The Sun is not only our most powerful source of light, but also essential for growth and optimum health. Ancient sun worshiper civilizations going back to Babylonian times, knew the sun was just as nourishing to the human body and soul, as it was to plant and animal life. It is a life-giving force that plays a powerful role, much like the Egyptian sun-god known as RA did during ancient times. So then why are we told to avoid the sun, stay covered, and always slather ourselves with plenty of SPF sunblock?
Unfortunately, we have been programmed for years to fear that sun exposure leads to skin cancer and/or malignant melanoma. This fear has been promulgated by skin care companies, doctors who read the skin care company literature, decades old misconceptions about the sun, and by the FDA itself. (Excuse me, but do we really trust these guys any more?) Not one bona-fide study, to-date, has clearly shown the correlation between the sun and getting skin cancer. This fear of the sun is based merely on assumptions. Once again, we have fallen for another big lie. One only has to ask oneself–who profits from this lie? I did some research on the subject and what I found was enlightening.
WARNING: What you read may change your belief system.
FACT 1: THE SUN PROVIDES NECESSARY VITAMIN D TO PREVENT CANCER. Direct sun exposure is the best way to get Vitamin D, which almost everyone these days is deficient in. Vitamin D affects our DNA and is critical for good heath and disease prevention. Exposure to sunlight, which produces vitamin D in direct response to UVB radiation, is actually protective against melanoma. That’s right. Research published in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that the sun is likely nothing more than a scapegoat in the development of melanoma. “Researchers believe the rising rates of melanoma are due to an increase in diagnoses of non-cancerous lesions classified, misleadingly as ‘stage 1 melanoma’.” Most melanomas don’t even appear on the face, but often on skin areas not even exposed to the sun. Those and other researchers estimate that the absolute risk of developing skin cancer from sun exposure is less than one percent! Of course, the corporation-friendly FDA and the skin care companies ignore these findings while failing to mention the benefits of sun exposure.
They use fear words like “dangerous UV radiation rays.” Let’s clear things up. Ultraviolet light from the sun comes in two types–UVA and UVB. UVA is the bad form because it penetrates your skin more deeply causing sunburn and free radical damage (you bake, you burn). UVB is the good form that actually causes your skin to convert cholesterol into Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to influence about 3,000 human genes, which in turn influences disease. Actually, Vitamin D isn’t a vitamin at all. It’s a very potent neuroregulatory steroidal hormone. Deficiency of Vitamin D has now grown to an epidemic in this country, and this is a primary factor causing abnormal cell growth. Lack of Vitamin D producing sunshine has been known to lead to breast cancer, prostate and colon cancers, hypertension, obesity, heart disease, insomnia, aging, diabetes, arthritis, depression, migraines, skin problems, and the list goes on.
My mother, who rarely ever went outside to get sunlight, despite any attempts on my part to encourage her to do so, got breast cancer and later died of colon cancer. She was a health and organic food fanatic most of her life, as I’ve mentioned before in prior posts. But she failed to take in the benefits of the sun in her quest for health. As a psychologist, I knew that lack of sunlight in the winter months can lead to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) where mood can become destabilized, so it stands to reason that sunlight might help with other conditions besides depression. (By the way, trying to get your daily dose of Vitamin D-producing sunshine through the glass window of your office or home, instead of from being outside, will not provide the same healing effects. I’m sure my mother thought this was enough. It wasn’t.)
I once worked in an altered state experimental lab in Northern California that called for me to spend most of the day in a dimly lit windowless environment. Within a week’s time of working like an underground mole, I became cranky, had trouble sleeping, starting experiencing mild depression, and my skin got oily. I knew immediately that I wasn’t getting enough natural sunlight. So a few times each day I would go outside, lift my face to the sun, and soak it in for about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Almost immediately my symptoms disappeared. All people who suffer from depression should take note–sunshine increases levels of natural antidepressants in the brain, such as serotonin. It’s better than a pill, and safer, too.
FACT 2: SUNSCREENS CONTAIN HARMFUL SUBSTANCES LEADING TO CANCER. Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit, released a report showing that nearly half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. This is because they contain Vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate. These ingredients are known to block Vitamin D production that prevents cancer. Sunscreens are also notorious for using toxic chemicals and the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream quickly to do hormonal damage. Oddly enough, the FDA does not regulate skin creams, even though absorption through the surface of the skin is one of the fastest routes into the body. The FDA has known about the dangers of Vitamin A in sunscreen for years, and still does nothing.
I stopped using sunscreen years ago and regularly go out in the California sun several days a week, either bicycling or getting some other form of exercise. I don’t sunburn, despite my hours in the sun. My skin is softer and less wrinkled than most women my age, to the amazement of my friends. Even supermodel, Giselle Bundchen, says she would never ruin her skin or the health of her body by using toxic sunscreens.
THE SUN IS NOT YOUR ENEMY, BUT DO RESPECT IT. While the sun DOES have health giving benefits––baking in the sun is never good. Wear a hat or protective clothing if you’re light-skinned or prone to sunburn. Use an organic non-toxic sunscreen on sensitive spots, like one’s nose, if you absolutely have to. But, do not avoid the sun altogether. Try to get yourself exposed to the sun, without wearing any sunblock, even for just a few minutes. The best times to be out and to welcome the sun’s rays are during the first few hours of the morning between 6 am to 8 am and during the late afternoon before the sun sets. Try it. You will definitely feel better.
If you live in an area that gets little sunlight and need another option, then try eating more foods rich in vitamin D such as fish, dairy, and eggs. Take a Vitamin D supplement. Most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of Vitamin D daily in order to get their blood serum levels in an optimum range. Those already experiencing heart disease and/or cancer require more. If you’re not sure, get a blood level test to see where you range: <50 ng/ml is deficient; 50-70 ng/ml is optimal; 70-100 ng/ml is for cancer treatment; >100 ng/ml is excess.
Every morning I do a sun salutation as I welcome the sun’s rays into my day. I remember how grateful I am for all it gives me and others on this planet. It would be a lonely, dark, and depressing place without it.
Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor of the Trinfinity8 technology, and author of the book, Fractals of God. amazon.com/author/kathyforti