|Ultraviolet Light –
Sunlight has had a bad rap lately. I remember
as a kid, one of three sons, being kicked outside early each day to
play in the sun, get my knees scraped, and examine things that
smelled funny; these were the good old days when we didn’t know that
everything in the world could kill us. My parents never put a
sunscreen on any of us. It was considered healthy to play in the sun
and get acquainted to new germs. Oh how naďve we were.
Naďve according to the American Academy of
Dermatology and those organizations receiving funding from the
sunscreen interests, that is.
First off, yes, we have to admit that
overdosing in ultraviolet light is damaging to DNA, to the
surface of the body, both skin, eyes, and mucus membranes, and the
immune system. Studies using artificial UV light for twelve thirty
minute exposures have shown that T-cells and NK cells become
dysfunctional and suppressed. However, you have to keep in mind that
this is an extreme amount of time and that artificial UV light is
not the same as natural sunlight that has an assortment of
wavelengths including UV light.
Like everything, moderation is the key when it
comes to sunlight, but keep in mind that most of the studies showing
on the negative effects of sunlight have pretty shaky methodologies
with some of them being just pure trash financed by people who want
you to buy UV resistant sunglasses and sun screen. Need an example?
A study reported in the American Journal of
Ophthalmology in March 1982 used monkeys that were tied down
with their eyelids clamped wide open. Then their fully dilated
pupils were exposed to beams from a 2,500-watt lamp for 16 minutes.
Apparently this caused retinal damage.
This study reminds me of the monkeys that were
forced to smoke marijuana for sixteen hours a day and showed signs
of being very stoned. Duh.
Some scientists are very silly people,
especially those who, above, concluded that sunlight causes retinal
There’s another hypothesis that Johanna Budwig
proposed in the sixties concerning how UV light affects the body.
She reported that with an increase of polyunsaturated oils and trans
fats in our diets came a proportional increase in skin cancer rates;
that certain wavelengths of sunlight vibrate at the same frequency
as the chemical bonds in unsaturated fatty acids (and partially
hydrogenated oils) that can give rise to early mutations; mutations
which eventually become cancers.
And why shouldn’t there be a nutritional aspect
to the effect of sunlight on our bodies? We are what we eat and what
we ate 10,000 to 200 years ago when we spent much more time in the
sunlight is not what we eat today. Overlooking any nutritional
factor in modern health care is not only a wide spread problem, it
sure doesn’t help in finding any solutions.
Here’s a bit of an article from the UK, the
Institute of Complementary Medicine Journal:
To judge by the
Cancer Research UK’s website, the impression given is that the sun
is the overwhelming, direct cause of both types [of cancers]. But
growing evidence about factors such as chlorine in water, artificial
lighting and diet - the word ‘diet’ or ‘vitamin D’ is not even
mentioned on the website - tells a different story. Why, for
example, is the incidence of melanoma on the Orkney and Shetland
Isles, north of Scotland, 10 times that on Mediterranean islands (Science
The increase of skin cancer incidence cannot be
due simply to the sun and decreasing ozone layers.
Contrary to general belief, there is no evidence that
reduction in the ozone layer, observed at the poles, has caused any
increase in melanomas (Br J Can 1992; 65: 916-21). Even a
study of Punta Arenas, the largest South American city close to the
Antartic ozone hole, showed no increase in health problems related
to depleted ozone. In fact, UV measures were too small to have any
noticeable effect (Am J Pub Health 1995;85(4):546-50).
There are many other factors that have to be
considered, and listening to sun screen makers is like asking a
surgeon if you need surgery. As Maslow put it, “When the only tool
you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.” We
should add that when you make your living with that hammer, you’ll
hammer in the morning, you’ll hammer in the evening, and all over
the world, just to make your profit.
Did you know that sunlight used to be a medical
It’s called Heliotherapy. One of Heliotherapy’s
first uses was for tuberculosis. Prior to the use of drug therapy,
patients with tuberculosis spent hours each day in the sun. It was
thought that the sun acted as a bactericide, killing the Tubercular
bacillus. Later it was theorized that the vitamin D created in the
skin also attacked the TB bacillus, though there is no evidence that
cod liver oil (high in vitamin D and once sold to treat TB) ever
cured tuberculosis. Whatever the answer, sun therapy helped heal
tuberculosis; this is a fact.
Children with tuberculosis sunning at a Canadian hospital.
||More Images of
Only three percent of the light reaching the
earth’s atmosphere is Ultra Violet, and of that, most is shielded by
the ozone layer (which seems to be thinning). UV light comes in two
flavors: UVA and UVB. It is UVB that is essential to producing
vitamin D in humans through a process you probably thought only
occurred in plants: photosynthesis.
Why We Need UV Light
UV light activates vitamin D
UV light lowers blood pressure.
UV light increases heart "performance".
UV light improves ECG and blood parameters in
persons suffering from arteriosclerosis.
UV light lowers cholesterol counts.
UV light helps in weight loss.
UV light is effective against psoriasis.
UV light is effective with numerous other ailments (Krudsen
in his book Light Therapy lists 165 diseases).
UV light promotes the production of sex hormones.
UV light activates an important skin hormone (Solitrole).
UV light is a nutrient just as vitamins and
“Heliotherapy" was very
popular in Europe from 1900 to c. 1940. One Dr.
Rollier, head of a sun therapy clinic, wrote a
volume titled La Cure de Soleil [The Sun
Vitamin D could be labeled a hormone, according
to Dr. Michael Holick, the author of the book
The UV Advantage.
