THE WYSONG e-HEALTH LETTER 1006
~Thoughts for Thinking People~
Sunlight, Vitamin D3, and Your Health
For this issue of the Wysong e-Healthletter, we are going to focus on one topic: sunlight, vitamin D3, and how they affect your health. With winter months fast approaching, it is important to understand how important sunlight is to your health, and what you can do during the darker and colder months.
The main concern with lack of sunlight during the winter months is vitamin D3 deficiency. Cholesterol molecules are converted to vitamin D3 when sunlight hits your skin. Virtually everyone in North America is deficient in vitamin D3, especially during the winter months, and particularly in those who are naturally dark skinned. Further, due to cancer scares, people are avoiding sunlight in the summer months as well, or using sun screens.
The following graphs (www.sunarc.org) show cancer mortality rates by state. As can be seen, mortality rates for cancer tend to be higher in states in the north. Southern states, which have the most sunlight year-round, have lower rates of cancer mortality. One can conclude that sunlight has a positive effect on preventing cancer, or at least mortality from cancer, rather than causing an increase in cancer mortality.
Cases of multiple sclerosis also correlate with sunlight exposure, with MS being more prevalent in the northern states.
Lack of sunlight directly correlates to vitamin D3 deficiency, and vitamin D3 deficiency is in turn linked to many illnesses. Here is just a short list of how vitamin D3 is used/needed in the body via vitamin D receptors in the gut, bone, brain, breast, prostate and lymphocytes:
Both autocrine and paracrine (in and out) cellular functions
Muscle strength and coordination
Neuronal calcium metabolism
Apoptosis (cell death) signaling neoplastic colon, breast and prostate cells to stop growing Inhibition of G1S cell cycle checkpoint and the increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27 in cancers
Reduction of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukins (IL-6), markers of inflammation such as in atherosclerosis (vascular diseases) and arthritic conditions
When natural sunlight is low or unavailable, eat foods that are high in vitamin D3, take vitamin D3 supplements, and use sunlight spectrum bulbs. The following references not only offer more information about the sunlight-vitamin D3- health link, but also offer ideas for reducing vitamin D3 deficiency.