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You Need Sun! 10 Healthy Tips to Get It

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Why demonize the sun?
Western medicine has made a practice of telling us to abstain from things that are bad for us in extreme quantities, when in fact those same things⎯fat, salt and sunshine for example⎯are very good for us when consumed wisely and in moderation. In the case of sunshine, our UV paranoia is contributing to a silent epidemic: Vitamin D deficiency. It’s silent because most people don’t know they are deficient. And it’s deadly, because this deficiency can lead to cancer and a multitude of other diseases. But we’ve been brainwashed into believing that even small amounts of sunshine will harm us, and told to slather on sunscreen, which blocks vitamin D production and exacerbates the Vitamin D deficiency induced by our modern, indoor lives.

Studies show that as many as three out of four Americans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. A study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine (a leading scientific journal), found that 70 percent of Caucasians, 90 percent of Hispanics and 97 percent of African Americans in the US have insufficient blood levels of vitamin D. Indeed, it’s thought to be the most common medical condition in the world, affecting over one billion people and we now have research showing just how essential vitamin D is to health.

U.S. and Norwegian researchers have found that people who live in higher latitudes are more prone to vitamin D deficiency and more prone to developing common cancers and dying of them. It’s now thought that this is due in part to the body’s inability to make enough activated vitamin D to help regulate cell growth and to keep cell growth in check. Independent scientific research has shown that whether you live in a sunny or not-so-sunny climate, exposure to the sun and its UVB radiation will increase your production of vitamin D and help lower the risk of a host of debilitating and fatal diseases — including many cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and depression.

And now the experts are concerned that we’re passing an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency down to a new generation. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may imprint on an infant for the rest of his/her life. Infants that are vitamin D deficient at birth can remain vitamin D deficient for the first several months after birth, which may put them at risk of developing many chronic diseases much later in life.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Health, Holistic Beauty, Revive with Dr. Frank Lipman, Skin Care, ,

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Dr. Frank Lipman

Founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, Dr Frank Lipman is a pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine. His personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest of life. To hang with Frank, visit his blog, follow him on Twitter or join his Facebook community today.

105 comments

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5:09PM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

Moderation is key. Thanks for the post.

6:09AM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

continued...

However, I completely agree with everything else Dr. Lipman writes, especially since he prefers sunbathing to supplements and I am incredibly happy that I get to live in beautiful, sunny Greece, where I can get all the sunshine I need on a year-round basis.

5:52AM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

Bringing our ancestors relationship with the sun into the discussion is a huge oversimplification, as well. For one thing, humans lived a LOT less back then (their life expectancy was shockingly small, by today's standards -- a 30-year-old Neaderthal was *really really* old), which made it extremely difficult for them to develop any kind of cancer (a disease that takes notoriously long to manifest). For another, there was no ozone layer hole back then, so the sun was indeed much less harmful than it is in our times.

9:32AM PDT on May 22, 2011

thanks! i love when health science meets what should be common sense.. and what only seems logical. me natural. sun natural. building and sunscreen manmade.

lately i've been lying out in the sun often (for vitamin D) and then - go figure - my depression lifted and i started sleeping better. i say avoid the sun at its harshest (indoors or find a shady tree) and by all means avoid sunburns (even if it's for no other reason than that, ouch! it hurts) but definitely get sunshine!!

4:14PM PDT on May 21, 2011

Thanks

6:08AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Gracias!

4:43AM PST on Jan 11, 2011

Also, it's great that some people don't burn and have good metabolisms, but this simply doesn't apply to everyone: I have friends who are very healthy apart from their sun allergies; they cannot wear short sleeves in the summer and should they walk around with no sunscreen they end up severely burnt or worse in a matter of 15-20 minutes...

4:40AM PST on Jan 11, 2011

Very interesting, but I don't think it applies where I leave: people get too much sun rather than too little and spend hours sunbathing with no lotion or very weak filters, because higher than 8/12 tend to be very expensive.

9:53PM PST on Jan 7, 2011

This was a great article. I've always hated wearing sunscreen (it feels gross on the skin, particularly when mixed with perspiration and salt water!) but love being in the sun.
I've read brazil nuts are supposed to be a great antidote for over exposure and can help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Is this true?

12:26AM PDT on Oct 29, 2010

Thank you very much for this insightful article! I always try to spend at least 60 minutes outside each day - especially in the less sunny months - and try to replenish possible Vitamin D shortages with healthy Vitamin-D-rich foods :)

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