The Truth About Skin Cancer:You Need Sun for Vit D
by DR. WILLIAM SEARS
but widely accepted advice just might be killing you slowly if you buy into what they say about the dangers of our native
They want you to avoid sunshine... slather on chemical sunscreen if you go outside... stay indoors during peak
sun hours... wear long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses even when it's not sunny... and strive to cut your sun exposure to none.
Abide by these instructions and it could spell disaster for your health.
By following their "no safe level of sun
exposure" rule, you'll put yourself at higher risk for deadly cancers, heart disease and more.
It's time to set the
record straight. Real science supports more, not less, sun exposure. If you know how to safely take advantage of the sun,
you'll live a happier, longer life for it. You'll see how to enjoy the warm, golden, mood-lifting rays of the sun once again.
True Crisis is a Deficiency of Vitamin D
When the sun's rays strike your skin, an amazing hormonal reaction begins.
skin absorbs the light and uses it to make vitamin D3. Think of it as the human version of photosynthesis.
liver and kidneys metabolize the vitamin D3 into an active hormone called 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. It's quite a mouthful,
but this substance plays an important role in almost every system of your body.
a. Vitamin D helps
build healthy bones. Vitamin D deficiencies contribute to osteoporosis, other bone-weakening conditions, and unhealthy teeth.
Vitamin D helps keep the immune system tuned. Vitamin D deficiencies promote a number of painful autoimmune conditions like
rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
c. Vitamin D helps keep your circulatory system healthy. People with heart disease
commonly have a vitamin D deficiency.
d. Vitamin D helps keep cells healthy. There is a link between higher rates of
several deadly cancers and vitamin D deficiency. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D available. Because of the dire warning
about the sun, many doctors recommend you avoid sunlight. This well-meant advice about sun-avoidance is creating an epidemic
of vitamin D deficiency.
Twenty percent of children and adults up to age 50 don't get enough vitamin D every day. After
fifty, deficiencies affect as much as 95% of he population.
Let the Evidence Shine... You Need More Vitamin D. Many
studies show that vitamin D provides a myriad of specific health benefits like:
a. Research reported in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition correlated widespread vitamin D deficiency with osteoporosis, increased cancer risks, heart
disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Increased, but safe, sun exposure is a way to counteract vitamin
b. Studies show that vitamin D reduces the risks of colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and
ovarian cancer. Your risk of mortality from each of these deadly cancers falls as your vitamin D levels rise.3
research shows that adequate vitamin D levels help to control blood pressure levels in patients with high blood pressure.
It also helps control blood glucose levels in patients with adult-onset diabetes.4
The most natural and effective way
to get adequate vitamin D levels is from sunshine. You want to be sure you get enough sunlight, that you get safe sun exposure,
and that you know how to give your vitamin D levels a boost when sun exposure isn't enough.
Sunshine: Get What You
Need to Prevent Deadly Disease
The big concern most people have about sun exposure is skin cancer. The vast majority
of skin cancers are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Both of these cancers need attention and you want to avoid them,
but they are not deadly cancers.
The third type of skin cancer-melanoma-is very serious and can be deadly. However,
safe sun exposure can help protect you against this skin cancer. Research shows that people who get regular sun exposure as
part of their jobs are less likely to get melanoma skin cancer than people who work inside all the time.5
So, let me
give the rules of safe sun exposure to you in three basic steps.
1. Expose as much of your skin as possible. A swimsuit
is perfect. And go without sunglasses.
2. Depending on your pigmentation, go out in the sun for at least 10 to 20 minutes,
two or three times a week. If you are fair-skinned, your body can make enough vitamin D in just minutes. If you have darker
skin or a deep tan, it will take longer for you to get the vitamin D you need.
3. Do not allow your skin to burn. This
is very important. A sunburn will damage your skin, can contribute to all three types of skin cancer and cause aging changes
in your skin. You want to get your vitamin D safely... that means getting out of the sun or putting on protective clothing
before you burn.
If you live in the southern states, then this is all you need to know to keep your vitamin D levels
high year round. However, if you live anywhere north of Georgia, then you need to give your body a vitamin D boost in the
winter months. The low angle of the sun during those months prevents the vitamin D synthesis that your body needs.
to Get Your Vitamin D in the Winter
Between late fall and early spring, if you live in a northern state, there just
isn't enough UV light reaching you to make adequate vitamin
D. The government recommended amount of vitamin D every
day is 400 IU. Yet research shows that your body will use 3000 IU in a day, as long as it is the natural form of vitamin D,
cholecalciferol.6 When you choose a supplement, avoid the manmade form of vitamin D, ergocalciferol.
Short of sunshine,
the best natural source of vitamin D is cod liver oil. A single tablespoon of cod liver oil contains 1360 IU of natural vitamin
D. In the table below, you can see other sources of natural vitamin D and how they match up to cod liver oil.
Source Amount Vitamin D
Cod Liver Oil 1 tablespoon 1360 IU
Make cod liver oil a part of your daily supplement
routine each and every winter and make safe sun exposure a habit all year round. Make sure you get a brand that is free of
mercury and PCB's. You can get
Dr. Sears' Label by clicking here.
1 Raloff, Janet. "Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency,"
Science News 2005;
2 Holick MF. "Sunlight and Vitamin D for Bone Health and Prevention of
Diseases, Cancers, and Cardiovascular Disease," AJCN 2004;
3 Garland CF, et al. "The Role of Vitamin
D in Cancer Prevention," AJPH
4 Zittermann A. "Vitamin D and Disease Prevention with Special Reference
Cardiovascular Disease," Prog Biophys Mol Biol 2006; 92(1): 39-48
5 Nelemans PJ, et al. "Effect of Intermittent Exposure
to Sunlight on
Melanoma Risk Among Indoor Workers and Sun Sensitive Individuals,"
Environmental Health Prospectives
1993; 101(3): 252-55
6 Heany RP, et al. "Human Serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol response to
extended oral dosing
with cholecalciferol," Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 77(1):204-10