Claudio Voarino - Clinical Nutrition and Herbalism Consultant  -  Dip. (C.N.C) Dip. (Cl. H.) Dip. (Med. H.) Dip. (H. Sc.) Cert. (F.H.)

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Back To Nature For A Healthier And Longer Life
Chapter I
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Chapter III
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Chapter VI
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By Claudio Voarino
The Sun, Vitamin D, and Sunscreens
A Widespread Misconception
There is no doubt that the fields of nutrition and health are riddled with many myths and misconceptions   -   some of them being the result of ignorance, while others are deliberately spread by those who have vested interests in keeping people in the dark like mushrooms and feeding them cow manure. One of the most foolish and nonsensical of these myths says that the sun is dangerous. It doesn’t say ‘the sun can be dangerous’, but simply, ‘the sun is dangerous.’ It may have escaped the attention of those who take this hogwash seriously but, in fact, our sun is the source of all life on the planet Earth, as well as the very existence of all the planets and satellites in the Solar System, and we should never forget it! Of course, an excessive amount of sunlight, in temperatures higher than about 25 degrees Celsius, can be dangerous. Likewise, fresh pure water is vital to the existence of all living things but, if we hold our heads under water for a prolonged period of time, we will drown. Does this mean we should not use water? Most people are aware that direct observation of the sun through any magnifying optical instrument can lead to partial or total blindness! Again, does this mean that the sun is our enemy?   Far  from it. It does not take a genius to understand that if  the sun’s rays were much weaker than they are, life on Earth would not be possible. In this world, everything that is abused becomes dangerous; in other words, we can have ‘too much of a good thing’. In view of the fact that our sun is ‘life itself’, the primitive tribesmen and women who worshipped it showed much more wisdom and common sense than the great majority of people show in our so-called highly civilized society today! In any case, at least they worshipped something they could see, and feel its effects. Intelligent and rational people, and/or all those who care about their health, do not avoid the sun, but they take full advantage of its great (and free) therapeutic properties. The Sun is our friend, not our enemy! However, we should always be aware that even our best friends can turn nasty if we mistreat them.

The Sun’s Vital Role In Our Health

Because of ignorance and totally wrong preconceived ideas, the sun’s vital role in making it possible for our body to  produce vitamin D   -   as well as preventing and curing many illnesses   -    is often ignored or belittled. This is because there are powerful social groups at work which, in order to keep making their billions, want us to take near useless, and often harmful, artificially manufactured vitamin D. The sunscreen industry, for example, does it best to cover the ineffectiveness and dangers of all sunscreen creams and lotions. (More will be said below about these dangers.) Apart from vitamin D, our bodies create valuable nutrients with the help of sunlight, which is also a great assistant in detoxification and weight loss, since it opens our pores and allows toxins to exit through the skin. Not many people seem to know this, but sunlight (when used rationally) acts as a powerful medicine to help us preventing or curing many diseases.  For example, sunlight protects us against infection by destroying bacteria, fungi and viruses. Until antibiotics were discovered in the 1940s, sunlight was widely used to treat infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis. Sunlight and ultraviolet light were also used to treat open wounds and burns. And today, some hospitals use ultraviolet light to disinfect operating theatres. Sunlight has also been known to be a jaundice cure. Babies with jaundice usually recover when they are taken outdoors. In fact, many bone problems are due to sunlight deficiency. It was known as long ago as 1822 that rickets (a disease which causes the bones to soften and deform) could be treated with fresh air and sunlight. Fortunately for our health, today there seem to be some renewed medical interest in the use of sunlight because of the harmful side-effects of antibiotics, and because new strains of bacteria cannot be killed by antibiotics. Also, more people are suffering from diseases, like AIDS and candida. These diseases are caused by viruses and fungi, which are even harder to destroy. Yet enough sunlight will wipe out most of them. In a nutshell, our sun can prevent or even cure bone, cellular, organ, autoimmune, and mood-related illnesses! These days many health, nutrition, and medical science researchers agree that sunlight exposure is truly one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world, far surpassing the best efforts of today’s so-called ‘advanced medicine’. The unsung truth is that there is no drug, no surgical procedure, and no high-tech procedure that comes even close to the astonishing healing power of natural sunlight!

Ultraviolet  Radiation From The Sun

Our sun is a major source of ultraviolet rays. Although the sun emits all the different kinds of electromagnetic radiation, 99% of its rays are in the form of visible light, ultraviolet rays, and infrared rays. Ultraviolet rays can be subdivided into three different wavelengths bands: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. Briefly put,  UV-A is a radiation with energies between 320   and 400 nanometers that reaches the Earth. UV-A   may cause wrinkles, and melanoma cancer. UV-B is a   type of ultraviolet radiation with energies between 290 and 319 nanometers that reaches the Earth. This radiation is vital to life on Earth, as it is involved in the manufacturing of vitamin   D. UV-B reddens the skin, and can increase the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. However, this only likely to happen to people who spend too long a time in the sun, and/or their daily diet is lacking in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants, and they eat mainly cooked and/or processed foods, rich in animal protein and saturated fats.   UV-C    radiation covers   wavelengths from 200 and 289 nanometers. This kind of radiation is totally absorbed by the atmosphere.   As far as their effects on biological matter are concerned, UV-C is the most energetic and   most harmful, while UV-A is the least energetic and least harmful. Luckily for all life on Earth, UV-C rays don’t reach the earth’s surface because of the ‘ozone layer’. Therefore, UV-C   rays from the sun don’t normally come into contact with life on Earth. Because ozone gas high in the atmosphere is vital in filtering out much of the sun’s UV, ozone depletion is a serious environmental matter. Of course, the closer to the   Equator, the more ultraviolet rays one is exposed to. This can be explained by the fact that the sun is usually higher in the sky at lower latitudes. In addition, the ozone layer is thinner at the equator than it is over, for example the northern parts of the United States or Europe, and this also contributes to more UV. Here in South Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts give the index value for noon (1 pm during Daylight Saving) when the sun’s radiation is most intense. During the hours between 10 am to 2 pm (11 am to 3 pm during   Daylight Saving) the intensity remains close to the day’s peak value The forecast   service includes the ‘clear-sky’ value of UV and also gives an indication of the degree to which cloud is expected to block    the radiation. For those who are interested, ‘the UV Index’ is a convenient and accurate enough way of describing the daily intensity of solar UV radiation. The size of the Index is proportional to the expected amount of solar radiation in that part of the spectrum which causes sunburn. Each point in the Index scale is equivalent to 25 milli Watts/square metre. For example an Index   of 10 indicates that each square metre of horizontal surface in the sun at noon would receive   250 milli Watts of solar UV radiation. In mid summer, in the far North of   Australia, the maximum Index value which can be expected is around 16.   An UV Index of below 3 is ‘moderate’, while an Index of 10 & above is ‘extreme’.
Of course, when it comes to using sunlight therapeutically, we need to take some precautions. In order to substantially reduce our risks of getting skin damage, a prudent measure would be not to overdue our skin exposure to the sun, especially in summer temperatures. Going by the evidence on commercial sunscreens that I have uncovered, another precautionary measure is to stop relying on the use of sunscreens to protect ourselves against skin cancer. Instead, we should arm ourselves with some useful knowledge about the sun. For example, baking in the sun and getting a deep, dark tan can harm our skin and our eyes. UV rays, particularly UV-A, are present even on cloudy days   -   at least 40-50% of the sun’s rays ‘power’ can  penetrate cloud cover. Clouds can affect the strength of radiation reaching the ground in complex ways. Most clouds block some UV radiation, but the degree of protection depends on the type and amount of cloud. Also, sunlight is strongly reflected from sand, snow, ice, and concrete, and can increase our direct sunlight exposure by 10-50%. Cold air can also be deceptive, as temperature is not directly related to UV intensity. As a wise precaution   -    in temperatures above about 25 deg. Celsius, and during prolonged sun exposure   -   we should wear protective clothing, including a hat with a wide brim, a pair of good quality suns glasses, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. (By the way, outdoor temperatures are measured in the shade, not in the sun. For example, A temperature of 25deg. Celsius, in the shade, is equivalent to about 33 deg. when measured in full sun.)
As it happened, recently I spent about two and a half hours   (from 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.) working in the sun.   That summer day, the measured shade-temperature was 26 deg. Celsius, and the full-sun temperature, 34 deg. I wore shorts, a 8 centimeter-brim hat, and nothing at the top. My skin showed not even the slightest sign of sunburn. But had I lied down in the sun (‘sunbathing’) for even half that time, I could have done some damage to my exposed skin. (Needless to say, I didn’t wear any sunscreen.) Having said that, just to be on to be on the safe side, I advise people (especially those with pale and delicate skin) to wear protective clothes, hats, and sunglasses) whenever they work, sit, or walk in the sun in shade temperatures higher than 25 deg. Celsius; this applies also to forecast days. Contrary to popular belief, not all UV rays are harmful; in fact, the right   amount of exposure to the sun’s UV-B rays is highly beneficial. This is because these rays make it possible for our bodies to manufacture the very best type of vitamin D. And, as we will see below, this vitamin has many preventive and curative properties. Most important of all, further on in this chapter  we will also learn how a daily diet rich in fresh, raw fruit and vegetables has been known to boost the body’s ability to withstand longer solar UV exposures with little or no ill effects!

