Sunlight Holds Key To Killing Breast Cancer

Sunlight Holds Key To Killing Breast Cancer | sunlight | Natural Medicine

A new study finds vitamin D — the ‘sunlight vitamin’ — strikes to the very heart of breast cancer malignancy.

Breast cancer is not what most people think. Beneath the intimidating statistics that make it seem like a juggernaut of inevitability or a time bomb of genetic determinism ready to go off in the asymptomatic breasts of millions of women, a far more complex conversation is occurring among clinicians and researchers concerning the true nature and causes of cancer, and why conventional therapies fail to turn the tide against the second highest cause of death in the Western world.  To fully appreciate this, one must go to the first hand research itself.

For instance, a new study published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology identifies an overlooked root cause of breast cancer (cancer stem cells), as well as a natural intervention that has yet to be incorporated into the conventional standard of cancer care.

Titled, “Vitamin D compounds reduce mammosphere formation and decrease expression of putative stem cell markers in breast cancer,” the new study brings to the forefront the role of breast cancer stem cells (BSCs) in breast tumor formation and their progression towards malignancy and treatment resistance. For many decades it was assumed that cancer results from DNA-damaged cells succumbing to fundamentally chaotic processes, ‘going rogue’ and reproducing clonally (making identical copies of one another), without an acknowledgment of the different types of cells that comprise tumors. The most salient difference is between the cancer stem cells (sometimes referred to as ‘mother’ cells) which are capable of theoretically infinite self-renewal and produce all the differentiated ‘daughter’ cells in a tumor colony, which themselves are not capable of living indefinitely. It is actually the existence of the much smaller number of cancer stem cells which causes cancer recurrence, as they are not only resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiation, but their numbers can actually be increased (enriched) by these two ‘therapies.’ Therefore, any cancer therapy that ignores the cancer stem cell subpopulation in favor of killing the non-tumorigenic daughter cells in order to ‘debulk’ the tumor (i.e. shrink it), will not result in destroying the root of the cancer. To the contrary, it can generate the illusion of ‘remission’ while in fact making the remaining tumor colony far more malignant, setting up the conditions for aggressive recurrence years later.

The new study focused on a type of breast tissue abnormality known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which for decades was considered cancer (constituting about 20% of all breast cancer diagnoses), but recently has been identified as a benign lesion of epithelial origin. There are cases where DCIS progresses towards another breast abnormality known as invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which is considered a more serious risk. But even IDC cases may never progress to cause symptoms, nor ever cause harm to those within which it occurs. Nonetheless, the conventional medical system still considers a diagnosis of either DCIS or IDC justification for aggressive interventions, e.g. lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, indicating that if there is a natural intervention to decelerate the trajectory from DCIS to IDC, especially if it focuses on targeting and/or reducing the expression and growth of breast cancer stem cells, it is of great clinical relevance.

The new study sought to determine whether vitamin D3 and an analog known as BXL0124 are capable of inhibiting the progression of DCIS to IDC, and whether this effect is mediated through an influence on breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). The study used a mammosphere cell culture system, which is a clump of mammary gland cells that includes breast cancer stem cells along with non-stem cell breast cells.

The researchers found that when the Vitamin D compounds were administered to the mammosphere culture it was observed to undergo a transition from a state of disorganization and irregularity in shape to a more organized and symmetrical shape similar to spheres formed by a non-malignant, normal mammary epithelial cell line. This cancer-defying effect of the vitamin D compounds was described in terms of a reduction in the so-called ‘mammosphere forming efficiency (MFE).” Moreover, treatment with vitamin D compounds was found to repress cell markers associated with stem cell-like phenotype (e.g. CD44, CD49f,c-Notch1, andpNFkB), as well as pluripotency markers (e.g. OCT4 and KLF-4), another property found within cancer stem cells.

The study concluded:

“Cancer progression, metastasis, and recurrence are significant problems in managing breast cancer. A significant body of evidence indicates that breast cancer stem cells drive these processes, complicating treatment strategies. A better understanding of how BCSCs drive breast cancer progression will aid in developing targeted therapies toward BCSCs. Our present study suggests a potential treatment strategy to reduce the putative BCSC population, and therefore enhance the effectiveness of breast cancer prevention and treatment through the use of vitamin D compounds.” [emphasis added]

Regardless of whether DCIS or ICS really do represent a mortal threat to the health and lives of women, this study indicates that vitamin D targets the most malignant cell type found within breast cancer — the cancer stem cells — which is infinitely more selective an intervention than radiation and chemotherapy; nor does vitamin D have the profoundly damaging side effects of conventional cancer treatment.

