You’ve heard all the hype about sunscreen and skin cancer and how BAD sun exposure is. We don’t want cancer, we don’t want wrinkles, sun spots or freckles. Face creams, lotions and makeups boast about providing us with SPF protection even in the winter. But what if it’s just all hype, and what if all this sun protection is actually NEGATIVELY affecting our health?
While watching a video where Dr. Mercola talks about the yuckiness in flu shots (enough mercury safe for a 500lb man.. I’ll pass), he then goes on to mention that in his experience the single most effective way in preventing and curing the flu is with VITAMIN D. Where do you get Vitamin D? Our bodies manufacture it in presence of the sun exposure! Hmm, isn’t flu season is when we stop going outside and playing right? When its cloudy and cold we don’t exactly feel like being outside for a half hour a day.
It is estimated that over 70% of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D, yet proper D3 levels can reduce your risk of some cancers up to 80%. It activates over 900 genes. What are some signs of vitamin D deficiency? Achy bones, loss of appetite, a burning sensation in the mouth or throat, diarrhea, insomnia, visual problems, weight loss, muscle weakness, depression, seasonal affective disorder, head sweats, chronic health problems, poor immune system, fatigue.
Vitamin D is required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus by the intestinal tract. It is necessary for growth, and is especially important for the normal growth and development of bones and teeth in children. It protects against muscle weakness and is involved in regulation of the heartbeat. It is also important in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and hypoglycemia, enhances immunity and is necessary for thyroid function and normal blood clotting. It is very alkalizing for the body.
The form of vitamin D that we get from food or supplements is not fully active. It requires conversion by the liver, and then by the kidneys, before it becomes fully active. That’s why people with liver or kidney disorders are at a high risk for osteoporosis. When the skin is exposed to the suns ultraviolet rays, a cholesterol compound ion the skin is transformed into a precursor of vitamin D. Exposing the face and arms to the sun for fifteen minutes three times a week is an effective way to ensure adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body.
Why are we deficient? Most of us wear clothing. We ran around naked in our hunter gatherer times. We are incredibly scared of the sun. We are a society obsessed with the incredibly false fallacy of controlling cholesterol. Cutting back on cholesterol cuts back on the vitamin D levels in your body. We have windows now. We work in rooms with windows which actually FILTER out UVB rays from the sun (the rays that help manufacture vitamin D in the body) but do not filter out UVA rays which diminish vitamin D levels in the body. Wait, why would one ray increase vitamin D and the other decrease it? So our body does not overdose in vitamin D when we spend time out in the sun. But as you can see, it’s a lose/lose situation when we are spending lots of time indoors with windows.
Dr. Mercola says he believes UVA & UVB exposure are optimal ways of getting vitamin D over an oral supplement, so he suggests looking into safe tanning beds without electromagnetic emitters and which emit BOTH UVB (the rays the make vitamin D) & UVAs (the rays that get you tan). But if one cannot find a safe tanning bed in the fall or winter, then supplementation with vitamin D3 (NOT D2) everyday would be better than nothing. Dr Perlmutter author of the book “Grain Brain” recommends 5000IU of D3 daily, but of course everyone may need different amounts of supplementation.