending an average of three hours a day exposed to sunlight can slash the risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent.
People with the highest levels of vitamin D have the lowest risk of skin cancer. Sure, you can get some of that from a pill…but historically, most people have gotten their D straight from the source: the sun, and protecting yourself from it 100 years ago with clothing, cream or anything would likely have been viewed as its own mental health disorder.
A new study from University College London in the UK found that people with higher vitamin D levels had a 43% lower risk of depression, compared to people with vitamin D lower levels.
Results published in Clinical Nutrition also indicated that the higher vitamin D levels were associated with a 67% lower risk of panic, compared to the lower levels.
“The high burden of mental and behavioral disorders and concurrent high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (<75nmol/l) worldwide (29) highlight the potential importance of our findings,” wrote the researchers, led by Jane Maddock from the UCL Institute of Child Health.
“Our results suggest that low 25(OH)D is associated with higher prevalence of depression and panic and that 25(OH)D is modestly and non-linearly associated with subsequent depressive symptoms.”
Data from the third US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that people with vitamin D deficiency were at an 85% increased risk of having current depressive episodes, compared with people with sufficient levels (International Archives of Medicine , 2010, 3:29 doi:10.1186/1755-7682-3-29.
A review by Bruce Ames and Joyce McCann from the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland highlighted the role of the vitamin in maintaining brain health, noting the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain.
According to the review (FASEB Journal, Vol.22, pp. 982-1001), the vitamin has been reported to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior. Depression in the elderly is highly prevalent and can increase the risk of medical illnesses, worsen the outcome of other medical illnesses, and may increase mortality.
A recent study — published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition — revealed that adults with low vitamin D levels have a 30% greater risk of death than people who had higher levels. New research suggests that children are also likely to experience illness with low vitamin D levels.
Children with serious and critical illnesses are more likely to be ill for longer, and experience more severe illness if they are deficient in vitamin D, according to the findings of two new research papers.
The studies — both published in Pediatrics — reveal that 40% of children admitted into a hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) over a 12-month period were deficient in the sunshine vitamin, and that deficiency is directly associated with longer hospital stays and more severe illness.
Low levels of vitamin D also doubles the risk of stroke according to a report by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
Researchers at McGill University discovered a molecular basis for the cancer preventive effects of vitamin D, whereby its active form essentially shuts down cancer cells.
The team, led by McGill professors John White and David Goltzman, of the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Physiology, discovered that the active form of vitamin D acts by several mechanisms to inhibit both the production and function of the protein cMYC. cMYC drives cell division and is active at elevated levels in more than half of all cancers. Their results are published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine also showed that older adults who don’t get enough vitamin D — either from their diets or exposure to the sun — may be at increased risk for poor physical performance and disability.
With there overwhelming evidence supporting the benefits of direct exposure to the sun and optimal vitamin D levels, perhaps we should start questioning why the media and conventional science is so adamant about telling us to cover up.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.