Vitamin Deficiency Caused By "Sun Fear"

As reported in ScienceDaily (7/09) Vitamin D Deficiency Is Widespread And On The Increase -
A report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and published in the scientific journal Osteoporosis International1, shows that populations across the globe are suffering from the impact of low levels of vitamin D. The problem is widespread and on the increase, with potentially severe repercussions for overall health and fracture rates.

Vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, and, to a lesser extent, is derived from nutritional sources. It plays an important role, through its influence on calcium levels, in the maintenance of organ systems, and is needed for normal bone mineralization and growth. Suboptimal levels of vitamin D may lead to increased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture and, in severe cases, to the development of rickets, a softening of bones in children that can lead to skeletal fractures and deformity.

Although there is ongoing debate as to what constitutes the optimal level of vitamin D, the report shows that regardless of whether it is defined at 50nmol/L or 75nmol/L, vitamin D status is seriously inadequate in large proportions of the population across the globe.

The main risk factors for low vitamin D levels include older age, female sex, lower latitudes, winter season, darker skin pigmentation, less sunlight exposure, dietary habits, and the absence of vitamin D fortification in common foods. Further factors include the increase in urbanization, where people tend to live and work indoors, as well as cultural practices that tend towards sun avoidance and the wearing of traditional clothing that covers the skin. The severity of the problem in Middle East and South Asia arises from the combination of several of these risk factors.

National Plans Of Action Should Encourage Safe, Limited Exposure To Sunlight

These findings suggest that prevention strategies must be initiated at the national level - especially given the increasing ageing of populations in many regions of the world. National plans of action should encourage safe, limited exposure to sunlight and improved dietary intake of vitamin D, whilst considering fortification of foods as well.

Compiled by IOF's expert working group on nutrition, the report reviews the scope and causes of low vitamin D levels in six regions: Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, North America and Oceania. Regional reports are available on the IOF website.

Sun Exposure Proven Therapeutic, While Avoiding Sun Harms Health
As reported by Michelle Goldstein (7/13) For NaturalNews

Since the time of Ramses in Egypt, the health benefits of the sun have been well known and accepted. Widespread sun therapy use decreased after the discovery of antibiotics. The current fear of sunlight began in the 1960s when individuals practicing unsafe sun practices developed sunburns, associated with melanoma. Newer research shows low sun exposure and vitamin D levels decrease survival rates from skin cancer and increase risks of several diseases, including cancer.

For Most Of Human History The Sun Was Respected For Its Curative Powers
Six thousand years ago health practitioners reported the benefits of the sun for heart health. Heliotherapy was praised by Hippocrates, along with the physicians of Rome and Arabia. Roman scholar Pliny described the sun as the most important self-administered medicine. In Rome the sun treated epilepsy, paralysis, asthma, jaundice, bladder and colon diseases, and obesity. In the 1700s sunlight was used to relieve scurvy and rickets. In the late 1800s, sunlight treated bacterial infections, including anthrax, cholera and dysentery. In 1903 and 1905, Nobel prizes were given to sunlight therapists Finsen and Koch, who used ultraviolet light to treat tuberculosis. Dr. Auguste Rollier used sunlight therapy in Switzerland for 40 years to treat TB and obtained success for 1,746 out of 2,167 patients, only failing with more advanced cases. Florence Nightingale redesigned many hospitals in the early 1900s to allow in more therapeutic sunlight. Dr. Oskar Bernhard used sun therapy during WWl to treat wounds and prevent tetanus and gangrene. Through the 1900s sun light therapy was used to treat diseases of the skin, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, respiration, ear, nose and throat.

Sun Therapy Lost Popularity After The Discovery Of Penicillin In The Late 1920s
Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in the late 1920s, which was followed by the discovery of antibiotics. These discoveries increased the prominence of drug therapy in replacing more natural cures such as sunlight therapy.

Discovery Of Sunburn Connection To Melanoma Fueled Current Misguided Fear Of The Sun
Middle class individuals experienced sunburns in the 1960s and 70s due to sporadic leisure sun exposure after spending most of their time indoors. Sunburned skin became linked to increased risk of skin cancer. Rather than recommend safer sun exposure practices, physicians advised avoiding the sun. The unregulated sunscreen industry responded with creations of toxic sun screen lotions, containing carcinogenic ingredients and blocking healthful UVB sun rays, which convert to vitamin D. With the subsequent fear of sun came widespread vitamin D deficiencies, associated with increased risks of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. (http://www.naturalnews.com). Supplementation with sun tan booths, vitamin D3 or fermented cod liver oil can alleviate vitamin D deficiency.

How To Sunbathe Safely
Healthy exposure to the sun can be achieved through large skin exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the optimal UVB rays can maximize vitamin D conversion. Dark skinned individuals will need longer exposure times in the sun, compared to those with lighter skin. Avoid sun burn by minimizing sun exposure once skin turns light pink. Use of protective hats and clothing, along with safe sun screen is recommended only if needed to prevent burns. See (http://www.ewg.org) for safe sunscreens.

Enjoy the summer sun without "protection" as often as possible. Use shade, hats, protective clothing and safe sunscreens to prevent burning, only after long exposures. The sun possesses enormous therapeutic health value and has long been used to cure diseases. Avoiding the sun can cause vitamin D deficiency, which is correlated with many illnesses. Explore sources below for more details.

Michelle Goldstein is a licensed clinical social worker working as a mental health therapist. She incorporates holistic approaches into her counseling practice. She is a mother who found a cure in the realm of alternative medicine for her 11 year old daughter diagnosed in 2008 with an "incurable disease". Her two year search involved tremendous research, experimentation, and consultation with over 12 different holistic practitioners. Ms. Goldstein is now passionate about alternative health care and the politics which impact it. She has finished her first draft of a comprehensive book on holistic health.  

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