Sun exposure reduces pancreatic cancer risk by nearly 50 percent

The health benefits of vitamin D are almost becoming too numerous to count, with yet another new study presented at the recent American Association for Cancer Research Pancreatic Cancer Conference in Lake Tahoe, Nev., shedding light on the hormone’s specific anti-cancer benefits. According to the groundbreaking research, individuals exposed to natural sunlight, which is the most abundant source of natural vitamin D, are nearly 50 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than others who are not exposed.

Dr. Rachel Neale, Ph.D., and her colleagues from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia, conducted a case-control study in which 704 patients with pancreatic cancer, and 709 healthy individuals with no history of pancreatic cancer, were evaluated based on blood serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, the hormonal marker of vitamin D in the body. Each individual’s birth location, skin cancer history, skin cancer type, tanning ability, and predisposition to sunburn was also taken into account.

The team then used NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer to assess each participant’s level of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure to his or her birthplace, the data of which was used to place participants into various tertile groups for average UV radiation exposure. At the end of the day, researchers found that participants who lived in areas with the highest amount of sunlight exposure were 24 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than individuals who lived in low sunlight areas.

Additionally, individuals with the most sun-sensitive skin, who are typically lighter-skinned individuals, were found to be roughly 50 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than individuals with the least amount of sun sensitivity. Overall, there was a direct correlation between high sunlight exposure and low rates of pancreatic cancer in the study, a result that suggests vitamin D plays a critical role in pancreatic cancer prevention.

“High levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer based on both observational studies of individuals and geographic studies of populations,” writes the Vitiman D Council on their website. “Based on studies of breast, colon, and rectal cancer, vitamin D levels above 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) reduce the risk of cancer. Thus, maintaining vitamin D blood levels above 40 ng/mL may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.”

Why vitamin D is crucial for vibrant health

Vitamin D, which is actually a pro-hormone, actually plays an important role in regulating the entire human genome. 1,25-dihidroxyvitamin D, also known as calcitriol, is responsible for unlocking the more than 2,700 genetic binding sites specifically designed for it that are located throughout the human body. And every single one of the genes affected by calcitriol plays a role in the onset of most major human diseases.

What this means is that vitamin D deficiency can cause all sorts of illnesses, including everything from simple colds and influenza to chronic diseases like heart failure and cancer. And since vitamin D can really only be obtained in adequate amounts through natural sunlight or supplementation with high doses of vitamin D3, it is crucial that every individual pay close attention to his or her vitamin D levels.

The best way to obtain vitamin D is through natural sunlight exposure. A fair-skinned person can produce enough vitamin D from about 15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure during the peak summer months, while a darker-skinned person may need as much as an hour-and-a-half of sunlight exposure. Sunscreens are designed to block out the UV rays responsible for vitamin D production in the skin, so it is important not to wear sunscreen when trying to obtain vitamin D
Another option is to supplement with vitamin D3. The government’s recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin D is still too low, as most people need to take anywhere from 1,000 – 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 every day to maintain adequate blood levels. If you are unsure about your vitamin D levels, you may wish to have a blood test taken to determine what is an appropriate amount of vitamin D with which to supplement).

Sources for this article include:

Posted in Cush n Shade Blog

Hidden Sunscreen Dangers Exposed

Article source: By P. S. Orr Posted Friday, July 1, 2016

Are you counting on using sunscreen to ensure that you don’t get melanoma? Rethink that. Scientists can show little proof that using sunscreen alone is the answer to avoiding skin cancer. Yet, millions of Americans count on sunblock products to provide skin protection from cancer. But they shouldn’t.

However, it’s true that sunscreen, if used correctly, can help prevent sunburn which is a major cause of skin cancer. While it can be useful in helping to avoid sunburns, it’s not the only thing you should do to protect your skin. Plus, there are additional adverse health consequences to using some sunblock formulas on the market today.

Little Known Facts about Sunscreen

1. Using a sunscreen higher than SPF 50 is NOT safer

Most people assume that the more SPF, the safer for their skin. So, no problem. Just use more and stay in the sun longer. Relying on high SPF to protect them, many people change their sun bathing behaviour because they think they’re safe.
According to the Environmental Working Group, “Philippe Autier, a scientist formerly with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has conducted numerous studies on sunbathers and believes that high-SPF products spur “profound changes in sun behaviour” that may account for the increased melanoma risk found in some studies.”
Another down side to very high SPF, is the extra chemicals that are used to produce the sunscreen. More unhealthy chemicals are absorbed into the skin with higher SPF than a low SPF product. Some of the ingredients can pose a health risk and cause hormone disruption, allergic reactions and tissue damage.

