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Sunlight is vital to life - Should we avoid it?

The Skin Cancer Scare
Starting in the 1990's dermatologists, the medical profession in general, and big pharma in particular, began a campaign to warn everyone about the dangers of skin cancer. The public mood went from worshipping the sun, to fearing its possible lethal effects. Melanoma and basal cell skin cancer became the new "Shark Week."

Sunlight: Friend or Foe?
Frightened by the popular media and the medical profession, the general public began covering themselves and their children in sunscreen and protective clothing. Sales of sun-screen in its various forms from lip balm, to makeup, to sun-tan lotion, sky-rocketed to a multi-billion dollar industry. We now know that sunscreen, still recommended by most dermatologists, blocks precisely the UVB rays that produce vitamin D in our skin.



Vitamin D - The "Sunshine Vitamin"
Vitamin D, also popularly known as the sun-shine vitamin, was considered until recently
of little importance other than as a preventative for rickets, an ailment causing serious bone deformations in children. Researchers later discovered a relationship between a lack of vitamin D and osteoporosis in adults and the pharmaceutical companies jumped on the band wagon. In 2005, doctors began prescribing patentable calcium supplements such as "Fosamax" with 400-800 IU's of vitamin D. It was finally understood that vitamin D was necessary to properly assimilate calcium into our bones.

But this was only a very limited understanding
of the true role of Vitamin D which is actually not a vitamin but rather a potent neuroregulatory steroidal hormone. New research is beginning to shed light on the relationship of vitamin D to human health. Some 3,000 genes have been identified as having vitamin D interaction. Vitamin D is critical for proper communication between every cell in our body. When our vitamin D blood serum level is too low (below 40ng/ml), cell communication begins to suffer and a host of chronic diseases can begin to take hold.


Civilization and the Sun
On the road to civilization, humans increasingly separated themselves from nature. For one, we put on lots of clothes in order to survive in cold northern climates. Society further developed philosophical and religious concepts of proper modesty, hiding the body from sunlight. Women in some parts of the muslim world, for example, who completely cover their bodies from head to toe, run the risk of an extreme lack of vitamin D that can affect not only their own health, but also that of their offspring.

Is it possible that it was a combination of malnutrition and insufficient sunlight during the dark cold winters of medieval Europe, rather than simply a lack of hygiene, that led to the black plagues that killed millions? Some experts believe so. Is it then also possible that the major chronic illnesses from which humans suffer today may be related to malnutrition as a result of our own isolation from nature, and particularly from the sun?

vitamin d

Fortunately, we can supplement the lack of sunlight with natural oil-based vitamin D capsules. The best source, however, remains exposure to natural sunlight. There may be other benefits from exposing our bodies to sunlight that have yet to be discovered. The closer we remain to nature and our evolutionary roots, the healthier we will be.

Is Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic?
It is estimated that more than 50% of the world's population could be vitamin D deficient. This is particularly severe for those who live in northern latitudes and get little sun during the winter months. It is even more critical for people with darker skin pigmentation since their bodies require exposure to higher levels of UVB rays
to produce vitamin D. Millions of years of biological evolution means something, even
if the medical establishment or the FDA choose to ignore it.

Get Tested for Vitamin D Blood Levels
Researchers are urging everyone to be tested
for vitamin D
blood serum levels. The proper
test is called 25 hydroxy D, or 25(OH)D. Getting tested for vitamin D should be part of a routine annual physical exam. But it is not. This has
yet to be prescribed by either the medical establishment, the insurance industry, or the FDA.

Ground Breaking Research
If you expose your skin to the sun for only 20-30 minutes during the summer months between
the hours of 10:00AM and 2:00PM when UVB rays best penetrate the atmosphere, you will produce somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000
IU's (international units) of vitamin D in your skin. Avoid excessive sun exposure. Your body uses about 4,000 IU's per day. The rest is stored. So the FDA recommended minimum daily allowance of 200 to 600 IU's is significantly below what the human body needs to maintain an optimal level of health according to recent research. The more vitamin D you produce or ingest, the more important it is that you obtain its various co-factors, particularly vitamin K2 (MK7). (See below interview with Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue). Individual vitamins and minerals should generally not be taken in isolation as biological systems are complex and interactive.


Our immune system depends on higher levels
of vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 than most of us currently get. It may well turn out that the best defense against the winter flu is to have a healthy level of vitamin D of at least 40-60ng/ml in our blood stream. In much the same way, when a plant lacks sufficient sunlight, its natural defenses suffer and it can become easier prey to insects and disease.

Links

Resources on vitamin D,
general nutrition and health:

www.grassrootshealth.net
www.vitamindcouncil.org
www.mercola.com

Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D.
Boston University Medical Center:

www.vitamindhealth.org

Lecture by Dr. Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D.:
D-Lightful Vitamin D for Good Health.
74 minutes.

Other medical research videos:
University of California San Diego - TV

Related links:
Food Inc., The Movie

Farmageddon, The Movie

Counterintuitive "Science"
Part of the reason for the dearth of information on vitamin D from "official" sources is the general inertia of medical and governmental bureaucracies. Also, much of medical wisdom today seems counterintuitive. "Avoid the sun," yet every living organism on the planet evolved in constant exposure to sunlight.

When it comes to health and nutrition, millions of people now turn more and more to the internet. Why? Because most medical schools do not teach nutrition as a core discipline and most doctors are ill-prepared to diagnose and treat nutritional deficiencies. Instead, they look to pharmacological and surgical solutions to almost every human ailment. When was the last time your doctor asked you about what you eat, how much sunlight you get, or what vitamin supplements you take? It is time you asked your doctor: "Doc, I think I may be vitamin D deficient. Can we do a blood test to find out?"

Knowing what we now know about the central importance of sunlight and vitamin D, we must be careful not to go against millions of years
of biological evolution to "improve" the food we eat. When we ply chickens and cattle with antibiotics and hormones, and cram them into tight quarters in dark feed stalls without sunlight or the ability to exercise, we may affect the very safety and nutritional value of the food we eat. (See Food Inc., the Movie)

A High Stakes Game for Big Pharma
The stakes are particularly high for big pharma which depends on millions of people buying into synthetic drugs as the solution for chronic illnesses. Vitamin D is not patentable and efforts to create an effective synthetic form have thus far failed.

When established scientific "truth" has been challenged in the past, the reaction has been predictable. First, try to silence the research by refusing to publish it in mainstream scientific or medical journals. Next, ridicule the research and try to silence the critic. From the time of Copernicus to the present, this has been standard operating procedure for those having either an ideological stake in the game, or serious money on the line. This was the initial reaction to a reknown vitamin D researcher,
Dr. Michael F. Holick
, when he questioned established medical wisdom about the role of sunlight in human and animal health.
(See "Links")

Government Edicts
Government is also at fault here. Lobbyists
for the medical estabishment, for example, convinced the Senate to substitute a tax on botox in the health care bill with, instead, a
10% tax on tanning salons, one of the few places where people in northern latitudes can get exposure to UVB rays during the winter months. This points out the danger of imposed governmental health policies. The mentality that government knows best almost always results in bad unintended consequences.
(See "Farmageddon")

The Right to Control Our Own Bodies
It is important that we have individual choice when it comes to our own bodies and the food we eat. We may be in as much danger from the collusion of big government, big pharma, and medical lobbies, as we are from the ailments we are trying to conquer.

- Antonio Camejo

Note:
Information contained herein is based on
reports or other sources believed to be reliable, however, such information has not been verified by us, nor do we make any representation as to its accuracy or completeness.

Always consult a licensed medical professional before self-medicating.

vitamin d

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