Vitamin D, of course, is designed to be manufactured through the ultraviolet B-stimulated conversion of the cholesterol metabolite 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin. The fact that in the modern era the breasts are never exposed to sunlight and that generally speaking adequate sunlight exposure (especially considering the over-use of vitamin-D blocking and carcinogenic petroleum-based sunscreens) is rare, it is likely that many of the variations in breast morphology increasingly being diagnosed through technologies like mammography as being ‘abnormal’ or ‘precancerous,’ directly reflect a deficiency of sunlight and Vitamin D.  While the U.S. Preventive Task Force does not believe there is enough evidence supporting the benefit of vitamin D screening in routine practice, there is no harm in getting a blood test to determine one’s levels relative to the background population. And since vitamin D3 supplementation is affordable and extremely safe relative to commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals like Tamoxifen (a known carcinogen), it may provide those at risk for breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence with a reasonable alternative to watchful waiting and/or preventive chemotherapy.

For additional research on risk factors for breast cancer stem cell enrichment, as well as natural substances found to kill them, take a look at our database page on the topic: Breast Cancer Stem Cells, as well as the larger database section on Cancer Stem Cells in general.

© March 20, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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Biophotons: The Human Body Emits, Communicates With And Is Made From Light

Biophotons: The Human Body Emits, Communicates With And Is Made From Light | silhouette-sunlight | Consciousness General Health Science & Technology Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Increasingly science agrees with the poetry of direct human experience:  we are more than the atoms and molecules that make up our bodies, but beings of light as well. Biophotons are emitted by the human body, can be released through mental intention, and may modulate fundamental processes within cell-to-cell communication and DNA.

Nothing is more amazing than the highly improbable fact that we exist. We often ignore this fact, oblivious to the reality that instead of something there could be nothing at all, i.e. why is there a universe (poignantly aware of itself through us) and not some void completely unconscious of itself?

Consider that from light, air, water, basic minerals within the crust of the earth, and the at least 3 billion year old information contained within the nucleus of one diploid zygote cell, the human body is formed, and within that body a soul capable of at least trying to comprehend its bodily and spiritual origins.

Given the sheer insanity of our existential condition, and bodily incarnation as a whole, and considering that our earthly existence is partially formed from sunlight and requires the continual consumption of condensed sunlight in the form of food, it may not sound so farfetched that our body emits light.

Indeed, the human body emits biophotons, also known as ultraweak photon emissions (UPE), with a visibility 1,000 times lower than the sensitivity of our naked eye. While not visible to us, these particles of light (or waves, depending on how you are measuring them) are part of the visible electromagnetic spectrum (380-780 nm) and are detectable via sophisticated modern instrumentation.[1],[2]

The Physical and “Mental” Eye Emits Light

The eye itself, which is continually exposed to ambient powerful photons that pass through various ocular tissues, emit spontaneous and visible light-induced ultraweak photon emissions.[3] It has even been hypothesized that visible light induces delayed bioluminescence within the exposed eye tissue, providing an explanation for the origin of the negative afterimage.[4]

These light emissions have also been correlated with cerebral energy metabolism and oxidative stress within the mammalian brain.[5] [6] And yet, biophoton emissions are not necessarily epiphenomenal.  Bókkon’s hypothesis suggests that photons released from chemical processes within the brain produce biophysical pictures during visual imagery, and a recent study found that when subjects actively imagined light in a very dark environment their intention produced significant increases in ultraweak photo emissions.[7]  This is consistent with an emerging view that biophotons are not solely cellular metabolic by-products, but rather, because biophoton intensity can be considerably higher inside cells than outside, it is possible for the mind to access this energy gradient to create intrinsic biophysical pictures during visual perception and imagery.[8]

Biophotons: The Human Body Emits, Communicates With And Is Made From Light | see-eye-to-eye-450x300 | Consciousness General Health Science & Technology Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Our Cells and DNA Use Biophotons To Store and Communicate Information

Apparently biophotons are used by the cells of many living organisms to communicate, which facilitates energy/information transfer that is several orders of magnitude faster than chemical diffusion. According to a 2010 study, “Cell to cell communication by biophotons have been demonstrated in plants, bacteria, animal neutriophil granulocytes and kidney cells.”[9] Researchers were able to demonstrate that “…different spectral light stimulation (infrared, red, yellow, blue, green and white) at one end of the spinal sensory or motor nerve roots resulted in a significant increase in the biophotonic activity at the other end.” Researchers interpreted their finding to suggest that “…light stimulation can generate biophotons that conduct along the neural fibers, probably as neural communication signals.”

