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Now that Summer is here, we can enjoy outdoor Fun in the Sun.  

There is a lot of anti-sun information out there and how it can cause skin cancer, yet truthfully, there are benefits to proper sun exposure.
Sun MythsMany “medical experts”  warn that if we expose ourselves to sunlight, we will develope melanoma.  Further advise is to put on sunscreen for protection.
Constant exposure to the sun allows us to manufacture the essential Vitamin D, which not only prevents cancer, but is used by the body to remove any existing cancer.  Current research shows that the deadliest form of cancer, melanoma, rarely occurs on suntanned skin. However, it is almost exclusively found where the skin isn’t exposed to the sun. The belief that one develops melanoma cancer from the sun was just that, a “medical belief”, disproven by scientific fact.  Studies have shown that workers who spend the entire day in the sun, in comparison with the general population, are rarely plagued with the deadly melanoma. The non-malignant cancers found on these outdoor workers could be avoided through better nutrition.
Dangers of SunscreenThere are dangers with many of the chemicals used in sunscreen, as well as them not being that effective.  For instance Oxybenzone is readily absorbed through the skin and it is found in nearly all Americans.  It causes allergic skin reactions, and acts like a hormone disruptor, and can cause harm to children.  Adolescent boys with higher oxybenzone levels had much lower total testosterone levels.  Another chemical used, Octinoxate, or octyl methoxycinnamate,  has hormone effects on the metabolic system and affects thyroid production and possibly other endocrine targets, including androgen and progesterone signaling.[1]  For more information about the damaging chemicals in sunscreen, go here.

SAFE Sun Protection
It is generally accepted that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are safe and effective as a sun screen.  Yet, it is best to limit one’s use of sunscreen, and even better is to use an all natural approach.  

Over 50 years ago, Dr. John Christopher was teaching that the sun prevented cancer when used judiciously. He advised that one should start sun exposure at one minute per day and increase exposure gradually. Continuing until one could spend the entire day exposed to the sun gaining its many benefits without experiencing any ill effects. Likewise, Dr. Michael Holick, an awarded Professor of Dermatology at Boston University, was fired for asserting that “sensible sun exposure” was necessary for preventing numerous diseases including many cancers and even skin cancer.Vitamin D BenefitsAs most of us know, the sun is our greatest source of Vitamin D. Those who have a serious illness and those who stay indoors a lot, are said to likely have low levels of Vitamin D, which is not readily available in the food chain.  It is manufactured by the body using cholesterol, when stimulated by the UB rays of the sun. This conversion of cholesterol to vitamin D only happens between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  We should not test lower than 30 ng/ml and should optimally test between 50 and 70 ng/ml on the test for1,25(OH)D.

Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent because of sun phobia, avoiding its beneficial rays by covering up and slathering on sunblock.  Furthermore, taking statins which block the liver from making useable cholesterol also contributes to Vitamin D deficiency. One needs to use the sun sensibly and never burn.  According to the N.I.H. ½ hour exposure to noon time sun creates 50,000 IU of vitamin D within 24 hours (people with darker skin tone require more time in the sun)!

Benefits from the sun include:

  • Decreased depression via Beta-endorphins
  • Maintains proper levels of serotonin and melatonin for mood and sleep enhancement
  • Provides light levels of 100,000 lux as opposed to artificial light ranging from 150 to 600 lux thus preventing S.A.D. 
  • Protection from most cancers
  • Enhances calcium and phosphorus absorption
  • D.N.A. repair
  • Improves auto oxidation
  • Reduces risks of M.S., R.A., diabetes, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel and thyroiditis
  • Reduces need for C section surgery
  • 291 genes are positively affected with Vitamin D increases through sun exposure

We hope you find more time to spend outside in the sun.

We’re here to help YOU!
Amy Willis MH, CTN



1. The trouble with ingredients in sunscreens | EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens


About the Author

Amy Willis M.H., CTN

Master Herbalist, Board Certified Naturopath
Amy is the Owner and Founder of Herbs4You. She is a Master Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing, and Board Certified Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Association. Amy has 30 years experience with herbs and 15 years experience muscle testing.