For many years dermatologists and physicians in general have been warning everyone to avoid sun. Obviously sunburn is dangerous and painful. But the avoidance of sun and its natural health benefits is having disastrous effects on health, increasing as one matures. There are many benefits from sunlight, from regulating pineal/pituitary function, to improving mood, and most of all for enhancing production of Vitamin D. PABA and other sun-blockers are highly touted so that even if you are out in the sun, you do not tan well. Please do not misunderstand: you must avoid sunburn! However, for over a decade I have enjoyed up to 8 hours a day outside, without sun-blockers. Frankly, I do not like them – they burn your eyes, etc.

For well over two decades I have taken 200,000 units of beta carotene daily. Along with 5 grams of Vitamin C and 400 units of Vitamin E, severe nasal allergies, developed after 4 months of antibiotics for a pan sinusitis, have been totally controlled. Incidentally, beta carotene is extremely safe. Vitamin A is not! DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN A MAXIMUM OF 10,000 UNITS OF VITAMIN A DAILY. I take no Vitamin A but hefty dosages of beta carotene. This gives my skin a light tannish look all year and helps prevent sunburn from modest exposure.

For the past decade, I also have used oral PABA two to three grams BEFORE going out for longer exposures to sunlight. In early spring I start conditioning my skin slowly-say an hour maximum. If you did not start in early spring, start with a maximum of 15 minutes and increase slowly. By July, when I have slowly increased up to 3 or 4 hours, I can work outside safely with not even a hint of irritation or sunburn. No hat, no shirt most of the time, just natural tan. IF YOU ARE VERY FAIR, I recommend also taking Canthaxathin, 120 mg daily. This helps color the skin a bit more, and is useful to remain tanned looking in winter, without using tanning beds, which I DO NOT recommend!

Now, why all this elaborate preparation? BECA– USE Vitamin D deficiency is rampant!

Cholecalciferol (activated 7-dehydrocholesterol, vitamin D3), is formed in human skin by exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation). Note, another essential need for cholesterol!! Vitamin D is a prohormone with several active metabolites that act as hormones. It is essential for absorption of calcium and phosphorus, reabsorption of calcium in the kidney, enhancing bone formation, while stimulating immune function and having anti-cancer benefits! It’s shown that this essential nutrient fights cancers and diabetes, is the pivotal feedstock for a hormone that protects muscle, and inhibits autoimmune disorders from multiple sclerosis and lupus to inflammatory bowel disease. And osteoporosis is rampant in this country, being one of the leading causes of death in the elderly. You cannot make bone without calcium, magnesium, boron and Vitamin D. Healthy blood levels of D are 25 to 40 ng/mL (62.4 to 99.8 nmol/L) for 25(OH)D3 and 20 to 45 pg/mL (48 to 108 pmol/L) for 1,25(OH)2D3.

When individuals live near the equator, they make 10,000 to 20,000 units daily! Vitamin D deficiency reaches epidemic proportions among people over 50. Only about 5 percent of men and 1 to 3 percent of the women get their RDI for this nutrient from diet alone. Supplement use bumps up the share of older adults getting the RDI to about 35 percent of whites, 17 percent of Hispanics, and roughly 10 percent blacks. (Science News, Online, April 30, 2005). And the RDI is woefully low!

Obesity is also a major contributor to D deficiency. Since two-thirds of American are overweight and one-third are obese, this epidemic problem is a major contributor to Vitamin D deficiency. Although many foods are ”fortified with Vitamin D, total vitamin D levels in the blood are remarkably low. At least 2000 units of D daily are safe as supplements, BUT the best source is SUN FOR HEALTH. Do it wisely and enjoy. I am convinced that sunlight is also one of the world’s best mood elevators! And when you consider the other health benefits, sunlight is really essential for life!

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