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Explore the Spectrum With the Founder of Photobiology

May 05, 2009 | 39,669 views

Take a look at this exciting video made by John Ott, one of the founders of the science of photobiology.

Vitamin D Dose Recommendations
Age Dosage
Below 5 35 units per pound per day
Age 5 - 10 2500 units
Age 18 - 30 5000 units
Pregnant Women 5000 units
There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct. The ONLY way to know is to test your blood. You might need 4-5 times the amount recommended above. Ideally your blood level of 25 OH D should be 60ng/ml.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Dr. Ott is a pioneer light researcher and the inventor of full-spectrum lighting. It was he who first coined the term "malillumination" to describe sunlight deficiency and the harmful effects of typical cool-white and pink-colored fluorescent light on learning, behavior, health and longevity.

Even back in 1980, scientists reported that cool-white fluorescent lighting produced increased levels of the stress-producing hormones ACTH and cortisol. They noted that their findings explained the agitated mental and physical behavior of children sitting all day under artificial lights, and recommended a change to illumination similar to that of natural light.

Does Lighting Really Make a Difference?

If you follow the newsletter regularly, you’re probably already aware of the crucial importance of sunlight to your health. But what about indoors? Does the type of light you use there matter as well?

According to the research of Dr. Ott and others, absolutely yes.

One of the earliest studies was conducted by the Environmental Health and Light Research Institute (EHLRI) with school children in Sarasota, Florida during the first five months of the 1973 school year.

Full-spectrum, radiation-shielded, fluorescent light fixtures were installed in two windowless classrooms, and in two other identical windowless classrooms standard cool white fluorescent fixtures were used as controls. The results showed that several extremely hyperactive children with confirmed learning disabilities completely calmed down and rapidly overcame their learning and reading problems while in the full-spectrum lighted environment.

The overall average academic achievement level showed significant improvement as well, and a simultaneous study by the Sarasota County Dental Societyeven showed that the children in the two rooms with the radiation-shielded, full-spectrum lighting, simulating natural outdoor daylight, developed only one-third the number of cavities in their teeth compared to the children under the standard cool white fluorescent lighting!

Even before that in the 1950s and ‘60s, carefully designed and controlled studies were undertaken at a number of top-ranking medical schools and research hospitals across the United States.

All the results consistently showed that the laboratory animals under natural unfiltered daylight were much healthier and lived up to more than twice as long as those kept under pink fluorescent light, which consistently produced the poorest reports.

As Dr. Ott’s video reveals:

“Our indoor lifestyles and chronic wearing of UV-blocking eye-glasses and contact lenses additionally has deprived us of biologically-necessary natural trace-ultraviolet and bluer frequencies of light, with an irrational and nearly superstitious fear of natural sunlight.”

How Does Full-Spectrum Lighting Influence Your Health?

Unfiltered sunlight is essential to you achieving optimal health in many ways. Not only does it affect your circadian rhythm, but it helps your body create vitamin D naturally.

But many of you spend long hours, both day and night, in poorly lit offices or schools feeling sluggish and lethargic.

Even if you’re near a window, the light will not be helpful as windows themselves (even eyeglasses) block some of the 1,500 wavelengths present in sunshine from reaching your retina and nourishing your brain and body.

In fact, it is because windows block out beneficial UVB light that indoor workers have higher rates of melanoma than outdoor workers!

Full-spectrum light influences your entire body because when light enters your eyes, it not only goes to your visual centers enabling you to see, it also goes to your brain's hypothalamus.

Your hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, water balance and blood pressure. Additionally, it controls your body's master gland, the pituitary, which secretes many essential hormones, including those that influence your mood. Exposure to full-spectrum lighting is actually one effective therapy used for treating depression!

Studies have also shown that poor lighting in the workplace triggers headaches, stress, fatigue and strained watery eyes, not to mention inferior work production.

Conversely, companies that have switched to full-spectrum lights report improved employee morale, greater productivity, reduced errors and decreased absenteeism.

Full-spectrum lighting can have a particularly important impact on children, and Dr. Laurence Martel, president of the National Academy of Integrative Learning, Inc., believes that light, particularly full-spectrum light, is a critical element in what he calls the ergonomics of learning.

As he puts it, “malillumination” is to light what malnutrition is to food.

Dr. Martel references a large body of research evidence indicating that the cool-white fluorescent bulbs found in virtually all classrooms cause increased stress, hyperactivity, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, attention problems and poor learning performance.

Because of this, he coined the term "posillumination" to refer to the simulated sunlight found in full-spectrum lighting. He states that there is an overwhelming body of research showing its positive impact on human behavior, learning, health, hardiness and longer life.

Are You Getting Enough Full-Spectrum Light?

The absolute best way to get exposure to healthy full-spectrum light is to do it the way nature intended, by going out in the sun. Most people need to stay out just until their skin turns the lightest shade of pink to get all the benefits that sunlight has to offer.

For the times when you can’t get outdoors due to temperature, weather, or other time constraints, you can full-spectrum light bulbs in your home and office, and encourage them in your child’s school as well.

In order to achieve the benefits of natural balanced sunlight indoors, look for light bulbs that contain a full spectrum of color (imagine all the colors of the rainbow). Additionally, true full-spectrum lighting must contain infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths.

The only commercial bulbs that can provide cost-effective full-spectrum frequencies are full-spectrum bulbs. I have been selling them for years, because they work.  

Some are alarmed because they contain mercury. This only becomes a problem if you break them, and that is very unlikely. It is also easy to dispose of them at your local Home Depot store.

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