June 27th, 2011
By: Mike Adams
Ask somebody about sunscreen and you’re likely to receive an earful of disinformation from a person who has been repeatedly misinformed by health authorities and the mainstream media. Almost nothing you hear about sunscreen from traditional media channels is accurate. So here’s a quick guide to the 7 most important things you need to know about sunscreen, sunlight and vitamin D:
#1) The FDA refuses to allow natural sunscreen ingredients to be used in sunblock / sunscreen products
It’s true: If you create a truly natural sunscreen product using exotic botanicals with powerful sunscreen properties, you will never be able to market it as a “sunscreen” product. That’s because the FDA decides what can be used as sunscreen and what can’t, regardless of what really works in the real world. And there are really only two natural ingredients the FDA has allowed to be sold as sunscreen: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Any other non-chemical sunscreen ingredients, if sold as “sunscreen,” would be considered mislabeled by the FDA and result in your products being confiscated… even if they offer fantastic sunscreen protection!
Not surprisingly, this whole monopoly over sunscreen chemicals is designed to protect the profits of the chemical companies while marginalizing the natural product companies which could easily formulate far better solutions. I have personally spoken to the founders of several health product companies who have figured out amazing sunscreen formulations using nothing but natural botanicals, but the FDA won’t let them market their products as sunscreen products!
It’s just another example of the FDA standing in the way of health innovation.
#2) Nearly all conventional sunscreen products contain cancer-causing chemicals
Read the ingredients list of any sunscreen product sold at Wal-Mart, or Walgreens, or any other mainstream store. I dare ya!
You will not be able to pronounce most of the chemicals found in the ingredients list. That’s because most sunscreen products are formulated with cancer-causing fragrance chemicals, parabens, harsh alcohols, toxic chemical solvents and petroleum oils. A typical sunscreen product is actually a chemical assault on your body. That’s why research shows that using sunscreen actually causes more cancer than it prevents.
#3) In a nation where over 70% of the population is vitamin D deficiency, sunscreen actually blocks vitamin D production
Vitamin D deficiency is perhaps the most widespread vitamin deficiency in North America. According to the research, 70 percent of whites are deficient in vitamin D, and up to 97 percent of blacks are deficient.
Chronic vitamin D deficiency promotes cancer, winter flu and infections, depression, osteoporosis and hormonal imbalances. Depending on whom you believe, vitamin D alone can prevent anywhere from 50% to nearly 80% of all cancers.
By blocking vitamin D production in the skin, sunscreen products actually contribute to cancer-promoting nutritional deficiencies.
This doesn’t mean you should never wear a sunscreen product, of course. If your skin is really pale and you’re planning a day on the beach in Hawaii, you will obviously benefit from some level of sun protection using a truly natural sunscreen product. But an informed health-conscious person would try to allow their skin to achieve a natural, healthy tan (yes, a tan truly is healthy if it’s combined with good nutrition, see below) through sensible exposure levels that activate vitamin D production in the skin.
#4) You can boost your internal sun resistance by changing what you eat
Here’s the real secret about sun exposure that no one in conventional medicine is talking about (because, as usual, they are woefully ignorant about nutrition): You can boost your internal sunscreen by eating antioxidant-rich foods and superfoods.
The supplement astaxanthin, for example, is very well known for boosting your skin’s natural resistance to sunburn. Its fat-soluble carotenoids are actually transported to skin cells where they protect those cells from UV exposure.
The more natural antioxidants you have in your diet, the more sunlight your skin will be able to handle without burning. Nearly everyone mistakenly believes that a person’s sunlight burn response is purely a genetic factor. They’re wrong. You can radically improve your resistance to UV exposure through radical dietary changes.
I’m a great example of this, actually, as I used to burn in just 20 – 30 minutes of sunlight when I was on a junk food diet years ago. But now, as someone who eats superfoods and high-end nutritional supplements every day, I can spend hours in the sun and will only turn slightly red (which fades a few hours later and does not result in a burn or skin peeling).
Except for one time on an all-day visit to a water park, I have not worn sunscreen in over 8 years. I spend a large amount of time in the sun, and I have absolutely no concerns whatsoever about skin cancer. My skin, most people tell me, looks significantly younger than my biological age. That’s not from sunscreen; it’s from nutrition. Sun exposure does not make your skin “age” if you follow a high-nutritional density diet.
