Check out previous parts for important information.
What is it about Heliotherapy and Vitamin D?
It is fairly common knowledge that exposure to sunlight causes the body to produce vitamin D. While the mass media is telling us this, we are warning us to avoid sunlight, especially midday sun, as it has been implicated in skin cancer, skin damage and premature aging. These two messages seem to be contradictory.
The drug companies tell us about the harm of sunlight
and offer us the solution in supplementation. Follow the money. In effect they are saying that we have low vitamin D because we have a pharmaceutical deficiency.
How can something that is good for you be bad for you? Is that self contradictory or what? It is good for you, but you should avoid it because it is bad for you. True science does not speak out of both sides of its mouth.
In the Bible Timothy was instructed to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake and often infirmities.
That is medically a good thing for some illnesses. However, if Timothy took that advise to use a little wine as license to be a wino,
he would, in spite of the malady related good, do longterm injury to himself in that use of wine. So the Bible approves medicinal wine and condems drunkenness.
Caffeine is another good example. It is an antioxidant. But if you overindulge in it, it becomes a negative. It is not that you should go caffeine free. Do that, and you miss the antioxidant properties. But you should not over indulge in it. Have a cup of full natural coffee or tea
and know that you done something good for yourself. Do not be the victim of mass media propaganda. [Tell a lie; tell it long enough; and it becomes the truth.]
It appears to me that the current hysteria about sunlight is a misinterpretation of the abusive use of sunlight, too much sun. If you overindulge in the sun, you may develop things like skin cancer, skin damage, and premature aging. But that says nothing about the judicious use sun therapy, heliotherapy. [In logic we might call this the fallacy of converse accident, hasty generalization.]
If the truth be known, sensible, non-burning sun exposure, even at midday, with no sunscreen applied, is good for your health and not only because it is known to boost Vitamin D levels into optimal range. Researchers have established that there are many healthful benefits which the sun provides our skin and body. Some of these are not commonly known and appreciated by modern people. While Vitamin D is important for healing and maintaining skin health, sunlight exposure benefits go much deeper.
What is vitamin D good for? One way to answer this question is to look at the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. You might be surprised to find that 75% of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency.
We see a lot of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency nowadays. It is a quiet epidemic for one simple reason. — People do not get enough sunlight anymore. — Our bodies only produce vitamin D as a result of exposure to ultraviolet rays.
While our bodies are designed for spending most of our time outdoors, we in the modern world spend our days confined inside and away from direct sunlight. Compounding this problem of alienation from our natural environment, well meaning public health officials have declared war on the sun exposure for decades. They urge people to avoid their historic natural full spectrum light exposure.
Put on that sunscreen or else!
The fact is, moderate full spectrum direct sun exposure is good for you. Sunscreens block 100% of vitamin D production, which is related to ultra violet light waves.
Vitamin D deficiency may not have symptoms early on, but as it lingers on it can causes many health problems that are often misdiagnosed as just getting older. Pain, thinking problems, mood fluctuations, fragile bones and a weak immune system gives you a few common low vitamin D symptoms. The doctor may say you are just getting older and give some symptom reduction drug [and the side effects thereof] and never address the vitamin D deficiency.
Research studies have concluded that low vitamin D levels bring into your life an increased risk for serious health conditions often resulting in premature death. Growing scientific evidence points out that if you have any chronic problems that your doctor seemingly can not answer, increasing vitamin D levels may just provide the answer that you have been looking for. Get some sun.
Vitamin D deficiency may include things like aches/pains, heart problems, low energy, weight gain, vision loss, cognitive problems, weakened bones, mood fluctuations, and weakened immunity. All of these issues may be addressed or mitigated by heliotherapy, natural production of vitamin D.
My research has found only two ways to get vitamin D for optimal health, direct sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D, some say, has little to no toxicity, and that is doubly true of natural vitamin D that you produce for yourself with the sun. Plants make from sunlight chlorophyll; you make vitamin D.
How much sun do you need for vitamin D production? There are some very complicated charts for timing different skin types, but The Vitamin D Council gives a general rule of thumb. The best recommendation is to bathe in the light of day the amount of time it takes to be halfway toward your skin turning pink. Notice you are not turning pink. It is halfway to the pink. The standard is exposing one quarter of your skin to the full sunlight, no sunscreen.
Any area that has the sunlight should be allowed this general timing for a full treatment in that area. If you are exposing your arms, leg, face and neck, you are not that far from a quarter of your skin. The more skin you expose the less time is needed to receive the general full heliotherapy session for vitamin D. And the less skin the longer a session should be, but remember do not go into pink.
Take a walk in the sun.
Go a little longer every day. You will find your limits and be getting healthful exercise too.
There are factors that affect the amount of vitamin D your body makes from sunlight. These include:
*1) How much skin you expose. With more skin you exposed, you can produce more vitamin D.
*2) How old you are? With age, your skin has a harder time producing vitamin D.
*3) What altitude are you at? The mountain sun is more powerful than beach sunlight. With more altitude, you make more vitamin D.
*4) Is it cloudy? The clouds block some of the UVB. So as a result your skin makes less vitamin D.
*5) Is there air pollution? Polluted air tends to absorb UVB or reflects it back into space. Therefore, there is less vitamin D production.
*6) Are there glass between you and the sun? Glass tends to block UVB.