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Scientists Admit -- Sun Exposure Benefits Outweigh Risks

January 26, 2008 | 75,434 views
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sun, sunlight, exposure, sunshineModerate sun exposure offers more health benefits than risks, particularly for people who are deficient in vitamin D or who live in colder, northern latitudes, according to U.S. and Norwegian researchers.

The study found that vitamin D levels, which were calculated based on sun exposure, were linked to survival rates for cancer patients. Those who lived in sunnier, southern latitudes, and had higher vitamin D levels, were less likely to die from cancer than people in northern latitudes.

The researchers analyzed the amount of vitamin D generated by sun exposure at different latitudes, and cross-referenced it with data of cancer incidence and survival rates for people living in varying locations.

They found that people in northern latitudes produce significantly less vitamin D than people nearer to the equator. Specifically, they found Australians produce 3.4 times more vitamin D than people in the United States, and almost five times more vitamin D than Scandinavians.

Meanwhile, rates of major cancers such as colon, lung, breast and prostate increased from north to south, while survival rates decreased from north to south.

The researchers said the findings provide further support for sun-induced vitamin D on cancer prognosis.

Previous studies suggest that vitamin D may protect against cancer by discouraging out-of-control cell reproduction and hindering the formation of new blood vessels for tumors.

How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

A robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.

Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. Dr.Heaney is the Research Director of GrassrootsHealth and is part of the design of the D*action Project as well as analysis of the research findings. GrassrootsHealth shows how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.

In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This was an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.

To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Unfortunately public health officials and most physicians in the US are seriously confused about sun exposure, which they have long heralded as taboo. Their misguided advice may very well be responsible for over 600,000 cases of cancer that could have been prevented.

How could they have been prevented?

As this excellent study suggests, by getting more appropriate sun exposure, which triggers your body to produce the extremely healthy “sunshine vitamin” -- vitamin D.

Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in almost every cell in your body, from your brain to your bones. And optimizing your vitamin D levels -- the best way to do this is through safe sun exposure -- could help you to prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers.

Vitamin D does not just impact your cancer risk slightly. It can cut your risk by as much as 60 percent!

If this alone doesn’t convince you of the importance of getting sunlight on your skin, consider that studies show that increasing levels of vitamin D3 could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives throughout the world each year!

Further, optimal vitamin D levels are also known to positively influence the following conditions:
How Much Vitamin D do You Need?

To be certain your vitamin D levels are where they should be, have your doctor test your blood and supplement (or, preferably, get moderate sun exposure) as needed in order to maintain that level.

The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

The OPTIMAL value that you’re looking for is 45-52 ng/ml (115-128 nmol/l).

Bear in mind that even though 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab values of 20-56 ng/ml (50-140 nmol/l) are considered “normal,” your vitamin D level should NEVER be below 32 ng/ml, and any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency states and will increase your risk of breast and prostate cancers and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Now, how should you get your vitamin D levels into that optimum range? Ideally, from sun exposure. This is always the preferable method.

If you live in an area without year-round sunshine, as I do, you can supplement your diet with vitamin D. But know this:
  • It IS possible to overdose on oral vitamin D supplements (there’s very little risk of overdosing on vitamin D from the sun, however), so you need to have your blood levels of vitamin D measured regularly. 
  • Only vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the type of vitamin D found naturally in foods like eggs, organ meats, animal fat, cod liver oil, and fish, is appropriate for supplementation. Do NOT use the highly inferior vitamin D2.
You can also use a healthy tanning bed in the winter to achieve optimal levels of vitamin D when it just isn’t possible to get sufficient sun exposure.

To find out more about the crucial importance of sunlight and vitamin D for your health, keep an eye out for my forthcoming book Dark Deception. It will explore this topic in detail, and expose why the conventional wisdom on the subject, which encourages you to stay out of the sun, is dead wrong.

In the meantime, you can also find out the vital details about vitamin D and your health in my 20-page Sunshine Special Report. I decided to make this report available to you now so you don't have to be at the mercy of my publisher and wait until my book is published. I am confident the information in this report can have a profound impact on your health and that of your family.

How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.

Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. It is showing how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.

In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This is an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.

To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five year program, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every 6 months for your sponsorship of the project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."

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