October 13th, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
A new Danish study published in the journal Pediatrics has identified a link between neonatal jaundice and autism. Babies born with jaundice have a significantly increased risk of developing both general psychological problems and autism, and researchers believe a vitamin D deficiency is to blame.
Formed from data on over 733,000 Danish children born between 1994 and 2004, the study revealed that jaundiced newborns are 87 percent more likely to develop a psychological disorder than newborns without jaundice. Jaundiced babies are also 56 percent more likely to develop autism than their otherwise healthy counterparts.
Part of the reason why experts believe vitamin D deficiency might relate to autism is the fact that babies born between October and March were about twice as likely to develop autism than children born during other parts of the year. The months between October and March are during the wintertime in Denmark, when sunlight exposure is at a minimum. And besides producing vitamin D in the body, sunlight exposure also breaks down bilirubin, a substance implicated in causing jaundice.
Bilirubin is a natural metabolite that the liver normally processes and eliminates, but newborns are incapable of breaking it down, which leads to jaundice. And excess amount of bilirubin are known to cause serious brain injury when left untreated, lending credence to the hypothesis that the chemical may be somehow involved in causing autism.
According to Dr. John Cannell, vitamin D expert and director of the Vitamin D Council, prenatal vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked to autism. Vitamin D not only naturally eliminates bilirubin, but it cures neonatal jaundice as well.
Dr. Cannell suggests that women take 5,000 IU of vitamin D a day during pregnancy. He also suggests that babies born with jaundice be exposed to natural sunlight as an effective treatment, and in order to avoid brain injuries.
May 24, 2010
by Ethan Huff
Vitamin D is an amazing nutrient that protect the body from all sorts of diseases and problems. Researchers continually uncover new links between lack of vitamin D and disease, illustrating the fact that it is vital to good health. However recent studies have also found that most people are deficient in vitamin D.
A team of doctors from the McGill University Health Centre in Canada was surprised to find that about 59 percent of people evaluated were deficient in vitamin D and about 25 percent were severely deficient. Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the study is allegedly the first to illustrate a definitive link between vitamin D deficiency and an accumulation of fat in muscle tissue.
“Because it [vitamin D deficiency] is linked to increased body fat, it may affect many different parts of the body. Abnormal levels of vitamin D are associated with a whole spectrum of diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders,” explained Dr. Richard Kremer, lead investigator of the study.
The main reason why people are generally lacking in vitamin D is because people spend much more time indoors than they used to. Especially with computers, people often spend their entire days inside cubicles where they are exposed to little or no sunlight.
Vitamin D is not produced in the body on its own. It is created when skin is exposed to sunlight. Some foods contain vitamin D, but in minimal amounts compared to what can be achieved from sun exposure. Most people also do not consume enough vitamin D-rich food to obtain adequate amounts of it.
The McGill study highlights an important link between vitamin D and obesity that, until now, has been largely ignored. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to decreased muscle and increased fat, which is a condition that is increasingly common in industrialized nations. Though diet also plays a role in obesity, it is striking to see vitamin D playing a role in the condition as well.
Perhaps the reason why vitamin D deficiency is linked to all sorts of serious diseases has more to do with the increase in visceral fat that it causes, which in turn leads to such health problems. This study seems to confirm that notion.
The best way to address vitamin D deficiency is to get more sunlight. But when this is not possible, particularly throughout the winter months when the sun is at a lower angle and the ultraviolet (UV) rays are at a minimum, supplementation with vitamin D is the next best option.
The study itself did not confirm one way or another the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in reducing fat and increasing muscle, however tests have shown that supplementation does increase blood levels of vitamin D. Many people take vitamin D supplements to alleviate their deficiency and have experience good results.
Currently, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is between 200 and 400 international units (IU) per day, depending on age. Recent studies are showing that these recommendations are too low to maintain optimal health. Some are suggesting that these guidelines be updated to amounts upwards of 1,000 IU per day, including the Canadian Cancer Society.
On a typical summer day, 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure will result in the skin producing about 40,000 IU of vitamin D. At this point, the mechanism that produces it shuts off in order to prevent the body from making too much.
With these levels in mind, many naturopathic doctors recommend supplementing with up to 10,000 IU a day or more. Many believe it is difficult to take too much vitamin D because the safe upper limits are much higher than previously thought.
Currently, the best form of vitamin D is D3, or cholecalciferol, because it is the precursor to the type created by the body from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 can be safely taken at amounts much higher than the RDA guidelines.