Even when we go down to the molecular level of our genome, DNA can be identified to be a source of biophoton emissions as well. One author proposes that DNA is so biophoton dependent that is has excimer laser-like properties, enabling it to exist in a stable state far from thermal equilibrium at threshold.[10]

Technically speaking a biophoton is an elementary particle or quantum of light of non-thermal origin in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum emitted from a biological system.   They are generally believed to be produced as a result of energy metabolism within our cells, or more formally as a “…by-product of biochemical reactions in which excited molecules are produced from bioenergetic processes that involves active oxygen species,”  [11]

The Body’s Circadian Biophoton Output

Because the metabolism of the body changes in a circadian fashion, biophoton emissions also variate along the axis of diurnal time. [12]  Research has mapped out distinct anatomical locations within the body where biophoton emissions are stronger and weaker, depending on the time of the day:

Generally, the fluctuation in photon counts over the body was lower in the morning than in the afternoon. The thorax-abdomen region emitted lowest and most constantly. The upper extremities and the head region emitted most and increasingly over the day. Spectral analysis of low, intermediate and high emission from the superior frontal part of the right leg, the forehead and the palms in the sensitivity range of the photomultiplier showed the major spontaneous emission at 470-570 nm. The central palm area of hand emission showed a larger contribution of the 420-470 nm range in the spectrum of spontaneous emission from the hand in autumn/winter. The spectrum of delayed luminescence from the hand showed major emission in the same range as spontaneous emission.

The researchers concluded that “The spectral data suggest that measurements might well provide quantitative data on the individual pattern of peroxidative and anti-oxidative processes in vivo.”

Meditation and Herbs Affect Biophoton Output

Research has found an oxidative stress-mediated difference in biophoton emission among mediators versus non-meditators. Those who meditate regularly tend to have lower ultra-weak photon emission (UPE, biophoton emission), which is believed to result from the lower level of free radical reactions occurring in their bodies. In one clinical study involving practitioners of transcendental meditation (TM) researchers found:

The lowest UPE intensities were observed in two subjects who regularly meditate. Spectral analysis of human UPE has suggested that ultra-weak emission is probably, at least in part, a reflection of free radical reactions in a living system. It has been documented that various physiologic and biochemical shifts follow the long-term practice of meditation and it is inferred that meditation may impact free radical activity.[13]

Interestingly, an herb well-known for its use in stress reduction (including inducing measurable declines in cortisol), and associated heightened oxidative stress, has been tested clinically in reducing the level of biophotons emitted in human subjects.  Known as rhodiola, a study published in 2009 in the journal Phytotherapeutic Research found that those who took the herb for 1 week has a significant decrease in photon emission in comparison with the placebo group.[14]

Human Skin May Capture Energy and Information from Sunlight

Perhaps most extraordinary of all is the possibility that our bodily surface contains cells capable of efficiently trapping the energy and information from ultraviolet radiation. A study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology in 1993, titled, “Artificial sunlight irradiation induces ultraweak photon emission in human skin fibroblasts,” discovered that when light from an artificial sunlight source was applied to fibroblasts from either normal subjects or with the condition xeroderma pigmentosum, characterized by deficient DNA repair mechanisms, it induced far higher emissions of ultraweak photons (10-20 times) in the xeroderma pigmentosum group.  The researchers concluded from this experiment that “These data suggest that xeroderma pigmentosum cells tend to lose the capacity of efficient storage of ultraweak photons, indicating the existence of an efficient intracellular photon trapping system within human cells.[15]  More recent research has also identified measurable differences in biophoton emission between normal and melanoma cells.[16]

In a previous article, Does Skin Pigment Act Like A Natural Solar-Panel, we explored the role of melanin in converting ultraviolet light into metabolic energy:

Melanin is capable of transforming ultraviolet light energy into heat in a process known as “ultrafast internal conversion”; more than 99.9% of the absorbed UV radiation is transformed from potentially genotoxic (DNA-damaging) ultraviolet light into harmless heat.

