Importance of Sunshine
Health & the Human Body, Vitamin D Deficiency. Benefits of Cosmic Energy (Sun) for the Immune system, Cells, Bones

Panicked into avoiding sunlight by health experts, we are now dying in our thousands from diseases linked to deficiencies of vitamin D. But still the exaggerated warnings come. (Oliver Gillie)

Introduction

For the past 20 years in Australia there has been a national campaign of 'Slip, Slop Slap' (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat) as a way of avoiding exposure to sunshine. This occurred because studies showed a link between cancer and the ultra violet (UV) spectrum of sunlight.
However, while there is a link, it is more to do with getting no sunshine all week (working / studying inside) then getting badly sunburned on the weekend. Clearly we have evolved as 'naked apes' and thus have evolved to be outside and exposed to sunlight on a daily basis. Thus it is natural that sunshine plays an important part in the function of our bodies.

The results after 20 years of 'slip slop slap'. They now acknowledge that there is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency (vitamin D is produced by sunshine on the skin) that is causing all sorts of health problems. Further, the toxic chemicals in sunscreen are now found in most Australians (including mother's breast milk) with unknown consequences for our future health.

The solution is moderation. Daily exposure to sun is necessary for good health. This is just one of many examples of how we can be sensibly guided by these principles of evolution and ecology (holistic healing if you prefer).

Below you will find a collection of studies on the importance of sunshine (vitamin D) for human health.


Cell Defences and the Sunshine Vitamin

This is a fantastic essay (with diagrams, pictures).

"Vitamin D, long associated only with its role in bone formation, is actually active throughout the human body, powerfully influencing immune system responses and cell defences.

It can be obtained from food or manufactured by human skin exposed to sunlight. Measures of vitamin D levels show, however, that many people have too little of it circulating in their blood to protect health."

http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/physio/whitelab/papers/VitaminD-Nov07.pdf


Vitamin D Comes From the Sun

Sunlight is the best and only natural source of vitamin D. Unlike dietary or supplementary vitamin D, when you get your ‘D’ from sunshine your body takes what it needs, and de-metabolizes any extra. That’s critical – as vitamin D experts and many health groups now advocate 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily – five to ten times the old recommendations. Because too much ‘D’ from dietary supplements may cause the body to over-process calcium, nobody really knows for sure how much supplementary vitamin D is safe. On the other hand, sunlight-induced vitamin D doesn’t have that problem – it’s the way your body is intended to make it!

Because sunshine is a free commodity with no publicist or lobbyist, the Sunshine Vitamin Alliance is established as a coalition of right-minded physicians, individuals and organizations who advocate natural vitamin D production through regular, non-burning sun exposure.

http://www.sunshinevitamin.org/


Vitamin D and Immunity
Is the Sunshine Vitamin a Therapeutic Agent?

© Stephen Allen Christensen

Jan 15, 2009

For more than 20 years scientists have known that vitamin D, a vitamin best known for its effects on calcium metabolism and bone mineralization, is also involved in modulating the activity of human immune cells.

In most respects, vitamin D’s influence on the immune system is suppressive. Notably, its effects are potent enough to warrant consideration of this vitamin as a therapeutic agent for managing some immune-mediated illnesses. (Griffin M, Xing N, Kumar R. Vitamin D and its analogs as regulators of immune activation and antigen presentation. Annu Rev Nutr 2003;23:117-45)

Like most of vitamin D’s biological effects, its actions within immune cells are mediated by an intra-nuclear transcription factor known as the vitamin D receptor (VDR). When the active form of vitamin D enters the nucleus of a cell and binds to the VDR, it initiates a cascade of events that culminates in the transcription of specific genes. The products of gene transcription are the proteins, enzymes, and hormones that are necessary for life. (Sutton A, MacDonald P. Vitamin D: more than a “bone-a-fide” hormone. Mol Endocrinol 2003;17(5):777-91 and Guyton K, et al. Vitamin D and vitamin D analogs as cancer chemopreventive agents. Nutr Rev 2003;61(7):227-38

http://vitamins-minerals.suite101.com/article.cfm/vitamin_d_and_immunity


How to Get Your Vitamin D in the Winter
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 by: Sheryl Walters

For those who live in a place where there is not a lot of strong sunshine during the winter months, it is essential to find ways of getting vitamin D.