Sophia Loren   -   A ‘Sun Worshipper’

Sophia Loren is an Italian actress of international fame, who at the age of 61 (as of 1996) still looked quite beautiful, youthful   -   and even sexy. (In fact, even today   -   at the age of 79   -   she still looks much younger than her chronological age!   So, how does she manage to keep herself looking so great, especially considering that she is a ‘sun worshipper‘ who is in the sun every chance she gets? “I adore the sun,” she told a reporter, “but have the kind of skin that tans easily. I don’t have a tendency to burn, and my skin doesn’t get dried out.“ Naturally, Sophia watches her diet very carefully. She said: “I love melons, grapes, berries, cucumbers   -   anything with lots of water in it. I also likes avocados and bananas, both rich in natural fats that are safe for the body. I think getting your fats that way is better for you.” She correctly thought that this had a lot to do with why her skin has stayed so wrinkle and brown spot-free through the years. “While other women put moisturizers on their skin, I eat mine,” she said  with a mischievous laugh. Her intake of extra-virgin olive oil must also have something to do with it as well. “I grew up in the land where olive oil is famously used,” she said, making an obvious reference to her native Italy. “I use olive oil a lot. I think it’s good for you, and that it keeps the skin young and resilient.” “I’m crazy about papaya, mangos, and guavas. When they’re ripe, they’re perfectly delicious. I’ve discovered that they’ve kept my skin blemish-free, besides wrinkle-free.” Then there are the enzymes and antioxidants in her diet, and no, she doesn’t take them in supplement form! Sophia Loren is a very wealthy woman; therefore, she could buy the most expensive type of supplementation available today. But, as it happens, she is also an  intelligent and health-orientated woman, this is why she prefers to obtain her vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and anti-oxidants from fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. In other words, she eats them in food form, not take them in capsules or tablets. This remarkable actress has managed to retard her age by about twenty years, and has done so primarily by healthy eating, health living, and plenty of fresh air and sunlight!
Some Facts About Vitamin D
This vitamin was discovered in butter by Sir Edward Mellanby (MD, GBE, KCB, FRCP, FRS) in 1918, and identified as a fat-soluble substance, which could cure the bone disease, ‘rickets’. Soon afterward it was shown   that exposure to the ultraviolet light from the sun could also cure that disease. Vitamin D is unique in the vitamin world in that it is technically not a vitamin at all. In fact, it is the only known forerunner of ‘calcitriol’-activated vitamin D  -  a powerful steroid hormone that regulates genetic expressions in hundreds of genes, and is active in quantities as small as one-trillionth of a gram. The best, and most effective form of vitamin D for humans, is the one created naturally in the skin as the result of the exposure to solar UV radiation.  In fact, sun-derived vitamin D is the only form mammals (especially primates) are naturally meant to use. Primates (humans included) were supposed to live only in those regions of the globe bathed in sunlight for most part of the year. To be more precise, humans were supposed to live in those areas of the globe which supplied them with enough sunlight to stay healthy, but not too much to get burned. Of course, Nature made no provision for any kind of sun-protective clothing, as it intended them to wear no clothes at all. In their original habitat, members of the primate order live in certain areas of the globe   -   except us, of course. In fact, many people inhabit countries which are either too hot or too cold. Those who live in hot areas get plenty of sun-derived vitamin D, but those living above the latitudes of 50 degrees are not that lucky. These people think that by consuming a large amount of meat, fish, milk, and/or fish oils, they can compensate for their chronic lack of sunlight-derived vitamin D, but nutrition and health statistics tell a different story. For example, the Eskimo people   -   who eat these foods on a daily basis   -    have one of the highest rate of osteoporosis-related bone fractures in the world! The truth is that Nature never meant us to feed on any animal products.  If we were meant to do so,  as part of our natural diet, evolution would have given us the necessary apparatus to catch and kill animals, and eat them raw and unprocessed   -    not cooked and/or riddled with condiments! In any case, the people who live in sun-starved countries, and obtain their supply of vitamin D from meat, fish, milk, and fish oil,  have  to consume large amounts of these high protein, high fat and cholesterol foods, thus inviting the same kinds of health problems they intended to rid themselves of in the first place! This is why, whenever  possible, people should get their supply of vitamin   D from the number one life-giver   -   our sun!
As we will see below, we can also get some other form of vitamin D from ‘fortified milk’, certain fish oils, some vitamin supplements, eggs, meat, etc., but I, for one, would do so only as the last resort. As the title of this book, Back To Nature For A Healthy And Longer Life, clearly implies, if we want to increase our chances of staying healthier and living longer, we need to keep away from unnatural foods and supplements; and, as far as I am concerned, vitamin D in pill form, for example, is not what Nature intended humans to take! As already mentioned above, when it comes to vitamin D intake, the unsung truth is that the natural and most effective way to get enough of this essential vitamin is by exposing a large enough area of our bare skin to direct sunlight. An important, little-known fact is that vitamin D is stored within the body’s fat cells in amount sufficient for many months consumption without any need for replenishment. In sunny countries vitamin D deficiency is rare. However, lack of this vitamin may occur in the elderly who are house-bound or living in a nursing home, as well as those with little sun exposure, anyone in whom bile is prevented from reaching the bowel from the liver, or absorption of fats is impaired; in chronic kidney diseases where the kidney fail to process the vitamin to its active form; in people who are taking long-term phenytoin or phenobarbitone drugs; and in the grossly overweight. Infants under 12 months have stores of vitamin D, which they accumulate whilst still in the womb from the mother reserves.
Like vitamins A, E, and K, vitamin D is a ‘fat-soluble’ vitamin. Unlike ‘water-soluble’ vitamins - the excess of which can be quickly excreted in the urine - these four vitamins are stored in the liver and in fat deposits around the body. This is why they can (and often do) cause serious health problems, especially if they are taken in excess. To make things worse, it is difficult to get rid of surpluses, the body must break them down by complex and lengthy biochemical processes into end products that can be excreted in the bile of urine. Many people, especially in Western countries, have found out the hard way that taking too many vitamin D supplements can be toxic! There are various reasons why sunlight is the most natural, reliable, and effective way to obtain enough vitamin D. This is because: a) when vitamin D is made this way is more readily used by the body than is vitamin D obtained from food or supplements; and b) when this vitamin is made in the skin the body has mechanisms to ensure that the concentration of vitamin D in the blood remains at a safe level. But these mechanisms are disabled if large doses of vitamin D are taken orally. In other words, we cannot get too much of this vitamin/hormone from the sun, which is more that we can say for food and supplementation-derived vitamin D. (More detailed information about the nature and functions of vitamin D will be given below.)
Factors Which Determine The Intake Of Sun-Derived Vitamin D
The sun’s UV-B rays make this vitamin in the skin by the action of sunlight reacting with a cholesterol derivative that is plentiful in the body. That is, as long as we get enough sunshine, this is all the vitamin D we need. Naturally, the more skin we expose to the sun the more vitamin D is produced. This vitamin only synthesizes when sunlight is available, and this can happen very quickly, particularly in the summer. The amount of UV-B rays that reach our skin and produce vitamin D depends on a variety of different factors, the main ones being:
  1. Skin colour: Lighter skin colour allows deeper penetration by UV-B rays, which decreases the amount of sunlight exposure needed for adequate vitamin D production. So, the darker the skin, the harder it is for UV-B rays to penetrate it and produce vitamin D, increasing our need for sunlight exposure. Black skin, for example, only allows 3 – 36% of the UV-B through, and white skin 52 – 72%. For those who are interested, here is a more detailed explanation of the various types of skin:
    TYPE 1 - people with this type of skin always burn, never tan; and they are fair with red or blond hair and freckles.
    TYPE 2 - those with this type of skin, have a tendency to burn; they hardly get a suntan, and are fair-skinned (people of North European origin, such as Scandinavians or Celts).
    TYPE 3 - people who belong to this type, occasionally burn and gradually tan (people of Mediterranean and Middle-East origin)
    TYPE 4 - those who have this type of skin rarely burn and always tan (people of East Asian origin and some Indians and Pakistanis)
    TYPE 5 - this type includes people who seldom burn, always tan, and have medium to dark skin (people of African origin, South East Asians, and some Indians and Pakistani’s)
    TYPE 6 - those who have this type of skin never burn and their tan is dark (people with dark to almost black skin, of African origin or dark-skinned Asians).
  2. Latitude: People living above about 40 degrees latitude North or below 40 degrees latitude South are likely to receive little to no UV-B rays from early autumn to late spring. Normally, we produce far less vitamin D in winter because of the shorter exposure to sunlight.
  3. Altitude: The higher we live above sea level, the greater exposure we have to UV-B rays. The higher we live above the equator, the less exposure we have to UV-B rays.
  4. The time of the day: In any season, the amount of sunray- derived vitamin D produced varies substantially in accordance with the time of the day.
  5. The amount of the skin exposed to the sun: The more skin we expose the more vitamin D is produced. Likewise, the longer the exposure to the sun, the more vitamin D our body makes. For example, one 20-minute full-body exposure to the summer sun will result in putting about IU20,000 (500 micrograms) into the body.
  6. Pollution and clouds: Both decrease the number of UV-B rays that reach us; however, as we can still get sunburn even on cloudy days, a substantial amount of UV-B sunrays must be able to penetrate a cloud cover.
  7. Age: It is possible that as we get older, the natural degenerative changes that occur in our skin make it harder for UV-B rays to convert cholesterol to vitamin D. Therefore, elderly people may need to rely more on food sources than sunlight for their vitamin D needs. (Personally, I don’t think age has much to do with the amount of vitamin D we get from the sun.)
  8. Our daily diet: All being equal, our daily diet is a determining factor in both our resistance to sunburn and skin diseases and the amount of vitamin D we get from the sun. That is, a regular diet rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, for example, can give us plenty of vitamin D at much lower risk of getting sunburn and/or contracting more serious skin diseases.
We don’t need to over-tan or burn our skin in order to get enough vitamin D; even as little as 15 minutes exposure to the sun every other day can generate a sufficient amount of natural vitamin D. However, one of the relevant factors to be taken into consideration is the ‘skin type’ explained above.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Nature never intended humans to live in geographical areas too far South or North from the equator as they were supposed to obtain their supply of vitamin D from the sun, not from their diet and supplements. Naturally, animals whose skin is covered with thick hair, fur, plumage, or scales, may not be able to get enough vitamin D from the sun alone. Therefore, carnivores in particular, may have to obtain some of this vitamin from the food they eat. As already mentioned briefly above, we can also obtain some form of vitamin D from fish liver oils (cod, halibut, wild salmon, herring, tuna), as well as egg yolk, fatty fishes and crustaceans (lobsters, crayfish, shrimps, krill), ‘fortified milk’, mushrooms, liver, beef, sprouted seeds, and some other foods and substances, and even from indoor tanning facilities. To be frank, I am against almost all kinds of supplementation in general, and vitamin A and D in pill-form and fish oil, in particular. A whole book could be written on the inadequacy and possible health dangers of most vitamin D supplements, but the following should suffice.
Vitamin D from Animal-Derived Foods
Foods such as meat, eggs, and milk contain only a small amount of vitamin D. That is, one medium glass of ‘fortified’ cow’s milk contains only about 100 IU (2.5 micrograms) of vitamin D. This means that we would have to drink about ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into our diet. As for meat, 100 grams of cooked beef contain only 0.75 micrograms (30 IU) of vitamin D. Therefore, we would have to eat about 3.5 kilograms of beef per day to get enough vitamin D. Lets now find out how many eggs we would have to eat every day to meet the average 1000 IU daily quota. According to most nutrition experts, one medium-size chicken egg supplies 25 IU (0.625 micrograms) of vitamin D. This means that we would have to eat 40 eggs per day in order to fulfill this quota! Of course, unless we wish to commit an extra-fast suicide, we don’t have to drink 10 glasses of milk, eat 40 eggs and 3.5 kilograms of meat per day in order to get enough vitamin D! But even if we drank 3 glasses of milk, ate 10 eggs and 1.5 kilograms of beef per day we would be still ingesting a total of 423 grams of protein and 521 grams of saturated fat! Further dividing these figures by 3 or even 4, would still result in a very unhealthy daily diet, as hundreds of millions of people around the world keep learning the very hard way!
For many reasons people, especially those who live in high latitudes, labour under the delusion they can obtain all the vitamin D they need by gorging themselves with meat, fish, and cheese, as well as gulping down processed cow’s milk, without realizing (until too late) that they keep inviting in the very dreaded illnesses they wished to prevent in the first place! How is this so? Dr T. Colin Campbell - possibly the greatest nutritional biochemist and health researcher who ever lived - can shed much light on this important topic better than anybody else I am aware of. (Dr Collin is most definitely not on the payroll of any food and/or pharmaceutical company; this can be easily deduced by the fact he hardly appears on the U.S. printed and/or audio-visual mass media.) As Dr Campbell wrote in his book The China Study:

