Sunlight

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Need:
Without the sun, our planet would not survive. We all would be wiped clean from at least this world. For thousands of years, our ancestors have endured and adapted to the sun. I believe that instinctively they knew the healing powers of the sun and the health benefits it gave them. I also believe they were smart enough to protect themselves from the sun when they were overexposed.

Adequate amounts of sunlight can have a dramatic effect on our health. More and more research is going into finding the health benefits of sunlight. Sunlight can improve your mood; about 25 million americans a year suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues.” This is a direct correlation to the reduction of exposed sunlight during the winter months. The sun also is our best source of vitamin D, and science is finding that optimal levels of vitamin D are key to disease prevention. There is also plenty of research that sunlight can improve sleep, provide a happier outlook, and protect from autoimmune disease and lessen Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Problem:
Here’s the problem: we created planes, trains and automobiles. Most of us in America do not live in the same environmental regions that our ancestors did. Five thousands years ago, if you were white as a ghost and lived by the equator, most likely something was wrong with you. Why does this all matter? The color of your skin is a big variable to how much sunlight you need. A northern Scandinavian descendant that has blue eyes, blonde hair and light skin does not need as much sunlight as an black hair, brown eyed, dark skin African American. We need to figure out how much sun you need to have for optimal health.

Here’s another problem: our media and medical professionals have scared the hell out of you telling you that the sun causes cancer. Now you are afraid to of the sun and you load up on sun screen, which is more likely to contribute to cancer, and or, even worse, you avoid the sun like the plague.

Solution:
The key word from the paragraphs above is optimal. I want to help you find your optimal levels of vitamin D using sunlight, food and supplements. I am going to help guide you so that you can find out what your ideal sun exposure is and what to do if you can’t get enough sunlight.

We can get vitamin D most importantly from the sun but also from food, supplementation and, least recommended, from fortified foods. I know most people are told to avoid the sun like the plague, but that might not be the right approach.  For you pale-skin light-eyed people, you might only need ten minutes of direct sun per day. That means no sunscreen during that time. For you of darker complexion and darker eyes, you may need as much 60 minutes plus of direct sun for all of its health benefits. The best time to get the sun is between 10am-2pm and with as much skin showing, or as much as you feel comfortable with. I do suggest wearing a hat so that you can remove your sunglasses and the hat will help with squinting to prevent wrinkles. Sunscreen or more clothing can be used once you get your dose of sunlight.

Studies suggest that 85% of Americans are deficient. Eating mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, catfish, tuna, cod liver oil and eggs will help supply vitamin D. Even with the perfect diet, I rarely see clients that have optimal Vitamin D levels; therefore, I usually recommend a Vitamin D3 supplement.  During the summer months, I suggest between 1000IU to 4000IU per day and from Nov-April 3000IU to 6000IU per day of Vitamin D taken with food. (Click here to order)

In recent years, vitamin D has been talked about in great depth for all of its health benefits, although its benefits have been studied since the early 1900s. It is essential for the body and, with optimal levels, can reduce the risk of many disease and health issues.

Vitamin D3 is an oil soluble steroid hormone that forms when your skin is exposed to UVB radiation from the sun. When UVB strikes the surface of your skin, your skin converts a cholesterol derivative into vitamin D3. It takes up to 48 hours for this vitamin D3 to be absorbed into your bloodstream to elevate your vitamin D levels.

The only way to know how much you need is to ask your doctor to test your vitamin D levels (25 Hydroxy D). Most Functional Doctors use the range of: < 50 ng/ml is deficient, 50-70 ng/ml Optimal 70-100 ng/ml to treat disease and over 100 ng/ml excess. I do recommend getting tested in the summer and in the middle of the winter to see what your levels are and then dose accordingly.

 

Vitamin D is used for preventing and treating rickets, but also used for condition like Osteoporosis, Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity, Muscle Weakness, MS, RA, COPD, Asthma, Flu, PMS and disease prevention.