1.Spend as much time outdoors as possible to take advantage of what little sun there is.

2.Don't wear sunscreen. It is amazing how many skin creams, especially the expensive ones, come with sunscreen in them. These creams are toxic for our bodies.

3.Sun showers are vertical tanning units which are often available at health clubs and beauty salons. Three minutes is all that is needed to bring a little piece of summer into your life.

4.While pasteurizing milk destroys the vitamin D, unpasteurized milk still has this precious vitamin, as well as many other health enhancing nutrients in tact. A lot of pasteurized milks claim to be fortified with vitamin D; however it is much more difficult for the body to use fortified nutrients than the real thing.

5.Mackerel, salmon, and egg yolks are the foods with the highest amount of vitamin D, so eat more of these foods in the winter (from organic sources).

6.Vitamin D can be found in cod liver oil. Again, make absolute sure that the brand you are using is of the absolute highest quality. Really research which brand is most pure.

http://www.naturalnews.com/024574.html


VITAMIN D AND HEALTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY: BONE AND BEYOND: RESEARCH STUDY
Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease

Most humans depend on sun exposure to satisfy their requirements for vitamin D. Solar ultraviolet B photons are absorbed by 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, leading to its transformation to previtamin D3, which is rapidly converted to vitamin D3.

Season, latitude, time of day, skin pigmentation, aging, sunscreen use, and glass all influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D3. Once formed, vitamin D3 is metabolized in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and then in the kidney to its biologically active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.

Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic among both children and adults in the United States. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes rickets among children but also precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis among adults and causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia.

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risks of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Although chronic excessive exposure to sunlight increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, the avoidance of all direct sun exposure increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can have serious consequences.

Sensible sun exposure (usually 5–10 min of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) and increased dietary and supplemental vitamin D intakes are reasonable approaches to guarantee vitamin D sufficiency.

Holick, Michael F. PhD, MD
Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory; Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition; Departments of Medicine, Dermatology and Biophysics and Physiology; Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/ajcn;80/6/1678S?gca=80%2F6%2F1678S&gca
=80%2F6%2F1717S&gca=80%2F6%2F1721S&sendit=Get+All+Checked+Abstract(s)&


Vitamin D: the underappreciated D-lightful hormone that is important for skeletal and cellular health
[Multihormonal systems disorders]

Vitamin D deficiency is more common than realized. It is making a resurgence in neonates and is common in black patients and older adults. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes generalized muscle weakness, muscle aches, and bone aches and pains but also can precipitate and exacerbate osteoporosis and cause osteomalacia. Although the kidney plays a critical role in producing 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which is important for regulating calcium, phosphorus, and bone metabolism, it is now recognized that a wide variety of other tissues have the enzymatic machinery to produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Vitamin D receptors are common in most tissues in the body, and the new revelation that many tissues produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D suggests a new important role for this hormone in helping to maintain good health throughout life.

Holick, Michael F. PhD, MD
http://www.co-endocrinology.com/pt/re/coendo/abstract.00060793-200202000-00011.htm;jsessionid=J1LRjcnDKYnh7kGHVWFwVx6QCRYGmbRjVhPfQ1T6h11fsc2lkcTf!751744069!181195628!8091!-1


Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency: New Guidelines for Vitamin D Intake

Notes - Vitamin D in formula, no sunshine ('very difficult to determine what is adequate sunshine exposure for any given infant or child') or give breastfed infant Vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin supplements are not the same thing as sunshine - many complex and subtle interactions happening between the human body and the sun. That we feel warmth for example. Sure, in winter time a vit D supplement may be required, but when sunshine is available it is best!