“There are several studies now showing that if 1,25 D remains at constantly low levels, the risk of several diseases increases. So then the question is: ‘what causes low levels of 1,25 D’ ? Animal protein-containing foods cause a significant decrease in 1,25 D. These proteins create an acidic environment in the blood that blocks the kidney enzymes from producing this very important metabolite”.

1,25 D is a supercharged vitamin metabolite, which does most of the vital work of Vitamin D in our bodies. This subject will be discussed below in greater details. In other words, what Dr Campbell is saying is that, when it comes to food-derived vitamin D, the animal protein we eat hinders the production of 1,25 D, leaving the body with low levels of this vitamin in the blood. If this situation continues, prostate cancer can occur. To make things much worse, ongoing high intake of calcium can result in the reduction of this type of supercharged vitamin D, with dire effects on our health. We all know that raw, unprocessed cow’s milk has both animal protein and a large amount of calcium; as for pasteurized milk, most of its calcium is turned into an inorganic form of calcium, which is difficult to digest. All the same, when a high enough amount of this form of calcium combines with protein, prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women can be the result. In a nutshell, animal protein and excessive calcium, as found in milk, suppress the production of the vitally important “supercharged” D. In fact, persistently low levels of 1,25 D create an ideal bodily environment for various cancers, autoimmune illnesses, osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases. Is this just another theory? No-one can be 100% sure of anything; however, the fact remains that worldwide statistics have clearly and repeatedly shown that - to the dismay of the world’s meat and milk industries - the higher the consumption of meat and pasteurized cow’s milk and other dairy products in a population, the higher is the incidence of cancer (including skin cancer), osteoporosis, Type 1 diabetes, MS, and other autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin D Toxicity
As I have already said above, we cannot get too much vitamin D from sun exposure - we can certainly get sunburned, but not overdoses of this vitamin. Through the process of evolution, Nature has given us a protective mechanism to insure that blood levels of sun-derived vitamin D remain safe; however, this protection is overridden when large doses of this vitamin are taken orally. In other words, vitamin D, not obtained from the sun, can be very toxic; and a whole book could be written on detailed accounts of people having been poisoned by overdoses of this vitamin. The effects of overdosage (which vary with the severity of the overdosage) can be: arteriosclerosis, anorexia, cardiomyopathy and/or renal failure, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, presence of abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood, joint pain, kidney damage, metastatic calcification in kidney, loss of weight and appetite, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, proteinurea, large volumes of pale diluted urine, skin rash, excessive thirst, precipitation of calcium in tissues, constipation, thin and weakened bones. Here, it is interesting to note that, while the right dose of sun-derived vitamin D is highly beneficial (and often vital), even moderately higher doses of food and supplement-derived vitamin D can be harmful. Up to 1960, many doctors believed that large doses of supplemental vitamin D might cure arthritis, and prescribed this vitamin to arthritis sufferers. There are no records that prove the veracity of their beliefs; but what is certain is the fact that many people suffered very serious side effects. Because both lack and excess of vitamin D can show symptoms of various diseases, who knows how many millions of people worldwide actually died as the result of wrong diagnosis and treatment! The truth is that Vitamin D has been misused right from when it was first prepared in a form usable for supplementation. For example, in 1928, twelve children were treated with ergosterol - a plant sterol that is converted into vitamin D by ultraviolet radiation. Most probably, because of over-dosage, all twelve of them suffered severe toxic effects. Unfortunately and shamefully, children have often been the victims of vitamin D poisoning. In fact, even a relatively small excess of vitamin D can stunt their growth. As early as 1938, researchers had proved that infant bones benefited from a daily supplement 8.5 to 15 micrograms of vitamin D, but didn’t grow as fast on higher doses.
Vitamin D poisoning has also been (and still is) the result of ‘fortification’. By this term we mean foods to which vitamin D has been added in various quantities. These days, foods and drinks such as fresh and dried milk, margarine, some fruit juices, and dry cereals are still fortified in certain countries. However, in the 1950s the British discovered that even a small amount of vitamin D added to food could have deleterious effects. After the Second World War, the British Ministry of Food endorsed the addition of vitamin D to fresh milk and to babies’ dried milk and cereals. This caused high blood calcium levels in infants, whose symptoms were fatigue, loss of weight, loss of appetite, severe thirst, weakness, and sometimes vomiting. Eventually, medical doctors realized that these serious symptoms were caused by milk fortification, and from 1956 health authorities recommended that vitamin D no longer be added to any foods except milk, but even then in much smaller doses. This new measure put an end to high blood calcium problems in British infant and young children. This is just one example of the umpteenth ones which have been purposely ignored.
Fish and Crustacean Oil Supplements
Generations of parents have administered spoonful after spoonful of unpleasantly smelling and tasting cod liver oil to their children because medical authorities and governments told them to do so. After all, good old cod liver oil is the richest and healthiest source of Vitamin D - or is it? At least, everybody say so. Well, in my experience of life, I have learned the hard way that when “everybody say so”, is mostly not so! To be sure, one tablespoon of this fish oil contains a whooping 1360 IU (34 micrograms) of vitamin D! This figure looks impressive, but I am much less impress by the fact this oil contain also cholesterol, saturated fat, and vitamin A. For example, one cup (218 grams) of cod liver oil contains 218 grams of fat, 1243 milligrams of cholesterol, and 218000 IU of vitamin A! Based on the large amount of Vitamin A found in one cup of cod liver oil, one tablespoon of this oil contains 10,000 IU of this vitamin. As it happens, vitamin A is also a toxic vitamin, because an overdose of it can result in a variety of illnesses, which include birth defects, loss of hair, increased cerebral/spinal pressure, headache, amenorrhoea, hypercalcemia, bone and muscle pains, jaundice, and more. Apart from the high dosage of vitamin A found in codfish, there are other health concerns. As our anatomical and physiological traits clearly show, we are definitely not carnivores. In fact, had we meant to eat any kind of animal flesh, we would be able and willing to eat it raw, unprocessed, unsalted, and without condiments, taste enhancers and/or spices of any kind! This meant that neither codfish flesh nor cod liver oil are the healthiest form of vitamin D for us. Cod liver oil, like other animal-derived oils are near to 100% fat, and a cup of this oil contains about 1250 milligrams of cholesterol. All kinds of animal flesh (especially when roasted, or fried) is unhealthy, and liver is even more so. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that any oil extracted from fish liver is a natural remedy for many health problems just because of its high content of vitamin D.
Codfish are large animals. For example, the ‘Atlantic cod’ grows to a maximum length of 2 meters and weighs up to 96 kilograms. Therefore, like other large fish that live in today’s polluted seas, codfish are very likely to be heavily contaminated. Only a couple of years ago, a Californian law suit filed against 8 major distributors of fish oil pills, claimed that there are high levels of the cancer-causing contaminant PCB and other impurities found in some of the most popular over-the-counter fish oil supplements. Also, U.S. ABC News reported that additional contaminants such as dioxins, heavy metals mercury and lead have been found to be strongly present in many fish oils - and manufacturers have been cited for high levels of oxidation and/or rancidity - which significantly reduces the efficacy of the ‘omega-3’ oils that these same manufacturers claim are so beneficial. All this doesn’t come as a surprise to me, as fish contamination, especially in large fish, has been a worrying reality for decades.
I, for one, get my quota of vitamin D from the sun and plant-derived foods and supplements, as I have learned the hard way that any possible health benefit coming from animal-derived sources is often nullified by its disadvantages and drawbacks! However, if I had no choice but to live in countries lacking sunlight or, for any other reason/s, I couldn’t get enough vitamin D from the sun, then, I would consider eating more mushrooms and sprouted grains and beans and, may be, even some slightly cooked ‘free-range’ eggs. Also, depending on how low my vitamin D levels, I would start taking high quality organic krill oil - a crustacean-derived oil. (Integral to the food chain, tiny shrimp-like krill are the primary food source for many marine mammals and fish.) Krill oil is rich in all the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin D, A and E. It is also rich in healthy fats. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid, abbreviated as EPA and DHA respectively. These fatty acids are attached to double phospholipid chains, which makes them easily absorbable by the cells. In addition, it contains canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, which are potent antioxidants. Another good point in favour of krill oil is that, because of the tiny size of krill crustaceans, they are unlikely to be contaminated like most large fish are. The good news for vegans is that bean and grain sprouts contain some vitamin D; and so do raw and cooked mushrooms, which have been exposed to UV light. In fact, 226 grams of raw or cooked mushrooms supply 400 IU of vitamin D. (Apparently, unlike other vitamins, the cooking process doesn’t destroy vitamin D.) Here, I like to make it clear that, although I consider it to be superior to other available oils) I would supplement with krill oil only if I really needed more vitamin D and I was unable to get it from the sun.
Capsules and Tablets
When I didn’t know any better, I too wasted my money on various supplemental pills. Frankly, I cannot say I actually notice any health benefit in doing so, but I still kept ingesting capsules and tablets. Here, the question is: “Should we take the usual commercial forms of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements widely available in tablets and capsule forms?” Well, in a recent U.S. study, which involved 162,000 middle-aged women, there were no visible results between the women who took this kind of supplementation on a regular basis, and those who took no supplementation at all. This is why most multivitamins and minerals are synthetic combinations of isolated USP vitamins and minerals. In contrast, vitamins and minerals contained in fresh, raw foods are bound to natural food complexes with proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids (essential natural components of living cells). When such a body exists, the human body recognizes the entire food complex as food. Synthetic vitamins, minerals, and other supplements are not bound to anything, and more often than not, have different chemical structures from those found in raw foods. According to TIME magazine, scientists have suspected for some time that vitamins and supplements may not be as beneficial to health as previously believed: "In recent years, studies have shown that vitamins such as A, C and E, which were supposed to lower risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer, didn't provide much benefit. But many patients kept taking them anyway, and few doctors actively discouraged it... " Jaakko Mursu, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, recently published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showing that women who took multivitamins were 6% more likely to die than those not taking them! Mursu’s team found that supplements could be linked to a higher risk of death among a group of 38,000 women, average age 62, who were studied for nearly two decades.
There is a difference between ‘capsules’ and ‘tablets’. For example, up to 20,000 pounds per square inch is used to smash ingredients into a tablet. This process creates damaging heat and pressure; can degrade nutrients up to 25%, and often creates rancid by-products. Also, tablets contain liver-toxic glues, binders, and lubricants - which are usually not even listed on the label! Capsules are much less risky than tablets, as long as they are 100% pure and preservative-free ‘vegetable’ capsules. But ‘gelatine’ capsules are hard to digest, temperature sensitive, contain toxic preservatives, and can carry the risk of ‘mad cow’ disease. Vitamin D supplementation comes both in tablet and gelatine capsules forms. Therefore, they are subjected to all of the above problems. Furthermore, cod liver oil gelatine capsules (apart from their inherent problems) also contain vitamin A, which can also be very toxic above its ‘recommended daily allowance’ (RDA). Assuming we need about 1000 IU of vitamin D every day (as recommended by nutritional scientists), we would have to take two capsules daily. This is because most capsules contain about 400-500 IU of vitamin D. Now, assuming we lived in latitudes around 30 degrees from the equator (either South or North) - spent a fair amount of time in the sun, and ate a diet high in animal protein - we would be certainly exceeding our RDA of vitamin D! To make things much worse, as cod liver oil capsules contain also a high amount of vitamin A (the RDA of which being 5000 - 10,000 IU), most possibly, we would be in danger of vitamin A intoxication with dire consequences for our health! Regarding taking vitamin D tablets, I have in my hand possession a 60-tablet container labelled Vitamin D & Calcium, recently given to me by a lady who gave up supplementing, first with medically prescribed cod liver oil and more recently with vitamin D and calcium. The reason for doing so, is that both the capsules and the tablets made her feel bad. Each tablet contains 500IU of vitamin D3 and 600 milligrams of calcium carbonate - the recommended dose is two tablets daily. This dosage gave her 1000IU of vitamin D and 1200 milligrams of calcium daily. In view of the fact that here in South Australia, this time of the year we can get more than enough sun, a daily vitamin D supplementation of 1000 IU sounds excessive, as it does a daily intake of 1200 grams of calcium, which added to the amount of calcium from a normal diet, can cause ‘hypercalcaemia’ (abnormal high levels of calcium in the blood). Unfortunately for their health, most people who take supplement don’t consider the fact they are already getting more than enough of it from the food they eat every day. And there can be little doubt that, when it comes to vitamin D supplementation, many people don’t only waste their money, but put their lives in jeopardy!
Exaggerated Recommended Supplementation Dosages
The following is an example of vitamin D supplement dosage printed in The Encyclopedia Of Medical Breakthroughs & Forbidden Treatments.