If melanin can convert light into heat, could it not also transform UV radiation into other biologically/metabolically useful forms of energy? This may not seem so farfetched when one considers that even gamma radiation, which is highly toxic to most forms of life, is a source of sustenance for certain types of fungi and bacteria. More on melanin-mediated energy production here.

Gerald Pollack, PhD, who wrote The 4th Phase of Water has identified water molecules, which constitute 99% of the molecules in our body by number, as capable of storing the energy of sunlight like batteries and driving the majority of processes within our body as a primary, non-ATP-based source of energy. Dr. Pollack wrote a guest article for us on the topic here, Can Humans Harvest The Sun’s Energy Directly Like Plants? 

The Body’s Biophoton Outputs Are Governed by Solar and Lunar Forces

It appears that modern science is only now coming to recognize the ability of the human body to receive and emit energy and information directly from the light given off from the Sun. [17]

There is also a growing realization that the Sun and Moon affect biophoton emissions through gravitational influences.  Recently, biophoton emissions from wheat seedlings in Germany and Brazil were found to be synchronized transcontinentally according to rhythms associated with the lunisolar tide.[18]  In fact, the lunisolar tidal force, to which the Sun contributes 30 % and the Moon 60 % of the combined gravitational acceleration, has been found to regulate a number of features of plant growth upon Earth.[19]

Intention Is a Living Force of Physiology

Even human intention itself, the so-called ghost in the machine, may have an empirical basis in biophotons.

A recent commentary published in the journal Investigacion clinica titled “Evidence about the power of intention” addressed this connection:

Intention is defined as a directed thought to perform a determined action. Thoughts targeted to an end can affect inanimate objects and practically all living things from unicellular organisms to human beings. The emission of light particles (biophotons) seems to be the mechanism through which an intention produces its effects. All living organisms emit a constant current of photons as a mean to direct instantaneous nonlocal signals from one part of the body to another and to the outside world. Biophotons are stored in the intracellular DNA. When the organism is sick changes in biophotons emissions are produced. Direct intention manifests itself as an electric and magnetic energy producing an ordered flux of photons. Our intentions seem to operate as highly coherent frequencies capable of changing the molecular structure of matter. For the intention to be effective it is necessary to choose the appropriate time. In fact, living beings are mutually synchronized and to the earth and its constant changes of magnetic energy. It has been shown that the energy of thought can also alter the environment. Hypnosis, stigmata phenomena and the placebo effect can also be considered as types of intention, as instructions to the brain during a particular state of consciousness. Cases of spontaneous cures or of remote healing of extremely ill patients represent instances of an exceedingly great intention to control diseases menacing our lives. The intention to heal as well as the beliefs of the sick person on the efficacy of the healing influences promote his healing. In conclusion, studies on thought and consciousness are emerging as fundamental aspects and not as mere epiphenomena that are rapidly leading to a profound change in the paradigms of Biology and Medicine.

So there you have it. Science increasingly agrees with direct human experience: we are more than the atoms and molecules of which we are composed, but beings that emit, communicate with, and are formed from light.


[1] Herbert Schwabl, Herbert Klima. Spontaneous ultraweak photon emission from biological systems and the endogenous light field. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Apr;12(2):84-9. PMID: 15947466

[2] Hugo J Niggli, Salvatore Tudisco, Giuseppe Privitera, Lee Ann Applegate, Agata Scordino, Franco Musumeci. Laser-ultraviolet-A-induced ultraweak photon emission in mammalian cells. J Biomed Opt. 2005 Mar-Apr;10(2):024006. PMID: 15910080

[3] Chao Wang, István Bókkon, Jiapei Dai, István Antal. Spontaneous and visible light-induced ultraweak photon emission from rat eyes. Brain Res. 2011 Jan 19 ;1369:1-9. Epub 2010 Oct 26. PMID: 21034725

[4] I Bókkon, R L P Vimal, C Wang, J Dai, V Salari, F Grass, I Antal. Visible light induced ocular delayed bioluminescence as a possible origin of negative afterimage. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2011 May 3 ;103(2):192-9. Epub 2011 Mar 23. PMID: 21463953