"Cases of rickets in infants attributable to inadequate vitamin D intake and decreased exposure to sunlight continue to be reported in the United States. Rickets is an example of extreme vitamin D deficiency.

The new recommended adequate intake of vitamin D by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to prevent vitamin D deficiency in normal infants, children, and adolescents is 200 IU per day.

Indirect epidemiologic evidence now suggests the age at which direct sunlight exposure is initiated is even more important than the total sunlight exposure over a lifetime in determining the risk of skin cancer.

Thus, guidelines for decreasing exposure include directives from the AAP that infants younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight, children’s activities that minimize sunlight exposure should be selected, and protective clothing as well as sunscreens should be used."

Lawrence M. Gartner, MD, Frank R. Greer, MD, Section on Breastfeeding and Committee on Nutrition
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/111/4/908


Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, vitamin D, multiple sclerosis & viral infections

William B. Grant, Ph.D., SUNARC (www.sunarc.org)

A review of the literature shows that a number of environmental factors are involved in the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS). One finding that has been known since the early 20th century is that there is a latitudinal dependence of MS prevalence, with MS prevalence increasing very strongly with increasing latitude. This has been linked primarily to solar UVB through the production of vitamin D, and, to a lesser extent, increased consumption of dietary fat with latitude. In addition, viral infections have been found associated with development of MS. The mechanisms whereby vitamin D reduces the risk of MS are now fairly well understood. Both dietary changes and UVB/vitamin D therapy appear to be useful in treating MS. It is estimated that if all Americans had the UVB/vitamin D status of those living in southern U.S. states, the numbers of those with MS in the U.S. would be 200,000, rather than 400,000.

http://www.sunarc.org/papers.htm#ms


UVB / Vitamin D Breast Cancer Risk Reduction

Breast cancer strikes over 200,000 women per year in the U.S. While a proper diet and exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer, an additional way to reduce the risk is to get plenty of vitamin D.

A recent analysis of the geographic variation of breast cancer mortality rates in the U.S. shows the highest rates in the northeast and urban areas, and lowest rates in the south and rural areas. According to this analysis, breast cancer risk could be cut in half by sufficient vitamin D levels. Dietary sources of vitamin D are insufficient to supply enough vitamin D to be effective in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Thus, one should try to get adequate vitamin D from the Sun, artificial UVB exposure, or supplements.

http://www.sunarc.org/papers.htm#breast


Vitamin D insufficiency in a population of healthy western Canadians

People with low levels of vitamin D and its metabolites are at increased risk for osteoporotic fractures. We wished to ascertain levels of vitamin D in a representative sample of adult western Canadians, to help assess the level of risk.

We evaluated over one year, the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency, defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] less than 40 nmol/L, and seasonal variations in 25(OH)D, parathyroid hormone and related biochemical indices in a community-dwelling population of healthy Canadians living in Calgary.

For a total of 64 participants (34%), vitamin D insufficiency, defined as 25(OH)D less than 40 nmol/L, was recorded at least once out of the 4 sampling times. We documented a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency, which warrants consideration of dietary vitamin D supplementation.

Departments of Medical Science, Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/abstract/166/12/1517


Vitamin D Deficiency in the Morbidly Obese

Although vitamin D deficiency has been well-documented following gastric bypass surgery, there are few studies of vitamin D status in the non-operative morbidly obese patient. We examined 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels in 60 morbidly obese pre-operative females; 62% of them had 25-OHD levels below normal range (16-74 ng/ml) which were not associated with reductions in serum calcium or phosphorus, liver or kidney dysfunction, and were not significantly correlated to patients' age. However, 25-OHD levels were significantly (p < 0.0001) and negatively correlated to body mass (r = -0.49). These data suggest that low vitamin D may be associated with obesity per se.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/b4578008134t5kq4/


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http://www.spaceandmotion.com/health/importance-sunshine-cosmic-energy-human-body.htm
Health: Importance of Sunshine on Human Body: Cosmic Energy, Vitamin D Deficiency, Immune System, Research Studies





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