2. No real proof that sunscreen prevents skin cancer

Even though there are more sunblock products sold and used today than ever before, the rates of skin cancer have tripled over the past 35 years. The FDA and a large group of scientists have found no real evidence that it protects against various types of skin cancer.

3. Sunscreen can contribute to low vitamin d levels

The good thing about sunblockers is that it helps to prevents burns; the bad thing is that is also blocks the sun’s rays that causes the body to produce vitamin D for optimum health. Vitamin D is important in lowering risks of cancer, strengthening bones and the immune system. Most people don’t get enough sun to produce vitamin D and need to take extra vitamin D through supplement form.

4. Some sunscreen formulas contain toxic ingredients that cause allergies and disrupt hormones

Many products contain chemical ingredients that absorb into the skin, disrupt the body’s hormone system or cause allergic reactions. Mineral based sunblock products are considered a better choice and contain titanium and zinc which are nanoparticles.

5. Sunscreen doesn’t automatically protect from all skin damage

Typically, American made sunblockers can protect from burns, but do not necessarily protect from ultraviolet rays that damage skin cells and DNA. Protection against aging skin and skin cancers is also not provided even with extra SPF that reduces burning.

6. Sunscreen products developed in Europe tend to provide better UVA protection

Why? Manufacturers in Europe have access to 7 different ingredients that filter UVA rays. In America, the FDA has only approved 3 of these ingredients that manufacturers can use, thus limiting their ability to more adequately provide consumers with the most powerful UVA protection.

7. Vitamin A is an additive in sunscreen products that may accelerate skin cancer development

You’d think that taking vitamin A sounds healthy, right? Not so in sunscreen. In fact, the EWG recommends that “…consumers avoid sunscreens, lip products and skin lotions that contain vitamin A, also called retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol.”
Even though retinyl palmitate combats skin cancer, according to government studies, it also may speed the development of skin lesions and tumors when used on skin in the sun. Not all products use this additive, but be sure to avoid sunscreen that contains vitamin A.

8. High SPF isn’t a total guarantee against burns and skin cancer

The FDA has considered restricting companies from offering products with SPF levels higher than 50+. It can be misleading to consumers who believe they can use less sunscreen and stay in the sun longer.

9. Sunscreen is never really 100% “water proof”
No matter what a label claims, sunscreen will only protect the skin from burning a short time. After exposure to water or sweat, it breaks down and must be reapplied even if the SPF claims it is “water resistant”.

Safer Sunscreen Selection Tips

When choosing a safe sunscreen for your skin, always select a natural, organic alternative that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. Also, look for brands that block not only UVB, but UVA radiation as well. SPF should be 15 or higher. Mineral based sunscreen with titanium or zinc is also a good choice.

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A healthy dose of sunshine is vital for your wellbeing.

In the midst of this beautiful summer, make sure to take a small break from the daily grind to do a little sun worshipping — for your health! The UVB rays from the sun are bursting with protective vitamin D, an important nutrient for your bones, your heart, your immune system and your happiness. So get outside and D-light in the healthful benefits of the sun!

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because the majority of our D intake comes from UVB sunrays (in the form of vitamin D3). A handful of foods, such as fatty fish and egg yolks, contain vitamin D naturally, yet our main food source of the vitamin, milk, is fortified with D2 to protect us against deficiency. Fortification began in the 1920s to prevent children from developing rickets and adults from developing osteomalacia, both skeletal diseases that damage the bones. Today, rickets is relatively unheard of, but the need to get your daily D is still vitally important.

The benefits of vitamin D

Over the past few decades, vitamin D research has begun to explode and the findings are both intriguing and exciting. It appears that vitamin D has many protective health benefits. For example, studies suggest that vitamin D may prevent the development of colon cancer and breast cancer while preliminary evidence suggests that high doses of the vitamin may be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Vitamin D is proving to be an important contender in the fight against heart disease. A German study found that high doses of D lowered inflammation in study participants, an underlying cause of congestive heart failure. In a Harvard Medical School study, participants who were vitamin D deficient were twice as likely to have heart attacks and strokes than participants who had adequate vitamin D blood levels. And yet another study linked low vitamin D levels with hypertension, noting that blood pressure is often elevated in the winter when exposure to the sun is most limited.