Safe tanning beds are another option for achieving optimal vitamin D levels without taking a supplement. Despite recent reports that they are unsafe and cause skin cancer, some tanning beds can be used properly and safely to obtain UV rays when regular sunlight is not an option. These beds use electronic ballasts instead of magnetic ballasts that emit electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), which can cause cancer and other health issues.
Dr. Mercola, another trusted source of natural health information, has a helpful directory of healthy tanning locations across the country. There are also companies that sell these tanning beds for home use.
If you are unsure about your vitamin D levels and wish to consult with your physician, a simple blood test will determine your levels. Whichever route you choose to take, just be sure to get enough vitamin D. Your body will thank you.
By E. Huff
A clinical review paper published in the British Medical Journal is warning the public that widespread vitamin D deficiency is resurrecting the once-obsolete disease called rickets. According to Professor Simon Pearce and Dr. Time Cheetham, authors of the paper, people are getting far too little sunlight exposure which is necessary for the body to produce adequate levels of vitamin D.
Nowadays, children spend most of their time indoors staring at computer and television screens rather than playing outside in the sunlight. On the rare occasion that they venture outside, zealous parents are quick to apply UV-blocking sunscreen that prevents the sun’s useful UVB rays from penetrating their skin and producing vitamin D. The result is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency that is leading to all sorts of illness and disease.
Rickets, a disease in which a person’s bones do not properly develop and harden, results when a person is getting too little vitamin D and most likely not enough calcium. The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is a mere 400 IU, an amount that is said to be adequate for preventing rickets.
To put this amount into perspective, however, exposure to the summer sun for about 20 minutes is enough to produce up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D in the body. At this level, far more optimal health can be achieved. Yet the fact that children are beginning to develop rickets suggests that they are not even getting 400 IU a day, an amount that should be relatively easy to attain through a moderately healthy diet or a few minutes in the sun every day.
In the U.K., there are several hundred cases of rickets reported every year. According to statistics, more than 50 percent of the adult population in the U.K. is deficient in vitamin D as well. During the winter and spring months, more than 15 percent experience severe deficiency.
Researchers suggest that people with darker skin pigmentation are at a higher risk for rickets because they do not assimilate vitamin D from the sun’s UVB rays as easily as those with lighter skin do. Some experts believe that the changing ethnic profile of the U.K. may play a significant role in the onset of rickets while others point primarily to an overall lack of vitamin D among all ethnic groups.
Either way, the changing lifestyles among all people are partially to blame as people are not spending enough time outside and, when they do they are using too much sunscreen to obtain any sort of benefit from the sun. Overuse of sunscreen can be blamed on government health authorities, regulatory agencies, medical professionals, and mainstream media outlets that continually exaggerate the threat of developing skin cancer from sunlight exposure to the point that some people are afraid of getting any at all.
November 25, 2009
By Mike Adams
The fact that vitamin D prevents cancer is now so well known that even some conventional physicians are beginning to recommend it. Vitamin D prevents 77% of all cancers, after all. That’s as close to a “cure” for cancer as you’ll ever get (and it’s free, too, since you can make it yourself!).
But did you also know that vitamin D prevents heart disease? In fact, most people suffering from heart disease are chronically deficient in vitamin D. By correcting their vitamin D levels (through sunlight exposure or by taking vitamin D3 supplements), people can simultaneously halt cancer and prevent heart disease, too.
Here’s a collection of research revealing the amazing power of this “miracle” vitamin to eliminate heart disease. I’d like to add, though, that the previously recommended daily intake of 400 IUs of vitamin D is now considered hazardously low. Most nutritionally-aware doctors and naturopaths are now recommending anywhere from 1,000 – 4000 IUs per day of vitamin D supplementation. Of course, you don’t need any vitamin D supplements if you get sufficient sunlight on your skin on a regular basis.
Vitamin D prevents heart disease
Diabetes, both type-1 and type-2, are profoundly linked to low vitamin D levels. Obesity, heart disease, hypertension and stroke are inversely related to sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels. Psoriasis, eczema, and periodontal disease are lessened by sunlight exposure and high serum vitamin D. Fertility is positively influenced by sunlight exposure and high vitamin D levels. Sunlight enhances immune system function by producing vitamin D. Dozens of disorders other than those mentioned in this summary are related to vitamin D deficiency.