Vitamin D

Rise and Shine: More Sunlight is Good for Your Health

Friday, March 14, 2008 by: Tom Mosakowski
Tags: natural sunlight, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) A study by researchers at the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo, Norway has given further credence to the claim that the benefits of modest sun exposure outweigh the risk of skin cancer for most people. Johan Moan, the researcher who led the study said, "Modest sun exposure gives enormous vitamin D benefits."

He estimated that doubling the amount of sun exposure for residents of Norway would double the number of deaths due to skin cancer to 300. However, the great benefit to this would be a decrease of 3,000 people who die from other cancers [1].

The human skin synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the ultraviolet type B (UVB) radiation in sunlight. Solar radiation is the main source of vitamin D for most people. Modest sun exposure causes a significant amount of vitamin D to accumulate in the body and protect from some internal cancers and other illnesses such as diabetes and rickets. Vitamin D promotes bone mineralization and calcium absorption thus protecting against osteomalacia and osteoporosis. The vitamin also helps the body's immune system function properly [2]. When deficient, the human body is at great risk of acquiring these conditions and deficiency is linked to heart attacks and mental depression. Most people could experience the benefits by increasing their sun exposure, but not too much as to cause any burning.

Vitamin D deficiency has been measured to be as high as 21 to 58 percent in adolescents and adults in the United States [3].

Several factors reduce individuals' exposure to sunlight and UVB light rays: the amount of time spent in the sun is the most obvious. Also, more polar latitudes, the time of day such as dusk compared to noon, high cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen use lower the amount of UVB radiation that reaches people.

Geographic latitude plays a significant role. Generally, the farther an individual is from the equator, the more difficult it is to synthesize enough vitamin D. For example, in Boston, MA, from November through February, the average amount of sunlight is inadequate for an individual to synthesize enough vitamin D [4]. Additionally, the researchers at the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo determined that, given the same amount of sunlight, inhabitants of Australia just below the equator produced 3.4 more times the vitamin D than people in Britain and 4.8 times that of Scandinavians [1].

It's essential to learn the optimal amount of sun exposure that is healthy for you without causing sunburn. Moan recommended that a person's daily sun exposure should be about half the time that it would take to burn. Lighter skinned people are more sensitive to sunburn and skin damage, but they are more proficient at creating vitamin D with less sun exposure than a darker skinned person (Please see [5] below for a related, generally accepted theory for skin color variance). Light skinned peoples in Southern United States can synthesize enough vitamin D by exposing their face and arms to the sun without sunscreen for about 15 minutes a few times a week. Dark skinned people need about 5 to 10 times more exposure [2].

A consensus has not been made for how much vitamin D is a healthy level for most people, but it's generally agreed that for people up to the age of 50, 200 IUs (international unit) is the Adequate Intake (AI). For 51 to 70 year olds, 400 IUs is the AI and for individuals over 70, 600 IUs is recommended. The ability to synthesize vitamin D decreases with age. However, recent studies have shown amounts of vitamin D of 2,000 IUs and higher to be more effective and still safe [6]. If a person works outside under the summer sun for hours in a tank-top and shorts, his skin will have made thousands of IUs. Of course, a baseline tan to prevent burning would be a good idea. Normal body levels of vitamin D can't reach the level that a large vitamin D pill would produce. The body self-regulates; reducing vitamin D synthesis when levels are getting high from sun exposure.

Is there a difference between taking say, 1,000 IUs in pill form and synthesizing it via UVB radiation? Is putting a 1,000 IU pill in your body versus forming it all over your skin comparable to drinking 8 glass of water at once versus spreading it throughout the day? This, I am unsure of.

Within UVB light are a range of wavelengths. Some are more optimal for vitamin D synthesis than others. A person at sea level will receive these wavelengths when the sun is 45 degrees above the horizon or the UV index for the day is above 3. When the sun is at or above this elevation in the sky, sufficient amounts of vitamin D can be made by the skin in about 15 minutes a few times a week. The area of the planet within the tropics provides this solar elevation daily, but it occurs daily only in the spring and summer seasons of temperate regions, and nearly never in the arctic circles [7]. Seasonal supplementation seems to be appropriate.

Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 prevents more than 95% of vitamin D production [11]. So when you lather up with this sunscreen, it will take 20 times longer than usual to make enough vitamin D. This effect was observed during a campaign in Australia to increase sunscreen use to prevent skin cancer. The result was an increase in Australians with vitamin D deficiency [8].

If the minimum level of sun exposure can not be obtained, people should look to their diet for vitamin D. Since few foods contain enough vitamin D, some foods are fortified with vitamin D and supplements can be taken to attain an adequate level.

To complicate matters further, there are 5 forms of vitamin D. The two major forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Both forms are present in human nutritional supplements. When our skin comes into contact with UVB radiation, it synthesizes only vitamin D3. Both of these forms are prohormones, precursors to the vitamin D hormone that goes on to perform all of the beneficial processes that have been mentioned. However, the vitamin D3 form is about 3 times more effective at creating the vitamin D hormone and its duration of action is longer that the D2 form. Supplementing with vitamin D3 would be the wiser choice [9].

UVA and UVB radiation exposure is a double edged sword. Excessive exposure will cause damage to the skin and more importantly, to the DNA inside the cells. With more DNA damage comes a greater chance of developing skin cancer. However, only a small percentage of skin cancers are the type that will metastasize (to spread throughout the body from the origin of formation). The wavelengths of UVA light are longer and penetrate farther into the skin. UVA radiation is a more potent cause of skin cancer than the shorter UVB light.

Skin cancers are among the fastest growing types of cancer in the United States and make up about 1 out of 3 new cancers.

With the rise in popularity of sun bathing, something must be said about tanning beds. Although the time spent in a tanning bed is typically much less than say, an afternoon at the beach, the radiation levels are more intense than from sunlight and the UVA to UVB radiation ratio is much higher than from the sun. The amount of UVA radiation in the light of tanning beds is typically between 3 to 8 times greater than in sunlight [10]. Recall that UVA radiation, and UVB less so, put individuals at risk for DNA damage and skin cancer, but only exposure to UVB radiation will produce vitamin D, which protects against many illnesses. Therefore, it is this author's humble opinion that, while tanning beds may be more convenient, it is safer to get your healthy glow from the sun and good nutrition.


[1]"Addressing the health benefits and risks, involving vitamin D or skin cancer, of increased sun exposure"(


[3]"Vitamin D Deficiency-The Once and Present Epidemic" (


[5]"Skin Color Adaptation" (



[8]Nowson C, Margerison C (2002). "Vitamin D intake and vitamin D status of Australians". Med J Aust 177 (3): 149-52. PMID 12149085.

[9]"Vitamin D2 Is Much Less Effective than Vitamin D3 in Humans" (

[10]Woollons, A., Clingen, P.H., Price, M.L., Arlett, C.F., Green, M.H.L. (1997). Induction of mutagenic DNA damage in human fibroblasts after exposure to artificial tanning lamps. British Journal of Dermatology 1997; 137: 687-692.


About the author

Tom Mosakowski, B.S. Biochemistry.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.