[5] M Kobayashi, M Takeda, T Sato, Y Yamazaki, K Kaneko, K Ito, H Kato, H Inaba. In vivo imaging of spontaneous ultraweak photon emission from a rat’s brain correlated with cerebral energy metabolism and oxidative stress. Neurosci Res. 1999 Jul;34(2):103-13. PMID: 10498336

[6] Y Kataoka, Y Cui, A Yamagata, M Niigaki, T Hirohata, N Oishi, Y Watanabe. Activity-dependent neural tissue oxidation emits intrinsic ultraweak photons. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jul 27;285(4):1007-11. PMID: 11467852

[7] B T Dotta, K S Saroka, M A Persinger. Increased photon emission from the head while imagining light in the dark is correlated with changes in electroencephalographic power: support for Bókkon’s biophoton hypothesis. Neurosci Lett. 2012 Apr 4 ;513(2):151-4. Epub 2012 Feb 17. PMID: 22343311

[8] I Bókkon, V Salari, J A Tuszynski, I Antal. Estimation of the number of biophotons involved in the visual perception of a single-object image: biophoton intensity can be considerably higher inside cells than outside. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 Sep 2 ;100(3):160-6. Epub 2010 Jun 10. PMID: 20584615

[9] Yan Sun, Chao Wang, Jiapei Dai. Biophotons as neural communication signals demonstrated by in situ biophoton autography. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2010 Mar ;9(3):315-22. Epub 2010 Jan 21. PMID: 20221457

[10] F A Popp, W Nagl, K H Li, W Scholz, O Weingärtner, R Wolf. Biophoton emission. New evidence for coherence and DNA as source. Cell Biophys. 1984 Mar;6(1):33-52. PMID: 6204761

[11] Masaki Kobayashi, Daisuke Kikuchi, Hitoshi Okamura. Imaging of ultraweak spontaneous photon emission from human body displaying diurnal rhythm. PLoS One. 2009;4(7):e6256. Epub 2009 Jul 16. PMID: 19606225

[12] Masaki Kobayashi, Daisuke Kikuchi, Hitoshi Okamura. Imaging of ultraweak spontaneous photon emission from human body displaying diurnal rhythm. PLoS One. 2009;4(7):e6256. Epub 2009 Jul 16. PMID: 19606225

[13] Eduard P A Van Wijk, Heike Koch, Saskia Bosman, Roeland Van Wijk. Anatomic characterization of human ultra-weak photon emission in practitioners of transcendental meditation(TM) and control subjects. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):31-8. PMID: 16494566

[14] F W G Schutgens, P Neogi, E P A van Wijk, R van Wijk, G Wikman, F A C Wiegant. The influence of adaptogens on ultraweak biophoton emission: a pilot-experiment. Phytother Res. 2009 Aug;23(8):1103-8. PMID: 19170145

[15] H J Niggli. Artificial sunlight irradiation induces ultraweak photon emission in human skin fibroblasts. J Photochem Photobiol B. 1993 May;18(2-3):281-5. PMID: 8350193

[16] Hugo J Niggli, Salvatore Tudisco, Giuseppe Privitera, Lee Ann Applegate, Agata Scordino, Franco Musumeci. Laser-ultraviolet-A-induced ultraweak photon emission in mammalian cells. J Biomed Opt. 2005 Mar-Apr;10(2):024006. PMID: 15910080

[17] Janusz Slawinski. Photon emission from perturbed and dying organisms: biomedical perspectives. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Apr;12(2):90-5. PMID: 15947467

[18] Cristiano M Gallep, Thiago A Moraes, Samuel R Dos Santos, Peter W Barlow. Coincidence of biophoton emission by wheat seedlings during simultaneous, transcontinental germination tests. Protoplasma. 2013 Jun ;250(3):793-6. Epub 2012 Sep 26. PMID: 23011402

[19] Peter W Barlow, Joachim Fisahn. Lunisolar tidal force and the growth of plant roots, and some other of its effects on plant movements. Ann Bot. 2012 Jul ;110(2):301-18. Epub 2012 Mar 20. PMID: 22437666

© March 13, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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Sunlight May Reduce Risk of Nearsightedness

Sunlight May Reduce Risk of Nearsightedness | sunglasses-beach | General Health Science & Technology Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Sunlight is good for you. Seriously good for you. In fact, a new study shows that people, teens in particular, who spend time outside basking in the sun have better vision later in life.