“Contrary to past understandings, some vitamin D researchers now recommend adults obtain a minimum of 1,000-2,000 IU (International Units) daily of vitamin D3 during summer months - especially if one is receiving regular sun exposure - and double that amount during the late autumn, winter, and early spring. Some have suggested the rule of thumb of 1,000 IU per 25 pounds body weight. There are those who maintain that adequate levels can be achieved through one or a combination of: sunlight exposure; dietary intake of vitamin D-rich foods such as cod liver oil; or supplementation with D3 - cholecalciferol. Daily amounts of up to at least 10,000 IU are known to be safe, and some experts believe the non-toxic daily dose may be closer to 40,000 IU. For treating colds or flu, some doctors now recommend 50,000 – 1000,000 IU of cholecalciferol daily for several days, up to the level of 1,000 IU per pound of body weight for three days, According to this protocol, a 200 pound person would take 200,000 IU per three days. To put these dosages into perspective, the skin produces 20,000 IU from 20-30 minutes of ‘unprotected’ full-body summer sun exposure during hours where the shadows cast by the body is shorter than the body’s height”.

There is no doubt that the above-mentioned dosages of vitamin D - even non synthetic ones - can result in toxicity. Also, exposing the body (especially lying down) for 20-30 minutes, in the middle of the day and in temperatures higher than about 25 degrees Celsius, can cause sunburn. This is especially true for people with type 1, 2, or 3 skin.
Vitamin D Sythesization, Absorbtion, and Body Storage - A Scientific Account
Source of Vitamin D. ‘Vitamin D’ is the general name for any substance that have vitamin D characteristics and activity. As I have already stated above, the only really natural (and free) type of vitamin D is the one we derive from our sun. (Of course, the food, pharmaceutical and medical industries have always done their very best to deny this scientific fact because they cannot harness and sell sunlight to us!) This form of vitamin D - sometime called ‘natural vitamin D’ - is also known as ‘cholecalciferol’ or ‘vitamin D3’. This vitamin is usually formed in our skin and that of other animals by ultraviolet irradiation of 7- dehydrocholesterol, a fatty substance in the skin. When Vitamin D3 comes from the sun it can correctly be referred to as “natural”, but I don’t this adjective should be used to define supplemental forms of D3, such as the ones sold in tablets and capsules. An artificial source of vitamin D is irradiated milk, for milk contains steroids which can be converted into vitamin D by irradiation with ultraviolet light. Here, I am referring to ‘ergocalciferol’ (vitamin D2) - a synthetic form of vitamin D, which is made by exposing ergosterol (a plant sterol plentiful in yeast) to ultraviolet light. This vitamin is the form used in most fortified foods and vitamin preparations. Modern pharmacology has officially regarded cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol as equivalent and interchangeable, but the artificial nature of the latter makes it a less-than- ideal source of supplementation. Despite this fact, vitamin D2 is still the form of vitamin D used in major preparation of prescriptions in the U.S. People sufficiently exposed to sunlight need no vitamin D in their diet. But, If they don’t receive sufficient exposure to sunlight, then generally vitamin D must be provided in their food. Usually only foods of animal origin contain vitamin D. A cow exposed to sunlight forms vitamin D continually in its skin, and some of it is secreted into her milk. Also, most animals store vitamin D in great quantities in the liver; therefore, liver is usually a rich source of this vitamin. However, it is also one of the worse commercial meats, as it contains a high amount of cholesterol, drugs and hormones fed to the animal, as well as heavy metals and other toxins! Some medical sources say that the optimal blood levels of vitamin D should be maintained from 50-80 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), as measured by the 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Test. This test may be reliable enough, but what is really important is not quantity but quality. That is, a regular exposure to sunshine is worth all the supplemental types of vitamin D in the world! As I have already said above, when vitamin D is obtained from the sun, a natural body mechanism makes sure that the blood levels of this vitamin cannot get too high, thus preventing any possible toxicity.
Basic Mechanism of Function of Vitamin D. Vitamin D itself has almost no direct effect on increasing calcium absorption from the intestines. Instead, it must first be converted into an active product, 1,25- dihydroxycholecalciferol. It is this compound that directly influences the intestinal epithelium to promote calcium absorption. The conversion of vitamin D to 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol starts in the liver. This organ first converts vitamin D (cholecalciferol) into 25-hydroxycholecalciferol. As the quantity of this substance builds up in the liver, it inhibits further conversion of vitamin D, thus providing a feedback regulation of the amount of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol available at any one time. 25-hydroxycholecalciferol D3 (25-OHD3), which is 5 times more potent than D3, serves as the body’s storage form of vitamin D, while remaining mostly in the liver and partly in body fat. When needed, some of this storage form of vitamin D is transported to the kidneys where it is converted by an enzyme into 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol D3 1,25–(OH)2D3, which is 10 times more potent than D3. This is why this form of D3 is referred to as ‘supercharged’ vitamin D. However, for this conversion to take place, the parathyroid hormone is required. This is one major mechanism, perhaps the most important, by which parathyroid hormone exerts its effects on calcium metabolism. When more 1,25 D is required, parathyroid hormone induces the kidney enzyme activity to produce more 1,25 D; and when there is enough 1,25 D, this hormone slows down the activity of the kidney enzyme. In other words, the parathyroid hormone plays a major role in the regulation of supercharged 1,25 D. The rate at which the storage form of vitamin D is converted into the supercharged 1,25 D is a very important step in this process. Here, it is very interesting to note that supercharged D3 cannot be gotten from food or from drugs. In any case, a drug-composed of isolated supercharged D would be too powerful and dangerous to be used as a medicine. This supercharged kind of vitamin D is about 1000 times more active than the storage vitamin D. However, while the supercharged vitamin D survives for only about 6 – 8 hours, the storage form of vitamin D lasts up to twenty days or more. This 1,25 D does most of the important work of vitamin D in our bodies. One of the vital things vitamin D does (especially in its supercharged 1,25 D form) is to control the development of a large variety of serious diseases.
Basic mechanism by which 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol increases calcium absorption. This ‘supercharged’ form of vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium from the intestine by means of three different mechanisms. Probably the most important of these is the effect of 1,25 D to increase the quantity of a special protein in the intestinal epithelium, called ‘calcium-binding protein’, which combines with calcium and causes it to be transported through the epithelium. Although the precise mechanism of calcium transport is yet unknown, it is quite clear that the role played by 1 ,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol is an essential part of the transport mechanism. It should also be noted that once the plasma calcium ion concentration becomes too high, the rate of formation of parathyroid hormone is inhibited, which then decreases the rate of activation of vitamin D, thereby shutting off the absorption of calcium from the intestines. This is one of the important mechanisms for control of the plasma calcium ion concentration. In the absence of vitamin D, almost no calcium is absorbed from the intestinal tract, but in the presence of this vitamin calcium absorption can be very great. And, when the rate of calcium absorption is increased, the rate of phosphate absorption increases as well. The reason for this is that movement of calcium out of the intestines releases large amounts of phosphates from insoluble or unionized calcium phosphate compounds of the food. Since phosphate is highly absorbable by the intestinal mucosa, it simply follows along when the calcium is absorbed. The right amount of calcium in our blood is crucial for optimum muscle and nerve functioning, and it must be maintained within a fairly narrow range. The 1,25 D keeps the blood level of calcium operating within this narrow range by monitoring and regulating how much calcium is absorbed from food being digested in the intestine, how much calcium is excreted, in the urine and feces, and how much is exchanged with the bones, the big supply tank for the body’s calcium. For example, if there is too much calcium in the blood, 1,25 D becomes less active, less calcium is absorbed and more calcium is excreted. As blood calcium goes up, 1,25 D goes down, and when blood calcium goes down, 1,25 D goes up. If calcium consumption is too high it lowers the activity of the kidney enzyme and as a consequence, the level of 1,25 D goes down.
The strong correlation between diet and the production of 1,25 D
Truly great physicians of the distant past, such as Sun Simiao, Hippocrates, and Maimonides knew only too well about the positive correlation between a healthy diet and good health. Unfortunately, these days, the overwhelming majority of nutrition professionals, researchers, and doctors are either unaware of this correlation or reluctant to take it seriously. The main reason for this deplorable situation is that we live in a world where financial gain and economic profit are far more important than people’s health! For example, against all evidence, the website of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation states: “There is no credible evidence that MS is due to poor diet or dietary deficiencies.” Such asinine statement deserves no comment at all. As for vitamin D, it is very much linked to diet. In fact, it is utterly pointless to feed on junk food and still expect to obtain any benefit from vitamin D supplementation or, for that matter, any other type of supplementation.
 Both vitamin D and vitamin A are produced in the body in the presence of UV from the sun and ‘beta carotene’, respectively. Therefore, there should be no need to supplement with either of them. Enough sunshine exposure, by ensuring an adequate storage form of vitamin D, is crucial in preventing the cells from becoming diseased. Here, it is very important to understand that our diet can determine how much of this ‘supercharged’ D is produced and how it operates once it is produced. Unfortunately, this very important process can be curbed or suppressed altogether by foods that are high in calcium and by acid-producing animal proteins like cow’s milk, meat, and a high amount of some grains, as these are also acidic. If we interfere with Nature’s nutrition laws, by taking too much vitamin D by mouth, our blood level of this chemical will rise to toxic degrees. However, when this vitamin is made in the skin (from the sun), it diffuses slowly into the blood as needed so that less of it is wasted, and natural mechanisms ensure that the blood level cannot get too high. Vitamin D is stored in muscle and fatty tissue in the body and will be released when blood levels fall, for example during the winter months.
As we have seen above, vitamin D must be activated in the kidneys in order to produce dihydroxycholecalciferol. However, this activation process can be inhibited by foods that are high in calcium and by acid-producing animal proteins, especially meat, and pasteurized cow’s milk. Most grains are also acidic; therefore they should be consumed in strict moderation - unless, of course, they are eaten green or sprouted. Our bodies use a carefully drew-up series of biological controls and sensors in order to produce the correct quantity of supercharged vitamin D for each task at exactly the right time. However, this delicate process can be put ‘out of whack’ by daily diets which are not concordant with our physiological and anatomical characteristics. Recapitulating:
  • Regular intake of animal derived protein can cause the body to produce an extra amount of IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1). This is likely to result in the stimulation of cancer development.

  • Animal-derived protein inhibits the production of ‘supercharged’ D, with dire consequences for our health.

  • Excessive amounts of calcium, as found in milk also suppresses the production of ‘supercharged’ D.

  • As processed cow’s milk is rich in both protein and denatured calcium, it doesn’t belong to a healthy diet!

  • The main task of ‘supercharged’ D is to create a wide variety of health benefits in the body. But this can only happen if we eat to live, not live to eat! Ongoing low levels of ‘supercharged’ D is an open invitation to various cancers, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, and other degenerative illnesses.

The Health Benefits Of Natural Vitamin D - According to Some Nutrition Experts And Researchers
 Many studies conducted in the past three decades or so, have indicated that vitamin D can prevent and cure the following illnesses: arthritis, autoimmune encephalomyelitis, other autoimmune conditions, bone fractures, breast cancer, carpopedal spasm, cerebral palsy, chronic renal failure, celiac disease, colorectal cancer, convulsions, Crohn’s disease, depression, diabetes, graft rejection, hyperparathyroidism, juvenile arthritis, laryngospasm, Lyme’s disease, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular irritability, oestrogen sensitive breast metastasis, obesity, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, psoriasis, renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, skin cancer, and obesity. Also, this vitamin elevates mood and boosts mental performance, lowers the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, increases white blood cells activity, strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia, reduces high blood sugar levels, increases insulin sensitivity, reduces the risk of melanoma, provides more restful sleep, and increases energy and vitality. Vitamin D is perhaps the single most deliberately underrated vitamin in the field of optimum nutrition and health. That's probably because it's free: our bodies make it when sunlight touches our skin. Fortunately, Drug companies can't sell us sunlight (believe me, if they could, they would!), therefore, there's no promotion of its health benefits. The truth is that most people don't know the real story on vitamin D and health. So below is a summary based on an interview between Mike Adams and Dr. Michael Holick, authors of the book The UV Advantage:
  • The further we live from the equator, the longer exposure we need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.

  •  People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 - 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That's why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men -- it's a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.

  • Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in the intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.

  • Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's bones and nervous system.

  • Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease -- by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.

  • It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in our bodies from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.

  • If it hurts to press firmly on our sternum, we may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.

  • Vitamin D is "activated" in the body by the kidneys and liver before it can be used.

  • Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair our body's ability to activate circulating vitamin D.

  • Of course, the sunscreen industry doesn't want us to know that the body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products. The dangers of using any kind of sunscreens will be clearly shown below.

  • Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals, the sun makes it possible for our bodies make it absolutely free. No prescription required. And this is why ‘Big Pharma’ hates natural vitamin D, as it does garlic and other natural medicines.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Its Negative Effects On Our Health
 According to some nutrition and health professionals, vitamin D can substantially reduce the risk of cancer. But no amount of this vitamin can be of much use to us if our liver, kidneys, and other vital organs have been damaged by many years or decades of unhealthy eating and lifestyle! As already explained earlier in this chapter, the liver and kidneys are responsible for the activation of all incoming forms of vitamin D; therefore, it is vital that these two organs stay healthy. Vitamin D - which we have already seen above is more of a hormone than a vitamin - is not a nutrient that we need to consume, as our body can manufacture all that we need simply by exposure to sunlight. In fact, lack of sunlight-derived Vitamin D is one of the two main reasons for the very high incidence of osteoporosis, especially in Western countries. The other main cause been the daily high to very high consumption of meat and pasteurized cows’ milk and dairy foods, all of which substantially preventing calcium absorption. Here are more facts about this vital vitamin:
  • ‘Rickets’ is the name of a bone-wasting disease caused by Vitamin D deficiency.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is likely to exacerbate type 2 diabetes and impair insulin production in the pancreas.

  • Obesity impairs vitamin D utilization in the body, meaning obese people need twice as much vitamin D.

  • Vitamin D is used around the world to treat Psoriasis.

  • Vitamin D deficiency causes schizophrenia.

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by a melatonin imbalance initiated by lack of exposure to sunlight.

  • Chronic vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia because its symptoms are so similar: muscle weakness, aches and pains.

  • The risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes and cancer is reduced 50% - 80% through simple, sensible exposure to natural sunlight at least 3 - 4 times each week.

Also, deficiency of this vitamin may cause or be associated with: burning in the mouth and throat, cramps, diarrhea, hyperparathyroidism, increased serum phosphatase, increased FSH and LH production, , insomnia, low birth weight, myopia, nervousness, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, retarded growth, skeletal abnormalities, softening of bones and teeth.
Scaremongering from Doctors and government agencies’, particularly in the US, about the possibility of contracting skin cancer from sun exposure has led to an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. What has happened is that many people stopped exposing their skin to sunlight, thus running short of sun-derived vitamin D. Worse still - having been strongly encouraged and/or deliberately misinformed by the food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries - many people (and not only in the U.S.) greately increased their daily consumption of meat, cow’s milk, and other fat, cholesterol, and protein-rich animal foods. They also started taking various synthetic forms of vitamin D. As Dr John Cannell, renowned U.S. psychiatrist and Executive Director of the ‘Vitamin D Council’, put it: “It is a change in our behavior over the last 20 years that accounts for the rapid rise of autism. Specifically, it is our lack of obtaining sufficient sunshine needed to generate adequate levels of vitamin D that has caused the epidemic, as sunshine’s UV rays interacting with the skin is the only means of obtaining the vitamin, short of pill-form supplementation. Information about the dangers of sun exposure expounded over many years by governmental agencies and groups such as the American Medical Association has created a sun-phobic populace, leading to severe deficits in vitamin D which in turn have brought about the current epidemic of autism”. Considerable evidence seems to supports Dr Cannell’s vitamin D theory!
Some Grim U.S. Vitamin D Deficiency Statistics:
  •  32% of doctors and medical school students are vitamin D deficient.

  •  40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient.

  • 42% of African American women of childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.

  • 48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin D deficient.

  • Up to 60% of all hospital patients are vitamin D deficient.

  • 76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient, causing widespread vitamin D deficiencies in their unborn children, which predisposes them to type 1 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. 81% of the children born to these mothers were deficient.

  • Up to 80% of nursing home patients are vitamin D deficient.

It is a very little-known fact that in the U.S., for example, it is illegal for nutritional supplement manufacturers to tell the truth about the anti-cancer effects of their products. Broccoli, garlic, onions, and sprouts all have powerful anti-cancer effects, as do dozens of rainforest herbs, Chinese herbs, and Western herbs. But the FDA threatens and censors any company that dares to mention cancer prevention on its supplement products. Why is the FDA enforcing a policy of nutritional ignorance with U.S. consumers? Why does the Federal Government want people to remain ignorant of natural methods for preventing or treating cancer? The shocking answer to these two and other similar questions is one: Corporate profits! However, in most other countries (with the possible exception of Germany) the situation is only marginally better than in the U.S.
Lack Of Sunlight And Wrong Diet - An Unhealthy Combination!
Apart from osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases such as, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, and Type1 diabetes are more prevalent in countries further away from the equator. To be more specific: in the northern hemisphere, communities that are farther north tend to have more Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer, in addition to other diseases. This may be due, partially, to the fact that sunlight exposure decreases with increasing distance from the Equator. However, as I have already said above, there is another major factor to consider - diet! The daily consumption of animal-based foods, especially cow’s milk, often increases in countries with the greater distance from the Equator. In fact, in a very extensive research, cow’s milk showed to be as good as a prognosticator as sunshine. As I have already mentioned above, lack of sunlight exposure and high consumption of meat, cow’s milk, poultry, fish, and other animal-based products is a very unhealthy combination indeed. This is because the digestion of high sulphur-content animal protein produces extremely acid byproducts (red meat is the most acid forming followed by poultry and fish). Acid forming foods create a dangerously acidic bodily environment - an environment which, if allowed to persist, becomes an open invitation to osteoporosis, cancer, MS, and other serious degenerative diseases. Pasteurized, cow’s milk is also acid-forming. Furthermore, the process of pasteurization turns its calcium content into an inorganic (denatured) form, thus greatly reducing its assimilation and nutritional properties. Fortunately for our health, our bodies are equipped with a natural mechanism which does its best to restore the proper acid/alkaline balance. However, in order to neutralize this acidity, the body calls upon its bone stores of alkaline calcium, as well as some magnesium. In simpler words, a daily diet high in animal protein deprives our bones of much of their calcium and magnesium. Incidentally, calcium alone is nearly useless in the building of strong bones, as it needs to be complemented by seven other minerals, as well as vitamins C and D. Magnesium, boron, and zinc are three of the seven minerals that work synergistically with both calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C to create strong healthy bones. The high acidity, produced by the digestion of animal protein, also diminishes the kidneys’ ability to reabsorb the calcium that they have filtered from the blood, thus causing an excessive excretion of calcium in the urine. As I mentioned earlier, in order to obtain enough vitamin D from animal-derived protein, we would have to ingest either ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified cow’s milk, 3.5 kilograms of meat, or about 40 medium chicken eggs per day. On this daily diet we would certainly get enough vitamin D, and a deadly myocardial infarction to go with it!
Apart from the high number of cardiovascular diseases and different cancers - so common, especially in the leading Western countries - osteoporosis is now quite high in the disease list. To be sure, there seems to be a direct correlation between high parallel latitudes and the incidence of osteoporosis due to vitamin D deficiency, but I don’t think this is the complete story. What is missing is the ‘diet’ factor. For example, in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the U.S.A., and New Zealand (the 5 top calcium and animal protein consumer countries) the hip-fracture incidence is the highest in the world! However, the most convincing occurrence of all comes from the Eskimo people who, although their diet contains between 1000-2000 mg of calcium per day, their rate of osteoporosis-related bone fractures is one of the highest in the world. By comparison, the lowest incidence of osteoporosis belongs to the African Bantu tribes, who consume only 200-300 mg of calcium per day. It is also very interesting to note that in South East Asian (especially Vietnam, which I visited ten times), the overwhelming majority of people never even considered adding cow’s milk, cheese, or any other dairy products in their daily diet - but the incidence of osteoporosis is very much lower in Vietnam than in Western countries.