A hormone is a secretion of a gland that travels through the blood
to a specific tissue for a specific purpose. Vitamin D, for example,
is created in the epidermis (technically not a gland, but close
enough for Dr Holick) travels through the blood, and aids in calcium
metabolism allowing our bones (a tissue) to absorb calcium. You
should also note that only one third, approximately, of the calcium
you take in is absorbed by the bones. If you are vitamin D
deficient, only 10 to 20% of your calcium will be absorbed.
Concerning cancer, a study published in
Anticancer Research in 2006 confirmed that vitamin D produced by UV
light reduces the risk of 16 sites of cancer: 3 cancers of female
organs, 6 cancers of gastrointestinal organs, 2 types of lymphomas,
3 types of urogenital cancers, and 2 upper digestive tract cancers.
The study went on to say, "The mechanisms whereby vitamin D reduces
the risk of cancer are well known, and include effects on
intercellular adhesion, apoptosis (programmed cellular death), the
inhibition of angiogenesis around tumors, and the inhibition of
Vitamin D, besides aiding the metabolism of
calcium, also regulates cell growth. It is the first line of therapy
for psoriasis, according to Dr Holick. In latitudes where
inhabitants get less UV levels, cancer rates are higher. Cancer is
unregulated cell growth. Vitamin D therapy helps prevent a great
number of diseases, including cancers such as prostate, breast,
colon, and ovarian cancers, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure,
osteoporosis, psoriasis, seasonal affected disorder, diabetes (both
type I and II), autoimmune thyroid disorders, lupus, and even tooth
decay and schizophrenia.
In the UK where the sun appears less than
Dick Cheney comes out of his bunker, vitamin D deficiency is rampant.
Clinical Rheumatology (July, 2006) reported on a study in the UK
where those suffering from vitamin D deficiency scored much higher
on anxiety and depression tests than those who had healthy vitamin D
When we don’t get enough sunlight, the disorder
you can get is called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you
are depressed, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. And
don’t think that conventional medicine’s “normal” range is healthy.
Dr Robert Jay Rowen, MD (www.secondopinionnewsletter.com)
feels that 45-50 ng/ml is optimal. Dr Rowen recommends, if you can't
get into the sun, get yourself some cod liver oil, 2000 to 2600
mg/day should be enough. (Rheumatoid arthritis is a very
debilitating immune system disorder. Most therapies we hear about
for arthritis involve osteoarthritis, the more common form of
arthritis. Studies show [Adv Ther. 2002 Mar-Apr;19(2):101-7] that
cod liver oil can give relief to those suffering from rheumatoid
And yet, with all we know about the benefits of
vitamin D, in America vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic.
In his ebook, The
Healing Power of Sunlight & Vitamin D, Mike Adams sums up
the epidemic thusly:
- 32% of doctors and med school students are
vitamin D deficient.
- 40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D
- 42% of African American women of
childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.
- 48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are
vitamin D deficient.
- Up to 60% of all hospital patients are
vitamin D deficient.
- 76% of pregnant mothers are severely
vitamin D deficient, causing widespread vitamin D deficiencies
in their unborn children, which predispose them to type 1
diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later
in life. 81% of the children born to these mothers were
- Up to 80% of nursing home patients are
vitamin D deficient.
African Americans are deficient in vitamin D
simply because of their dark skin. The darker the skin, the longer
they must be in sunlight to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D.
African Americans in the northern latitudes get even less UV light
to create vitamin D, and prostate cancer among northern latitude
African Americans is epidemic. If you are dark pigmented, you could
require up to 20 to 30 times the amount of sun exposure of your
light skinned neighbors. And ironically, our light skinned neighbors
lather up in sun screens before going outside, and even a weak
sunscreen will block up to 95% of vitamin D generation. The more you
have on, the longer you have to be out to get your daily requirement
of vitamin D. Put on too much, and you’ll have to spend all day in
the sun, so, it is advised to sun smartly. Go into the sun for
fifteen minutes, and then put your sunscreen on. The lighter the
skin, the less sunlight you need. The higher the latitude the more
sunlight you need.
Dr. Michael Holick’s book,
The UV Advantage
has a table in it that will show you how much time you need based
upon your skin type and latitude. This is a very handy table.
Sadly, your diet will NOT get you enough
vitamin D. We’re told to drink milk, but Mike Adams points out that
it will take ten glasses to get our daily requirement of vitamin D.
You can supplement with vitamin D caps or cod liver oil (a favorite
of mine, since you get your fish oils too, the DHA [docosahexaenoic
acid] and EPA [eiocosapentaenoic acid]). How
much is required? One thousand International Units (IU) per day.
Mike Adams points to a study in the UK where babies received 2000 IU
of vitamin D and they had a remarkable 80% decreased risk of
developing Type I diabetes.
You should also note that vitamin D, to be
activated must pass thru the kidneys and liver. Kidney or liver
disease greatly impairs the activation of vitamin D.
Another interesting point I got from
interviewing an ophthalmologist is that the blind are consistently
vitamin D deficient. He advises, if you wear glasses, spend time in
the sun without your glasses.
If you are vitamin D deficient, it will take a
few months of sunlight or supplementation to reverse. Don’t expect a
quick fix. To find out if you have an extreme deficiency in vitamin
D, Mike Adams tells us to put your hand over your sternum and push.
If it’s very painful, then you are very deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency results in depression,
rickets, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and aches and pains. It is
often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. Prolonged vitamin D defiance can
result in all those illnesses listed above that vitamin D therapy
And the best place to get it?
Go outside. It’s free!
But know this: brief exposure to a lot of skin
is better than prolonged exposure to any amount of skin. Most
vitamin D is synthesized in 20-30 minutes. Experts feel you should
be active during this time, do not wear glasses, wear a hat, and
Part III - Bioluminescence Therapy
The UV Advantage: The Medical Breakthrough That Shows How to Harness the Power of the Sun for Your Health