The Sunshine Protocol

In recent times the importance of sun exposure has been rediscovered. Report after report and study after study continues to find new ways in which the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, affects the biological functions of the body.

Vitamin D is not really a vitamin at all. It is actually a steroid hormone which is involved in a myriad of actions in the body. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a multitude of diseases including many cancers. The Sunshine Protocol will also improve your mood and promotes weight loss.

Dr. Al Sears, author of Your Best Health Under The Sun , comments as follows:

Did you ever wonder why the sun is now so dangerous? Didn’t we always have sun exposure?

The sunscreen industry tells you to avoid sunlight because it causes skin cancer. Today, I’m going to tell you about the benefits of sunlight. Not only is a little sunlight very good for you, it can dramatically reduce your risk of 17 types of cancer.

Two new studies revealed that sunlight can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 50%. Its effect on incidence of colorectal cancer is even more dramatic, lowering the risk by 65%.

How does this happen?

First, sunlight builds vitamin D in your blood. When sunlight hit your skin, your body converts precursor molecule into vitamin D. You can think of vitamin D as the “sunshine” vitamin.

Researchers at the University of San Diego, point to the correlation between sunlight and vitamin D for its remarkable anti-cancer effects. One of the study’s co-authors noted that the cancer reduction rates from vitamin D produced by sunlight vastly outperformed even the most popular cancer drugs, such as Herceptin.

And vitamin D combats a host of ailments. One of its major functions is to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Too little vitamin D can lead to thin, brittle bones and even osteoporosis. By preventing bone loss, vitamin D provides the following benefits:

• Reduced risk of breaking a bone in any part of the body by 33%.

• Reduced risk of a breaking a hip by 69%.

• Reduced risk of having constant bone pain – a condition called osteomalacia.

Studies have shown that a proper level of vitamin D strengthens muscles and may prevent falling accidents, which can lead to broken bones. Given its beneficial effect on bone and muscle strength, it should also come as no surprise that vitamin D reduces incidence of rheumatoid arthritis by as much as 34%.

What’s more, this vitamin’s strengthening power extends to your heart, the most important muscle in your body. Low levels of vitamin D actually increase the risk of heart failure.

Your body’s insulin levels depend on vitamin D too. Low levels of vitamin D may result in both insulin resistance and reduced pancreatic function.

Finally, vitamin D has been shown to elevate mood and combat depression. The phenomenon known as Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) has been conclusively linked to lower levels of vitamin D resulting from reduced sunlight exposure.

In a recent experiment, patients suffering from SAD were split into two groups. One was given vitamin D supplements, the other exposed to full spectrum light. The group taking vitamin D experienced greater improvement than the group given light therapy.

As you can see, vitamin D really is the “sunshine” vitamin. It benefits nearly every major system in your body.

So how much vitamin D should you be getting? And where should you get it from?

The San Diego study found that the reduced risk of breast cancer could be achieved through as little as 20 minutes of sunlight a day.

Natural sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, sardines, eggs, beef and cheese.

Of course, you can also get vitamin D from supplements. Cod liver oil is by far the best source. Take up to one tablespoon a day.

The Sunshine Protocol:

In order to ensure optimum levels of Vitamin D follow either of these procedures:

1. Regularly take in midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible (avoiding sunburn).

2. Regularly use a UVB tanning bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.

3. Take 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for three months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels remain between 35-55 ng/mL (or 87–137 nM/L) year-round.

4. If you cannot get a vitamin D test done, a perfectly safe daily dose is 1,000 - 2,000 IU.

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