As a conclusion to this section, it is true that a prolonged deficiency in vitamin D can be a determining factor in the onset of osteoporosis and other degenerative illnesses, but all the vitamin D in the world (both natural and synthetic) is not going to prevent them if our daily diet is high in animal-based foods!
The Dangers Of Chemical Sunscreens
We shouldn’t put anything on our skin that we wouldn’t eat!
Unknown to most people, the largest organ in the human body is the ‘skin’. The cells of the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin are constantly rubbed away and replaced from below. The lower layer (dermis) contains blood vessels, nerves, hair roots, sweat, and sebaceous glands, and is supported by a network of fibrous elastic cells. The skin helps to regulate body temperature, which is monitored and controlled by the thermoregulatory centre in the brain. If this temperature is too high, blood vessels supplying the skin capillaries dilate so that more blood flows through the capillaries and more heat is lost. If the body temperature is too low blood vessels supplying the skin capillaries constrict to reduce the flow of blood through the capillaries. Apart, from other functions, the skin also protects the body from disease-causing organisms. (At least, it would do so but for the fact people keep clogging their skin with all sorts of unnatural, toxic substances!) Obviously, they don’t seem to be aware that the skin absorbs about 60% of substances such as water and other liquids, creams, lotions, poultices, pastes, etc. This absorption is perfectly understandable because (as mentioned above) the dermis contains blood vessels. This is why the regular use of synthetics soaps, shampoos, baby baths, baby lotions, face creams, facial cleansers, shower creams, body foams, perfumes, deodorants, shaving, antiperspirants, lipsticks, mouthwashes, sunscreens, etc. can cause serious health problems. As a very wise saying goes: “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.” And, as far as ‘sunscreens’ are concerned, no sane person would even consider putting them in his/her mouth!
Briefly put, commercial sunscreens are said to be harmful for the following main reasons:
  1. They contain carcinogenic toxins.
  2. They absorb the very important UV-B energy from the sun, which is vital in the body’s production of vitamin D.
  3. They let most of the carcinogenic UV-A rays through.
  4. They suppress the workings of the oil-secreting glands.
In fact, nearly half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer faster because they contain vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate. This shocking news comes from the annual report of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington-based nonprofit organization. EWG’s report has certainly unearthed distressing facts, which might compel everyone to give up on sunscreens altogether. EWG Senior Vice President for Research Jane Houlihan said, “Many sunscreens available in the U.S. may be the equivalent of modern-day snake oil, plying customers with claims of broad-spectrum protection but not providing it, while exposing people to potentially hazardous chemicals that can penetrate the skin into the body.” Not surprisingly, the FDA has long been aware of the risks of vitamin A in sunscreens, and has been conducting studies proving it for more than 10 years. The FDA’s latest one-year study found that, lab animals coated in a cream with Vitamin A and exposed to sunlight daily, developed skin tumors and lesions 21 per cent sooner than the control animals with no vitamin A. Meanwhile, University of California researchers discovered that oxybenzone - a common sunscreen ingredient - boosts the production of dangerous free radicals in our skin after just 20 minutes of sun exposure. Perhaps the most ominous new research finding is that 97 per cent of all Americans are actually contaminated with benzophenone-3 (BP-3), a toxic chemical that has been used routinely in sunscreens worldwide. Most people assume that the body doesn’t really absorb chemicals from topical skin creams, but studies show BP-3 is excreted from the body long after the sunscreen has last been used, which means that the chemical accumulates in the body.
In any case, contrary to the unsubstantiated claims of the sunscreen industry, there is no conclusive evidence that sunscreens actually prevent skin cancer. Even the Food and Drug Administration’s sunscreen safety regulations state: “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer.” (FDA 2007). In fact, some researchers have observed that sunscreen users have an increased risk of melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. Some researchers speculate that the reason is this: The breakdown of the dangerous chemicals in sunscreen products allow melanoma cancer cells to generate in the deep layers of the skin or to actually cause it. We shouldn’t be fooled by high-SPF labels on sunscreens that a higher SPF does mean more sun protection. The FDA stated in their regulations that higher values of SPF (sun protection factor) are “inherently misleading” since “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful.” (FDA 2007). Perhaps the biggest danger posed by sunscreen products is that they give people a false sense of confidence that they’re adequately protected from the sun’s harmful rays. That then tempts them to stay in the sun too long, ignoring sunburns (which are a key warning of overexposure) - and increasing the risk of skin cancer and other kinds of skin damage. Furthermore, the use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which is a common ingredient in sunscreen products, penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream, according to AOL News. Thus it causes damage to various parts of the body - not just the skin.
A couple of years ago, some American health researchers and doctors started reporting new cases of rickets - the childhood bone disorder that hasn’t been seen since the 19th Century! What is even more incredible is the fact that many experts pointed to sunscreen as a major cause. That’s because rickets is caused by severe vitamin D deficiency, and sunscreen interferes with the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure. Dr. Colin Michie, senior lecturer in paediatrics at Ealing Hospital in West London, told the Daily Express he’s so worried about vitamin D deficiency that he’s helping launch a new monitoring system for infants to prevent them from severe deficiency of the critical nutrient that is necessary for building bone health ... protecting the heart ... improving immunity ... protecting against type 1 diabetes ... improving and preventing asthma ... improving hypertension ... and protecting against cancer.
Unfortunately, (but not at all surprisingly) the American Academy of Paediatrics is still telling parents to slather their kids in sunscreen - even though mounting research shows that not only do sunscreens prevent vitamin D production, but most also contain ingredients that actually increase the damaging effects of the sun’s rays! These chemical cocktails can also:
  • disrupt the body’s hormone balance;
  • lead to breast and skin cancers;
  • injure the body’s DNA;
  • interfere with thyroid function;
  • potentially contribute to male infertility;
  • and contribute to early puberty in children.
More Disconcerting Facts About Sunscreens
This added information on sunscreens comes from the experts of the Consumers’ Association of Penang - Malaysia. Cancer, including the skin variety, is a leading cause of illness and death in Malaysia. Reported cases of cancer in this country grew by 500% since 1970. General cosmetics and sunscreens, which are amongst the least regulated products in the world, contain a wide array of toxic chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic.
Sunscreens (also known as sun-blockers) are supposed to protect us from ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, but the irony is that, sunscreens harbour potential cancer-causing agents. In fact, it is reported that most chemical sunscreens contain from 2-5% of benzophenone or its derivatives (i.e., oxybenzone and benzephenone-3) as their active ingredient. According to the report, Sunscreens: Do they cause skin cancer? - printed in the International Health News magazine - benzophenone is “one of the most powerful free radical generators known today”. It is used in industrial processes to initiate chemical reactions and promote cross-linking. According to Kerk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology (Vol. 13, 3rd edition, 1981), as cited in the report, benzophenone is activated by UV light. lnternational Health News, which reviews 50 of the world’s most respected medical and scientific journals (including the British Medical Journal and the British Journal of Cancer) is touted as a reliable source of unbiased, sound and authoritative information. In addition, chemical sunscreens (including those with benzophenone) are formulated to absorb UV-B radiation - a radiation without which our bodies cannot manufacture vitamin D! But they let most of the UV-A rays through. UV-A rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are linked to melanoma - the rarest and most deadly form of skin cancer. In the Consumers’ Association of Penang’s label study, several brands of sun-block lotions were found to contain benzophenone derivatives. Here is the result of that study:
  • BENZOPHENONE-3 was found in: Coppertone 15 Sun Lotion, Coppertone 30 Waterproof Moisturizing Sunblock Lotion, Coppertone 45 Waterproof Moisturizing Sunblock Lotion, Eubos Sun 4 Lotion and Eubos Sun 8 Lotion.