Conversely, those who don’t get a lot of sun when they’re in their teens or early 20s can expect the opposite. The types of vision problems the study1 showed improvement on included myopia, a type of nearsightedness.

Researchers from King’s College London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and other universities reviewed 371 Europeans with nearsightedness, as well as 2,797 people without the condition, all 65 and older.

Each participant underwent an eye examination, had blood samples taken and had an interview about their health behaviors in previous years, primarily to estimate their exposure to ultraviolet B rays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Those with the most ultraviolet B exposure, especially when they were teenagers and young adults between 14 and 29 years old, had a 30 percent lower risk of myopia, the inability to see clearly at a distance, than those who had the lowest exposures. However, the link wasn’t meant to prove cause and effect — just an association.

The researchers wrote that myopia is becoming more and more common and is increasingly associated with complications that could ultimately threaten peoples’ eyesight, or introduce complications. They added that while exposing oneself to sunlight is actually protective, most people have no idea.

Myopia is considered a genetic problem only a mere fraction of the time, but the study authors say that while the environment appears to have something to do with it, it’s not yet clear what that is.

The Problem With Kids Today

It’s notable that 80 percent to 90 percent of youth in East Asia have problems with myopia nowadays, while in Europe as well as the U.S.,2 it’s more like 40 percent to 50 percent. Research suggests that it’s more common among people who have higher education and less common with people who regularly spend time outdoors.

“Increasing the amount of time outdoors in schools in Taiwan over the past five years has led to decreases in the prevalence of myopia for the first time in 40 years,” said Ian Morgan, Ph.D., a vision researcher and visiting fellow at Australian National University, who was not involved in the study.

A survey done in the United Kingdom (which may be a good representation of youth throughout the world) revealed not only that a fifth of the population that could be called “kids” spend zero percent of their time outdoors but, worse, that 75 percent spend less time outdoors than — get this — prison inmates. Stgist.com noted:

“The paper’s findings underline the importance of having outdoor activities especially now as humanity enjoys the so-called information technology boom, with most eyes glued to smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and so on.

It is quite obvious that this generation has a problem. Teens and young adults nowadays spend more time indoors as they are greatly engaged with their computers and other similar devices.”3

Nature.org reported the reason for this phenomenon is because, according to 80 percent of the kids, “it was uncomfortable to be outdoors due to things like bugs and heat.” Sixty percent said they had no transportation so they could travel to natural areas.

Visible Light

Factors such as climate, terrain and geographical coordinates were scrutinized in the study as well, as some climates tend to be rainy or foggy. Some areas of the world have used innovative ways to deal with mountains blocking sunlight availability.

One of the studies covered by the review concluded that there was a 2 percent decrease in the odds of ending up with myopia for every additional hour spent outdoors per week.4

According to U.S. News & World Report, scientists involved in the study say they aren’t sure that the present myopathy prevalence means that it’s sun exposure that has this positive effect on vision. It might actually be “visible light.” Dr. Donald Mutti, a professor at the Ohio State University College of Optometry, explained:

“UVB here seems to be a proxy for simply spending more time outside. The current thinking is that the brighter light outside stimulates a release of dopamine from the retina and that dopamine slows down the growth of the eye, preventing myopia.

Our group’s work has shown that being outside only affects myopia before it occurs. Once a child needs glasses, being outside has no effect on myopia.”5

Mutti said he believes kids should spend more time outside, but that they should also wear sunglasses and sunscreen; however, these things have the potential to cause other more serious problems.

To Wear Sunglasses or Not

As a matter of fact, “protecting” your eyes from sunlight can actually do more harm than good, because certain wavelengths from light nourish your eyes.

Shielding them too often prevents you from absorbing sunlight that’s meant to allow full-spectrum light into your eyes, not just to be able to see but to kick in your brain’s hypothalamus gland.

Your hypothalamus could be considered your master control for everything from your blood pressure to body temperature. It’s in charge of balancing your body clock and circadian rhythm, and natural sunlight is essential to this process. Without it, your body has trouble functioning properly.

Think of it like this: Light deprivation to your eyes, aka mal-illumination, could be compared to malnutrition to your body. Not just your bare skin requires 20 minutes of sun exposure every day, your eyes need sunlight, too. Mark’s Daily Apple notes the results of one experiment:

“Researchers trying to study the link between light exposure and myopia exposed chicks to various amounts of light. Normal laboratory lighting was 500 lux, ‘intense’ laboratory lighting was 15,000 lux, and sunlight was 30,000 lux.

