There are well over 800 references in the medical literature showing vitamin D's effectiveness--both for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Blocking the sun's rays from reaching our skin dramatically influences our optimal vitamin D levels, leading to higher mortality, critical illness and mental health disorders. Ironically, sunscreen itself causes cancer.
There is unfortunately a large emphasis in current vitamin D research that overstates the benefits of vitamin D supplementation on the conclusions of studies conducted on UV exposure from the sun. Such disparities in reporting have obviously increased the supplement market for this valuable nutrient, however vitamin D from sunlight exposure and supplementation may not be interchangeable in terms of effectiveness.
Exposure to ultraviolet B radiation in sunlight provides the mechanism for more than 90% of the vitamin D production in most individuals. The widespread use of sunscreens, particularly those with high sun protection factors (SPF), may lead to a significant decrease in solar-induced previtamin D3 in the skin, resulting in a vitamin D level which is insufficient for protection against a wide range of diseases.
Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light has been repeatedly shown to NOT be the cause of skin cancer. Scientists from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported UVA exposure is unlikely to have contributed to the rise in the incidence of melanoma over the past 30 years.
The idea that sunscreen prevents cancer is also a myth promoted by pharmaceutical companies, conventional medicine and the mainstream media for one purpose...profit. The sunscreen industry makes money by selling lotion products that actually contain cancer-causing chemicals. It then donates a portion of that money to the cancer industry through non-profit groups like Cancer Societies which, in turn, run heart-breaking public service ads urging people to use sunscreen to "prevent cancer."
Sunshine exposure increases the serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) and circulating 1,25-(OH)2D. We have extreme Vitamin D deficiencies in many races in North America and when the natural supply of vitamin D is limited by sunlight deprivation, a sustained increase in the plasma concentration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D will lead to accelerated depletion of vitamin D stores.
Sunlight provides ample Vitamin D to such an extent that dietary vitamin D is not even necessary if sun exposure is adequate. You can receive far more than even 5000IU of vitamin D by adequate sun exposure daily. While a high quality vitamin D supplement is beneficial, it does not replace the vitamin D we receive from sunlight which is the main source of vitamin D in human beings.
Numerous studies have linked vitamin D levels to a reduction in the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer, but much debate has focused on the means to boost vitamin D levels -- supplements or sunlight.
Spending an average of three hours a day exposed to sunlight can slash the risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent.
Sunlight DOES NOT Cause Skin Cancer
The Sun does not cause cancer. Researchers have concluded that UVA exposure has not contributed to the rise in the incidence of melanoma over the past 30 years. UVA makes up 90 percent of the ultraviolet light spectrum of sunlight.
"Our data refute the only direct evidence that UVA causes melanoma, which is not to say that UVA is harmless," said the study's lead author David Mitchell, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Carcinogenesis located at its Science Park -- Research Division in Smithville, Texas. "UVA is just not as dangerous as we thought because it doesn't cause melanoma."
No scientific literature has ever proven that sunlight causes cancer in human beings. Most studies that have attempted to find a cause have only found correlations and many scientists have established the the toxicity level of the human body which reacts with the UV spectrum is what causes cancer, not the sunlight itself.
Both UVA and UVB can cause tanning and burning, although UVB does so far more rapidly. UVA, however, penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB.
UVB appears to be protective against melanoma -- or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective.
As written in The Lancet:
"Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect."
So if UVA and UVB do not cause melanoma, why use sunscreen?
Skin cancer rates are increasing and the so-called experts are STILL blaming the sun for a problem manufactured right here on earth.
If the sun was REALLY causing skin cancer, and if sunscreen prevented it, we’d be cancer-free by now. We’re already spending less time outside than ever, and wasting billions of dollars a year on needless, dangerous creams and lotions.
Comprehensive scientific reviews indicate that 83% of 785 sunscreen products contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. Only 17% of the products on the market block both UVA and UVB radiation which is the intended purpose by manufacturers of sunscreen, so what's the point? The assessment by the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database was based on a review of nearly 400 scientific studies, industry models of sunscreen efficacy, and toxicity and regulatory information housed in nearly 60 government, academic, and industry databases.
At least 50% of products on the market bear claims that are considered "unacceptable" or misleading under sunscreen safety standards. An analysis of marketing claims on hundreds of sunscreen bottles shows that false and misleading marketing claims are common. They give consumers a false sense of security (based on myths) with claims like "all day protection," "mild as water," and "blocks all harmful rays" which are completely untrue, yet are found on bottles. Consumers might assume that, because researchers have implicated ultraviolet light in skin cancer development, sunscreen automatically thwarts skin cancer. They play on this consumer bandwagon of fear and hope on an issue shouldn't even be an issue...blocking the sun!
Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives retinol and retinyl palmitate which accelerate tumor growth.
Scientists have reported that particle size affects the toxicity of zinc oxide, a material widely used in sunscreens. Particles smaller than 100 nanometers are slightly more toxic to colon cells than conventional zinc oxide. Solid zinc oxide was more toxic than equivalent amounts of soluble zinc, and direct particle to cell contact was required to cause cell death. Their study is in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.
Another common and toxic ingredient in sunscreens is titanium dioxide. New research published in ACS' journal, Environmental Science & Technology found that Children may be receiving the highest exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. The geometry of titanium dioxide (TiO2) based nanofilaments appears to play a crucial role in cytotoxicity having a strong dose-dependent effect on cell proliferation and cell death.
Make Your Own Suncreen
Most of the commercialized versions are filled with toxic additives and preservatives. Even children's sunscreens contain many dangerous chemicals. Here is an excellent recipe for a non-toxic sunscreen that contains natural ingredients and will keep your skin healthy and glowing while protecting you from the sun just long enough so you won't burn with moderate sun exposure.
New York Times Best selling author, Sophie Uliano of Gorgeously Green and her new book DO IT GORGEOUSLY, shows you how to make your own non toxic sunscreen in less than 4 minutes.
NOTE: Please omit zinc oxide from the recipe to make a truly natural and toxic free version of this sunscreen, especially during preparation. Zinc oxide can affect the lungs and reproductive system if inhaled. Replace the zinc oxide with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil which helps increase the sun protection factor (SPF).
Recipe: (SPF 6-8)
2 tablespoon Virgin Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Shea Butter
1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel
Keep in mind that this recipe will not allow you to stay in the sun for hours without burning, even if you have darker skin. If you have pale skin and are prone to burning in very short periods, this recipe will only modestly protect you when UV rays are at their highest strength. Intermittent periods spent in the shade are highly recommended to balance the UV dose you receive.
For those that tan well, this lotion will give you an excellent color and glow if used daily while spending a minimum of 30 minutes in the sun.
Although it not waterproof, it is water resistant if applied thoroughly and spread evenly. In direct sunlight, you must reapply a thin layer of the lotion every half hour for optimal results.
Spread the word: Please promote the use of non-toxic sunscreens.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.