By Jill Coleman RN

Getting sunburned is NOT good, but we all need sunshine. It is the main source of life on this planet.
Our bodies convert sunshine into vitamin D from the oils in our skin. But if we are deficient in antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables like berries, broccoli, kale, and even algae, the body cannot protect us from the harmful rays of the sun. This is the only time sunshine can be dangerous.
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It always comes back around to our nutritional status. If our body has all the nutrients it needs, it can even stave off skin cancer.
Adequate amounts of Vitamin D protect us from breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancers, (to name a few); it decreases inflammation and is necessary for calcium absorption, prevents brittle bones, and is indispensable in our body’s immune function. It prevents rickets*, high blood pressure, obesity, arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, DEPRESSION and more. 1
Interesting that breast cancer tumors grow more in winter months, when there is less sunshine. 2
Vitamin D is even better than fluoride in preventing cavities;
There were several studies reported on vitamin D and dental caries in the 1920s and 1930s. May Mellanby and coworkers in Sheffield, England, did studies on the role of vitamin D on teeth in the 1920s. With dogs, it was found that vitamin D stimulated the calcification of teeth. Subsequently, they studied the effect of vitamin D on dental caries in children, finding a beneficial effect. Studies on children in New York regarding dental caries with respect to season, they found that it took 800 IU/day to prevent caries effectively.”
We have become so afraid of the sun, that we are willing to slather sunscreen on our skin that has dangerous chemicals like PABA, oxybenzone, and retinyl palminate.
Everything you put on your skin absorbs into your blood stream, and the above chemicals release free radical particles and increase the risk of cancer.
Sunshine is the safest way to get natural vitamin D. Especially if you are well nourished. Thirty minutes of sun a day can produce as much as 20,000 IU of Vitamin D. That is for a pale person without clothes or sunscreen. If you have darker skin, (more melatonin*), you will need to stay out longer in the sun because melatonin, blocks sun rays.
If you live in cold climates, or work inside like most of us do, you are not getting the sun exposure you need. Believe it or not, a tanning booth is a good substitute for sunshine, if you are on a healthy diet and well nourished.
If you are still afraid of the sun, or your diet consists mainly of junk food, you can get vitamin D from foods, but it is not as good as the life giving rays of the sun.
High Vitamin Cod Liver Oil, from Green Pastures has 3,450 IU of vitamin D per tablespoon. This is the highest food source amount of vitamin D I have found that is readily available. Standard cod liver oil has about 1,200 IU’s. Eggs, (especially duck eggs), salmon, sardines, and rainbow trout, are also good sources. See the reference for the complete list. 3
Vitamin D supplements are available but are not as safe as natural sources. Remember, the body does not recognize synthetic sources outside of nature and toxicities can result. To avoid vitamin D toxicity, vitamin D levels need to be monitored by your doctor.
CHOLECALCIFEROL (vitamin D3) is the most absorbable form of synthesized vitamin D. Have your doctor check for: VITAMIN D 25-DIHYDROXY with a blood test, as vitamin D can be toxic in high doses. The optimum levels are 50-55 ng/ml or 115-129 nmol/L.
But wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to eat better and lay out in the sun for 30 minutes?
If you’re feeling low, relax by a pool (or a sprinkler), eat a bowl of cherries or fresh broccoli salad, and let the sun melt your blues away.
1. The Vitamin D Cure, by James E. Dowd and Diane Stafford, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
2. Natural News-The Truth About Sunlight, Cancer and Vitamin D by Mike Adams July 6, 2010
3. From Seafood to Sunshine, A new Understanding of Vitamin D, by Chris Master John. 12/17/06