  • OXYBENZONE was found in: Banana Boat Maximum Sunblock, Banana Boat Ultra Sunblock, Banana Boat Faces Plus Sun-block SPF23, and Banana Boat Sport Sunblock Lotion SPF 50.

Although the medical establishment strongly supports the use of sunscreens (surprise, surprise!) there is a growing consensus among progressive and concerned researchers that the use of sunscreens does not prevent skin cancer and may instead promote skin cancers, as well as colon and breast cancer. Most of the body’s Vitamin D supplies (about 75% of it) is generated by the skin’s exposure to UV-B rays. Using a sunscreen drastically lowers the cutaneous production of Vitamin D. Some experts, like Dr Gordon Ansleigh in California, believes that the use of sunscreens causes more cancer deaths than it prevents. He estimates that the 17% increase in breast cancer observed between 1991 and 1992 may be the result of the pervasive use of sunscreens in the 1980s. (Preventive Medicine, Vol. 22, February 1993). Recent studies have also shown a higher rate of melanoma among men who regularly use sunscreens. Also - according to The American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 82, No. 4, April 1992 and The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 10, 18 May 1994 - a higher rate of basal cell carcinoma - the most common form of skin cancer - occurs most frequently in people who spend a lot of time outdoors and use sunscreens often. This comes as no surprise as some experts believe sunscreens lull people into a false sense of security and they stay out in the sun longer (since they do not get a sunburn), therefore exposing themselves to the potentially more harmful UV-A radiation. Dr Ansleigh estimates that 30,000 cancer deaths in the United States alone could be prevented each year if people adopt a regimen of regular, moderate sun exposure!
Commercial sunscreens are a poor defense against UV damage and are unlikely on their own to give people enough protection against UV-A, which is thought to be partly responsible for melanoma. They may prevent sunburn - the visible sign of UV damage - but there is little reliable scientific evidence that they give protection against skin cancers, and no evidence at all that they prevent melanoma! That is because no sunscreen agent gives full protection against UV-A. Although today, virtually all sunscreens sold are broad-spectrum; that is, they are supposed to block both UV-A and UV-B, their blocking effectiveness against UV-A may not be as great as UV-B. This is because only part of the UV-A spectrum is used for testing a sunscreen’s effectiveness (before the product is marketed) and only up to 10% transmission is allowed for a product to be called broad-spectrum. A 1987 study reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that the protection provided against UV-A rays in chemical sunscreens is only a mere 10% of the UV-B rating! This is sheer lunacy, as UV-A rays are the cancer-promoting ones, not the greatly beneficial UV-B rays, which help the body to produce vitamin D - the miracle vitamin that protects us against cancer and other degenerative diseases!
As I have explained above, tanning lotions and sunscreens are unnatural and unhealthy; therefore, no nutrition and health practitioner worth his/her salt (so to speak) is likely to recommend them! It is far better to build one’s tolerance to the sun slowly than to use oils, screens, or lotions, as they prevent absorption of all the ultraviolet rays. To be sure, claims are often made about the availability of sun protection alternatives which are free of harmful chemical and won’t harm our health. For those who want to use a sunscreen, minus the toxic chemicals, here two alternatives taken from The Handbook Of Natural Beauty by author Virginia Castleton:

Sesame Seed Lotion - Grind a handful of sesame seeds in the blender. Add enough water to cover and whizz until you have a milky lotion. Strain through gauze and rub the lotion into your skin before going out. (This liquid will wash off in water, so reapply if necessary. According to the author, this lotion will help you to tan evenly and leaves the skin silky smooth without dryness after bathing.

Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil Lotion - Another sunshield lotion that is simple to make calls for equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and a good vegetable oil. Olive oil is excellent, but sesame, corn, or other vegetable, seed or nut oils can also be used.

