|New studies show benefits
|Contrary to the well-accepted mantra that getting a tan is harmful and
causes skin cancer, and that exposure to the sun must be avoided at all
costs, new evidence suggests that large numbers of people may be
compromising their health through sunlight deficiency. In fact,
moderate sunbathing is far more beneficial than we are currently led to
The light and heat from the sun are indispensable to all nature.
Humanity is also part of nature and needs sunlight for health and well
being, for vitality and happiness. The human race evolved under the
sun, and for thousands of years lived in harmony with it. Yet over the
last 50 years we have lost this close contact with the sun and its
healing powers. We have become afraid of it.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, who operates The Optimal Wellness Center just
outside Chicago observes, Sunlight is every bit as central to our health
and well-being as proper nutrition, clean water, and exercise.
Sunlit hospital rooms provide a better environment for the treatment of
clinically depressed people, while prolonged exposure to artificial
light puts the body under great stress. A new Harvard study shows
patients who have lung cancer surgery in winter are 40% more likely to
die than those who have surgery in summer, when high levels of vitamin
d from sun exposure may have a positive impact on the success of
Dr. Richard Hobday, in his new book The Healing Sun, writes that
sunlight may play a key role in preventing and ameliorating a number of
serious degenerative and infection diseases, including cancers of the
breast, colon, ovaries and prostate; diabetes; high blood pressure;
heart disease; multiple sclerosis; osteoporosis; psoriasis; rickets
Epidemiological evidence shows strong relationships between distance
from the sun and death rates of colon and breast cancers. Surprisingly,
in those countries farther away from the equator, the death rate is
higher; in those closer to the sun, the rate is lower.
Insufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation may be an important risk
factor for cancer in North America and Western Europe, according to a
new study published in the prominent Cancer journal that directly
contradicts official advice about sunlight.
The research examined cancer mortality in the United States. Deaths
from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems were
approximately twice as high in New England as in the southwest, despite
a diet that varies little between regions.
An examination of 506 regions found a close inverse correlation between
cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet b light. The likeliest
mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight is vitamin d, which is
synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B.
The studys author, Dr William Grant, says northern parts of the United
States may be dark enough in winter that vitamin d synthesis shuts down
There are 13 malignancies that show this inverse correlation, mostly
reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation
is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer.
Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumors of the
bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach.
Similar evidence also exists for prostate cancer, heart disease,
diabetes (sunlight has a similar effect to insulin in that it lowers
blood concentrations of glucose) and multiple sclerosis.
Exposure to the sun is beneficial to certain skin disorders, including
psoriasis, acne, some bacterial and fungal infections and the rare
malignant skin cancer mycosis fungoides.
Not only are the precise mechanisms behind the suns protection of
these conditions not known, there appears to be a lack of research into
There is a complex biochemical cascade arising from sunlight, including
interactions affecting the synthesis of vitamin d, hormones including
melatonin, the pigment melanin, the minerals calcium and magnesium,
blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Despite all the benefits to sun exposure, Dr. Mercola warns This does
not mean that we should all go out and get as much sun as we want;
you must exercise caution. Overexposure is unhealthy!
He says that Using sunscreen is not a good way to limit your sun
exposure; in fact, sunscreen is one of the last things you want to put
on your body, and sunblock does not stop skin cancer. Sunscreen is a
toxic chemical that can cause problems in your system and increase your
risk of disease.
A far more logical solution, he says, would be to creatively use
your clothing to block the suns rays during your build-up time.
Additionally, consuming many whole vegetables will increase
antioxidant levels in the body, which will provide protection against
any sun-induced radiation damage.
At the beginning of the season, go out gradually and limit your
exposure to perhaps as little as ten minutes a day. Pro-gressively
increase your time in the sun so that in a few weeks, you will be able
to have normal sun exposure with little risk of skin cancer.
Tanning moderately throughout the year is better than avoiding the sun
altogether; sudden bursts of strong solar radiation are unnatural and
dangerous, protection needs to be built up slowly; early morning
sunlight in cool temperatures is particularly beneficial to the body,
is calming and boosts spirits.
© Copyright 2005 by Midwest Today
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