Metabolic syndrome (also known as Syndrome X) has been strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency. One study out of Spain found that 61% of participants who had metabolic syndrome were also D-deficient. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by cardiovascular disease, abdominal obesity and insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

The relationship with Vitamin D and diabetes doesn’t stop there, however. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that lower blood levels of D were associated with a greater degree of insulin resistance. Not surprisingly, recent studies indicate that patients with type 2 diabetes had improved insulin sensitivity after supplementing with vitamin D.

When it comes to skeletal health, vitamin D has always been an important factor and multiple research studies continue to prove just how significant the connection is. Vitamin D is vital to strong, healthy bones and maintaining normal levels of the vitamin may actually prevent osteoporosis. A D-deficiency is associated with hip fractures and bone loss and it has been estimated that roughly half of those being treated for osteoporosis have lower-than-adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood.

So, who is in danger of becoming vitamin D deficient? 90% of my patients are deficient in vitamin D, so chances are, you are too. A D-deficiency can occur if your dietary intake of the vitamin is inadequate, if you have limited exposure to sunlight or if your body cannot process vitamin D appropriately. People with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, liver disease or who have had part or all of their stomach removed may also be deficient in the vitamin. As we age, the body is less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, therefore older individuals may also be at risk for vitamin D deficiency.

Getting your daily dose of vitamin D is as easy as stepping out into the sunlight and drinking in the rays. Here are a few things to keep in mind when enjoying the warmth of the sun:

1. Begin with just a few minutes of exposure, until you have a pink foundation. Never let your skin burn.

2. Sunbathe with clean skin, free of lotions, soaps, perfumes or cosmetics.

3. Do not use sunblock — the production of both vitamin D and melanin pigmentation are UVB dependent.

4. Use sunscreen only after you’ve had proper sun exposure and you are going to be in the sun for extended periods of time.

5. Reduce sun exposure when you are in the snow, white sand, or high altitude locations.

6. Do not exceed the safe daily limits. Put on a hat and the proper clothing, and a sunscreen that contains a physical sun block, such as titanium dioxide.

I encourage everyone to have their vitamin D blood levels tested for sufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin. Your doctor can monitor your blood levels to determine the dose appropriate for your individual needs. In addition to daily exposure to the sun you may need to supplement with cod liver oil or vitamin D3 (the form most readily available to the body). Check with your doctor to find out how much you should be taking before you begin to supplement with vitamin D.

Vitamin D is vital to your health and as necessary as food, water and sleep. Take time out of your day everyday to enjoy the healing benefits that the sun has to offer. A sunny disposition makes for a lifetime of good health!

About the author

Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. has specialized in Integrative Medicine for over twenty years, using conventional and natural methods to determine and discover the “root of the cause” in her clinic, Center for New Medicine in Irvine, California, each and every day. Many people come in to the clinic from all over the world with severe chronic illnesses that conventional medical protocols have been unsuccessful treating. She realized early on that she can truly change lives through education as well as treatment protocols.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. and her medical staff strives to look at the whole person while exploring the effects and relationships among nutrition, psychological and social factors, environmental effects and personal attunement.

Posted in Cush n Shade Blog

Frequent exposure to sunshine lowers rheumatoid arthritis risk

(NaturalNews) Frequent exposure to sunshine has been linked to the prevention of several serious diseases, from Type II diabetes to between 15-20 types of cancer. According to a new study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases journal, however, we have yet another reason to love the sun: Older women who enjoy frequent exposure to sunlight throughout their lives are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that affects joints. The researchers, who are members of the Department of Epidermiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, monitored the health of two groups of female nurses. The first group, comprised of over 120,000 women between the ages of 30 to 55, was monitored from 1976 to 2008. The second group, comprised of 115,500 women between the ages of 25 and 32, was monitored from 1989 to 2009.

They found that the older women in the first group with the highest estimated levels of ultraviolet radiation exposure (as determined by factors such as the climate of the state in which they lived) were 21 percent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than the women with the lowest estimated levels.

However, the younger women in the second group demonstrated no correlation between estimated ultraviolet radiation exposure and a decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The study authors believe that this is because younger women are taught from a young age to guard themselves from the sun using sunscreen, or avoid it altogether.

“Our study adds to the growing evidence that exposure to UV-B light is associated with decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis,” said Dr. Elizabeth Arkema, co-author of the study. “The mechanisms are not yet understood, but could be mediated by the cutaneous production of vitamin D and attenuated by use of sunscreen or sun avoidant behavior.”

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