A Natural, Healthy And Lasting Solution
 At this point the reader may ask the question: “If, as stated above, chemical sunscreens are unhealthy and harmful, what do we have to do to fully protect ourselves from possible sunlight?” This is a perfectly reasonable question, which it can easily be answered. And no - the answer isn’t ‘spending more time indoors’, or going out dressed up in winter clothes. At least, this is my opinion, anyway. The right answer is to go back to Nature and start applying its laws to the best of our ability and knowledge. As I have already said earlier in this book, during the process of evolution, Nature supplied every possible means of sustenance and survival to the whole of the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms. It also supplied all kinds of natural medicines to keep all living creatures healthy; and this also includes pure, fresh water and air. But, of course, nothing could exist without the sun and its life-giving and sustaining sunlight!
Unfortunately, unlike our ancestors who lived and nourished themselves in accordance to the laws of Nature, we have alienated ourselves so much from these laws that our health has been severely undermined in many ways. Our Stone Age counterparts, for example, didn’t suffer from any of today’s degenerative illnesses because, apart from their natural way of life - which gave them plenty of sunlight, clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink - they ate primarily a vegan diet. But their healthful way of life started changing when a few hundred thousands years ago they discovered fire, and started cooking animal flesh. From then to the present day, degenerative illnesses have been increasing gradually. However, from about the beginning of the 20th Century to the present day, these illnesses have alarmingly increased to epidemic proportions. Here are two examples pertaining to U.S. latest health statistics. In 1900, heart disease accounted for 8 per cent of all deaths in that country, and cancer only about 3.5 per cent. Since 1900, the number of cases of heart disease has increased some 400 per cent, and the number of cancer of cases by over 700 per cent! To put it another way, for a person living in America, there is a 75 per cent probability for men and more than 50 per cent probability for women of being afflicted either with heart disease, cancer or both!
Returning to the importance of enough sunlight, Nature intended humans to live in those areas of the globe where temperatures allowed them to go naked, thus benefitting from the many therapeutic properties of the sun. Nature didn’t intend for human beings to gradually spread all over the globe and live in hot or very cold areas, as they started doing in relatively recent ages. The truth is that humans weren’t meant to live in temperatures higher than about 30 deg. C., or below about 10 deg. C. When, for many reasons, primitive humans colonized many parts of the globe, they exceeded the limits set by Nature. As here we are only concerned with high end temperatures, people living in daily summer temperatures of about 28 - 30 deg. C., or higher, shouldn’t stay in the sun for more than a few minutes without protective clothes. Our early ancestors, however, could live in hotter areas of the globe, without suffering any ill effects from extended sun exposure, mainly because they fed almost exclusively on raw plant-based foods, not on animal-based ones. Also, they drank pure water, not ‘soft drinks’, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, they lived in pristine, unpolluted natural environments, where the ozone layer hadn’t been criminally and insanely damaged! Nature made no provision for our ancestors to wear protective clothes and hats, as they didn’t need them. They could walk or seat in the sun at anytime of the day or year without contracting skin cancer or any other skin diseases. They lived a healthy life because they abided by the laws of Nature; by comparison, the great majority of people in today’s world deliberately ignore these laws, thus letting themselves wide open to all kinds of diseases and shortening their lives substantially!
This certainly will come as a big surprise to the overwhelming majority of people, but the unsung truth is that, when it comes to sunlight exposure and its effects on our bodies, it is very important to realize that super antioxidants greatly boost the body's ability to handle sunlight without burning, or contracting skin cancer. The antioxidant, Astaxanthin, for example, is one of the most powerful "internal sunscreens" and can allow us to stay under the sun twice as long without burning. Other powerful antioxidants with this ability include the super-fruits like Acai, Pomegranates (POM Wonderful juice), blueberries, and more. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the human body’s physiological and anatomical primary characteristics are akin to those of frugivore/herbivore animals! Other top antioxidant-packed foods are sprouted small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. In short, if we wish to stay in the sun longer, without worrying about skin cancer, we need to eat primarily fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Beans and grains (unless they are sprouted) should be eaten in moderation. This is a vital fact that obvious reasons has been carefully concealed from the general public by not only the sunscreen industry, but also by the food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries.
Maximum protection from excessive amount of UV radiation from the sun (especially UV-A radiation) can be obtained from live foods, not from processed and cooked ones. Here, it should be remembered that cooked food is dead foods! For obvious reasons, we cannot expect the dairy, egg, and meat industries to tell people the truth on this matter. The cooking process destroys vitamins, some minerals, and all the enzymes. Every plant, vegetable, fruit, nut, and seed in its raw natural state is composed of atoms and molecules, every single one of these being full of enzymes. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above about 55 deg. C. Enzymes are the life force of every live organism. No wonder they are called the ‘fountain of life’! Processed and/or cooked foods contain few to no enzymes; therefore, they are dead foods! A very important, but the little known fact is that temperatures higher than about 55 deg. Celsius will destroy all enzymes. Unfortunately for their health, the overwhelming majority of people around the world (especially in Western countries) eat mostly cooked food. This is why they become easy prey to all kinds of degenerative diseases, and their average life-spans are only 70 – 75 years instead of 130 – 140 years. (Incidentally, but for the marvels of modern surgery, life-spans would be even lower than they are today.) The little-known truth is that, everything else being equal, the more food enzymes we get, the longer and healthier we live. Raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, beans, and sprouts, are loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants; and this is exactly what we need in order to stay disease-free and extend our life-spans. As I have already said above, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are of paramount importance whenever we need to protect ourselves from possible UV skin damage.
Here, I don’t intend to imply that if we eat primarily the raw, healthy foods mentioned above, we can lie, sit, or work in the mid-day summer sun for an hour or more, scantly clothed, without risking skin damage and other much more serious health problems. When it comes to health matters, we must exercise moderation. What I am saying, however, is that slathering our exposed skin in sunscreen or other sun-blocking lotions, we could very well end up acquiring the very same sun damage we are trying to avoid in the first place! As an example, skin cancer is still one of the most common cancers in the United States, despite the fact (or more likely, because of the fact) Americans use more sunscreen lotions than anybody else in the world. As a guide, we shouldn’t sit or work in the sun for more than about 30 minutes without proper protective clothes, hats and gloves in temperatures above about 25 deg. C. This precaution applies even to people who eat a diet rich in natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. I have purposely used the adjective ‘natural’ because synthetic supplementation is generally ineffective and even harmful. In other words, these vital nutrients should come from orchards, vegetable gardens, woods, forest, or jungles, not bottles and packets! NOTE: Because of the difference in people’s age, health status, physical constitution, race, occupation, as well as the geographically place they live in, the above exposure-to-sunlight guideline may have to be altered to suit each individual accordingly.
If we follow Nature’s laws of optimum nutrition, and eat in accordance with our physiological and anatomical characteristics, we needn’t continue living in fear of damaging our skin or contracting skin cancer - assuming, of course, we handle our exposure to the sun in a rational and sensible way. We shouldn’t forget that cancer cells cannot survive in an aerobic (oxygen-rich) bodily environment, nor in a mainly alkaline one - and the only way we can obtain this kind of bodily environment is by maintaining or changing to a diet consisting of pure water, raw fruit and vegetables, herbs, nuts, edible mushrooms, seeds, and a moderate amount of dried beans and grains. (For optimum health, any beans and grains eaten should be sprouted in preference to dried.) This daily diet can supply all the necessary proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants we need to stay healthy and live longer. Of course, it is also vital we stay clear of all kinds of ‘soft’ and alcoholic beverages, as well as coffee and black tea. Needless to say, all man-made sugars, saturated fats, as well as high animal protein and starchy foods have no place in this nutritional regimen. It is perfectly understandable that such a drastic change in diet can be difficult to adjust to, to say the least. If this is the case, a variety of other foods may be added to those listed above; however, care should be taken that this addition doesn’t become a complete substitution! I, for one, have no doubt that the chances of contracting skin cancer, psoriasis, and other skin diseases on this daily diet are very slim indeed, provided, of course, we use sunlight rationally, carefully, and wisely! In other words, people who follow the above vitamin and antioxidant-rich diet can walk and work in the sun at temperatures up to 25 – 28 deg. Celsius without worrying about sunburn or skin cancer. Naturally, higher temperatures require suitable protective clothing. As for the fear of not getting enough vitamin D from the sun, people who live between about 40 degrees South or 40 degrees from the equator, and who get at least 20 minutes of sun exposure on their skin a few times a week, need not to worry about running short of this vitamin. As for those who, for any reason whatsoever, are unable to get enough sunshine, they may have to obtain vitamin D from their diets and a moderate amount of krill oil supplement. However, no matter how much vitamin D we get, and no matter where it comes from, if our diets are not agreeable with our biological, biochemical, anatomical, and physiological features, we will always remain at the mercy of one or more of the many degenerative illnesses which have become so prevalent especially in Western societies.
In conclusion, as important as vitamin D is, I don’t think it is quite as vital to our health as the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical and supplement companies would like us to believe. Needless to say, profit is the first motive behind their sensational promotion of this vitamin/hormone, not people’s health! We certainly need some vitamin D, just as we need various other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. But, as mentioned above, these must come from a healthy diet of fresh, organic plant-based foods grown in nutrient-rich soil, not from pills or other forms of artificial supplementation. In a ‘nutshell’, people can like it or lump it; but the fact remains that, through the process of evolution, Nature endowed humans with the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the mammal/primate frugivores, not carnivores or omnivores. This means we were never meant to obtain vitamin D from any kind of animal-derived foods. Therefore, our only natural and healthy source of this vitamin is the sun! Unlike people, Nature makes no mistakes. As the greatest physician of the medieval world, rabbi Moshe ben Maimon wrote: “In the realm of Nature there is nothing purposeless, trivial, or unnecessary.” This is why, as far as nutrition and health are concerned, if we want to live a healthier and longer life we need to go Back to Nature!
Link To The Next Chapter
Chapter 4: Truths And Facts About Amino Acids



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