If you think that always applying sunscreen is the healthiest choice, consider that you need vitamin D from the sun.
Sun used to be in. Now it’s out. Real tan used to be in. Now it has been replaced by spray tans. Sunscreen is in—almost to the point that everyone is scared to be without it. The fear comes, not from being burned, but from the possibility of developing skin cancer.
What does the sun do? Fundamentally, it provides all life on earth. It is the earth’s primary source of energy. It helps grow food, provides antiseptic properties, and along with the moon, controls the tides. Basically, it’s essential to all life.
The sun causes our bodies to produce vitamin D. This is not just any vitamin; it is also a hormone and is extremely important to bone health. It helps the body absorb calcium, control inflammation, and activate the immune system. Plus, it can assist in the prevention of numerous forms of cancer, especially breast, colorectal, ovary, and kidney. It is extremely important, but people can’t get it if they are covered in sunscreen every second. The ingredients from sunscreen, such as oxybenzone, nano-scale zinc oxide, avobenzone, and benzophenone, to name a few, are toxic and may contribute to cancer as well.
You can get small amounts of vitamin D from foods, such as fish and egg yolks, but it is almost impossible to get all of it from diet alone. You need the sun, so don’t be scared of it. Go get your vitamin D, but just do so responsibly.
Light is the basic component from which all life originates, evolves, and is energized. Light and health are inseparable.
– Ken Ceder, former codirector of Hippocrates Health Institute
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What does responsible sun exposure look like? Well, it does not involve baking in the sun for hours on end. What it does involve is direct sunlight 10–15 minutes a day with no sunscreen for fair skinned individuals and up to 60 minutes a day for darker skinned individuals. It does not involve tanning beds either. Since July 2010, tanning beds have been taxed an extra 10 percent due to their ability to cause an increase in melanoma.
You need to supplement with vitamin D3 (the active form) on days you are not exposed to the sun. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU. However, this is a recommendation that keeps you from getting rickets, not for helping you thrive. Remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so for better absorption, supplement it with a meal where fat is ingested. A sublingual (taken under the tongue) vitamin D is the best one to take because it immediately enters systemic circulation, versus an oral ingested vitamin D, which is absorbed in the digestive tract.
If you are going to be out in the sun for a long time and need some protection, invest in natural or “green” sunscreens. They protect you from the sun without adding toxins to your skin.
A quality, sublingual source of vitamin D is located at innatechoice.com.
A quick read about the power of vitamin D to treat conditions and why it is so necessary is Power of Vitamin D: A Vitamin D Book That Contains the Most Comprehensive and Useful Information on Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Level, by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD.