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Benefits of Vitamin D

So there I am reading an article about the benefits of Vitamin D. How much more milk can I drink? Supplement after supplement. When is it enough already? The quick answer, just spend some time in the sun. “Not the sun I gasp!” - It’s all over the news that the sun harm you. Have you heard about those ultraviolet rays that can pierce through clouds and leap tall buildings at a single bound?

It’ll get you when you least expect it! I can’t even walk down the street without zig-zagging my way around those UVA or UVB or UVY or UVZ tanning or non-tanning rays. Who knows anymore? The best thing to do is build a base tan first then you should layout in the sun some more. It might help to wear a tan-thru shirt if you’re running around doing errands on a sunny day. There’s no need to layout at first. You may not realize that the sun is still shining on you whether you’re lying down or walking around.

There’s a big difference walking around on a sunny day after applying suntan lotion rather than oiling your body up with # 2 tanning oil, and spreading out across the beach blanket at high noon and worshipping the sun for 3 hours. It’s one sun tanning extreme to another. If you take some tanning precaution and ease into the suntan you’re probably better off.


Health is not the only benefit of sun tanning:
As an excerpt from this article point out from (Boston summitt USA 2001-39 lectures-60 scientists),
There are a variety of reasons why people who look to sit in the sun, also want to tan quickly. 
1. there are people who tan to play outdoor sports
2. there are those who want to prepare their bodies for a beach holiday
3. some folks who just simply want to look good and feel good
4. people who seek relaxation
5. then there are those who are aware of the health issues and have skin conditions from psoriasis and acne.
As you've read above, there are several goals in mind among the sun tanning population when they go to tan.

Sun tanning process : Understanding the physical and psychological benefits
The article also also states that "Actually sunbathing is very relaxing, sensual - giving off a feeling of having a solar massage and leaving us with a kind of sense of unwinding and happiness and perhaps even peace. (Note: this may be related to an increase in the release of endorphins after a dose of ultraviolet rays).
The sun tanning process feels good on a psychological level too. A number of sensual affects have been noted...women may feel more physically attractive-even thinner, men may feel more masculine, and emotional good health is boosted."

The skin is a medium for emotional expression:
More to the point - "the skin is essential to self-esteem, the skin is a medium for emotional expression, sun tanned skin could suggest wealth; success and tanned skin could lead to social advantages. Looking at this we can see that having a tan is tied in with how we see ourselves and also with how we think other people see us. It's like a fashion statement."

Some more research findings conclude . . . "Sunlight is vital for good health. Sensible use of UV rays (solarium and sun) are far more beneficial to health than previously realised. Although unacceptable risks do exist they are usually from over- exposure or abuse. More serious health threats come from under-exposure. UV light could be described as 'natural medicine'. UV light brings down high blood pressure. Vitamin D oral supplements not found effective, only vitamin D produced in the body from UV rays." (Boston summitt USA 2001-39 lectures-60 scientists). 

It's that same old saying you've heard before "Everything in Moderation", which also means  in this case - "Responsible Suntanning".


It's important to also be aware of eye protection while suntanning. Do darker lenses on sunglasses offer better protection from ultraviolet rays than do lighter sunglass lenses?

"The shade of the lens doesn't tell you whether it protects your eyes from the sun's rays. In fact, you won't be able to see any difference between lenses that block the ultraviolet rays and those that don't. Look for a manufacturer's label that says the sunglasses block 99 percent or 100 percent of all ultraviolet light. To be even more effective, choose sunglasses that fit close to your face or have wraparound frames that block sunlight from all angles."
This is info is referenced from the MayoClinic.


Sunbathing can help prevent more than 25 chronic diseases and save billions

According to the Health Research Forum*, "The health of people in Britain is being put at risk by official policy that discourages sunbathing and promotes use of sunblock products. The cost of disease caused by insufficient exposure to sunlight and consequent deficiency of vitamin D is estimated to be billions of pounds per year in Britain."

They continue on to say that "Government advice to “cover up, keep in the shade…and use factor 15 plus sunscreen” is based on outdated information, mistaken interpretation of evidence and guesswork. It ignores evidence showing that insufficient vitamin D is closely associated with, and almost certainly is a cause of, dozens of chronic diseases including 16 different types of cancers, several nervous system diseases including schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, diabetes, raised blood pressure, polycystic ovary disease, menstrual problems, infertility, infections and dental decay."  (Wow, take a breath and continue on)

"It may seem incredible that such a long list of very different diseases could all be caused, at least in part, by insufficient vitamin D. However research accumulating over the last 10 years provides solid evidence in hundreds of scientific papers which are summarized in a new report: Sunlight Robbery: Health benefits of sunlight are denied by current public health policy in the UK, written by Oliver Gillie**

Here are some excerpts from the press release from Oliver Gillie** 

"Mistaken assumption No.1: tanning is bad for you"

"
Each year campaigners against skin cancer and sun exposure assert that “there is no such thing as a healthy tan.” Authority for this assertion comes from a “Consensus Statement of the UK Skin Cancer Prevention Working Party”. This assertion was considered to be dubious ten years ago when the Consensus was formulated and can now be seen to be without foundation.

In fact evidence suggests that a deep tan, particularly in childhood and adolescent years, protects against melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer; and further evidence suggests that sunbathing, even when it causes sunburn, protects against diseases such as multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer. So tanning should properly be seen as a sign of health, as indeed it is by most members of the public, although care should be taken to avoid burning.
"

"Mistaken assumption No.2: England is Australia"
(You'd know this if you ever watched them play soccer)

"Cancer Research UK, which is paid by the government to implement policy on prevention of skin cancer, has adopted a campaign, called SunSmart, which was developed in Australia. Australia has a very sunny climate where children get twice as much exposure to the sun as children in the UK. The SunSmart policy makes no allowances for the fickle English climate which is typically cloudy even in midsummer. To ensure optimum levels of vitamin D and optimum health people in the UK need to sunbathe whenever they can wearing as few clothes as possible while taking care not to burn. Vitamin D obtained from food provides only about 10% of our needs."



According to Oliver Gillie**, "a new understanding of vitamin D has emerged in recent years which explains how deficiency of the vitamin can cause so many different diseases. Vitamin D is now known to act as a vital steroid hormone in 30 or more tissues of the body where it controls the activity of cells."

(Did you say steroid? Watch out, there will soon be congressional hearings and possible fines for excessive Vitamin D use.)

"Vitamin D is best known for its role in regulating the absorption of calcium and the deposition of calcium in bones. It regulates calcium in other body tissues as well, including cells which, for example, control blood pressure and nerve activity. In addition vitamin D has a direct action on genes, switching them on and off and so regulating growth and activity of various organs during development and later."

(I wish I had more control over my "regulating growth and activity of various organs" when I was growing up!)

"These newly discovered actions of vitamin D explain how deficiency of D, which may occur during pregnancy or at any time in life, may cause such a wide spectrum of diseases. Shortage of vitamin D during pregnancy or breast feeding, for example, is associated with development of juvenile diabetes (diabetes type 1) and schizophrenia. To reduce risk of these diseases women of reproductive age, and particularly women who are pregnant or breast feeding, should be advised to sunbathe safely taking care not to burn. (See pages 14-22 of report for details of diseases caused by inadequate vitamin D.)"

**Oliver Gillie, a former medical correspondent on the Sunday Times and ex-medical editor of the Independent. The report is published by the *Health Research Forum (Health Research Forum is a not for profit organization devoted to discussion of health issues – details at www.healthresearchforum.org.uk ).

We found this piece very interesting and we will be covering more of what Oliver Gillie has to say in the coming weeks. Remember to check out his report as per above.