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The Sunlight Vitamin & why YOU need it!
Posted on: 03/01/2014 @ 6:34pm
Most people know the sun is beneficial, though you would be forgiven for thinking the opposite with all the scare stories that have abounded in the media. In the 1980's, the medical industry began telling everyone the sun was dangerous and could give us cancer.
Before the sun-scare, 90% of human vitamin D stores came from skin production, not diet. Ingesting small amounts orally, instead of generating large amounts through the skin are novel to human brain development.
In 1989, around the time autism began to rise, we were warned about the dangers of sun exposure, advising mothers to "keep infants out of the sun as much as possible".
Recent studies show that sunlight is so vital to human health, that vitamin D alone up-regulates about 10% of the human genome!
The Vitamin D Miracle
Vitamin D is made from the sun in humans by the action of solar radiation acting on the cholesterol of our skin to produce the nutrient (Yes, that's right, you need cholesterol!!!). Vitamin D's usable derivative is technically not a vitamin but a secosteroidal, oil-soluble hormone.
The sun is the source of UVA and UVB. UVB is used to make vitamin D. UVB combines with cholesterol to make vitamin D3. The liver converts this to the active form.
Both UVA and UVB radiation are absorbed by us but have very different characteristics. Only UVB can make vitamin D3. UVA destroys it. far from being a curse, the proper application of both types of UV to human skin is necessary and actually provides a check and balance system to prevent overproduction of vitamin D.
Current Research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal dieases, and more.
The Great Public Health Disaster
On the subject of sunlight, how much we get is a downright prerequisite for health. Important changes in human existence have occurred in the past century which have upset the fundamentals of how health is maintained.
We spend more time indoors, in the car or on a train. We get up in the dark and arrive home in the dark. We work under artificial light, rather than spending time in the sun.
Location, location, location...
Another big problem is where we live. Sunlight's wavelength changes the further north we dwell, which means for 6 months of the year the sun isn't strong enough to produce vitamin D in the body.
Nature has made allowances, granting people who traditionally live in these northern climates a fairer skin, which creates vitamin D efficiently from the paucity of UV available. Darker skin needs more sunlight to produce similar amounts of vitamin D.