Only intense lab light and sunlight were able to retard the development of myopia, while normal lab lighting — which is still quite bright and very similar to standard office lighting conditions — did not adequately protect.”

Note that direct sunlight is ridiculously bright (up to 130,000 lux), while just being outside in ‘full daylight’ will provide plenty of light for your retinal dopamine labs …

Just be outdoors and the sun will take care of the rest. If you can see stuff, that means light is getting to your eyes; it’s from the sun (and thus bright enough) and you’re good to go.”6

Myopia in Relation to Other Eye Diseases

Nearsightedness is measured in diopters (D), the same way eyeglasses and contacts are measured. Corrections are preceded by a minus sign (-) and measured in 0.25 D increments. Myopia of -0.25 or -3.00 is considered mild, moderate can be 3.25 to -6.00 and anything higher is characterized as high.

Both medium and high myopia can be associated with “serious, vision-threatening side effects, it’s termed “degenerative” or “pathological.”

More people have this condition today than they did just 30 years ago, and the prevalence is growing both steadily and alarmingly. In fact, in the early 1970s, around 25 percent of people living in the U.S. were affected. Thirty years later, it’s jumped to 42 percent.7

For whatever reason, nearsightedness seems to play a role in the prevalence of other eye diseases, some of them quite serious, such as:

Cataracts — Another study showed that cataracts, characterized as the lens of the eye becoming progressively opaque and resulting in blurred vision, tend to develop more quickly in people who have high myopathy, especially Koreans. Additionally, cataract surgery outcomes are not as successful.

Glaucoma — A condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, glaucoma is often linked to pressure building up inside the eye. Even mild cases of myopia are associated with greater incidence of this eye disease.

An Australian study reported that nearsighted individuals are two to three times more likely to suff from glaucoma than those without myopia.

Retinal detachment — American Journal of Epidemiology reported on a study in which scientists concluded that myopia was a “clear risk factor for retinal detachment.” All About Vision noted:

“Eyes with mild myopia had a four-fold increased risk of retinal detachment compared with non-myopic eyes. Among eyes with moderate and high myopia, the risk increased 10-fold.”

The study also noted that about 55 percent of retinal detachment cases not caused by trauma can be attributed to myopia.8 Further, people with an elongated eye shape (axial myopia) have a 1.72 percent greater risk of this condition after cataract surgery, as opposed to .28 percent among people with a rounder eye shape.

Does the Food You Eat Have Anything to Do With Eye Health?

While experiencing moderate amounts of skin exposure to sunlight also increases your vitamin D levels, the authors of the study said it has no connection to nearsightedness. The researchers also noted:

“The recommendation for children to spend time outdoors provides an attractive option, and intervention studies are in progress. However, it remains unclear which of the numerous elements associated with time spent outdoors, such as light intensity, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) or distant focus, confers the reduced risk of myopia.”

Not just the amount of sunlight your eyes are exposed to, but also the foods you eat can affect your eyesight, now and later in life. Harvard Health lists9 a number of nutrients your body needs to optimize your eyesight and several foods that provide them:

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in several brassica foods, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, Romaine lettuce, spinach, squash and eggs.
  • Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids are found in the greatest concentrations in wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and krill, and the plant-based variety in flaxseeds and flaxseed oil and walnuts.
  • Vitamin A is found in good amounts in apricots and cantaloupe
  • Vitamin C is present in grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, red peppers and strawberries
  • Vitamin E can be found in almonds, broccoli, spinach and sunflower seeds

 

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5 Amazing Properties of Sunlight You’ve Never Heard About

5 Amazing Properties of Sunlight You've Never Heard About | heart-sunset-sunlight | General Health Science & Technology Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Sunlight is well-known to provide us vitamin D, but did you know that it kills pain, keeps us alert at night, burns fat and more…

Our biological connection and dependence to the sun is so profound, that the very variation in human skin color from African, melanin-saturated dark skin, to the relatively melanin de-pigmented, Caucasian lighter-skin, is a byproduct of the offspring of our last common ancestor from Africa (as determined by mitochondrial DNA) migrating towards sunlight-impoverished higher latitudes, which began approximately 60,000 years ago. In order to compensate for the lower availability of sunlight, the body rapidly adjusted, essentially requiring the removal of the natural “sunscreen” melanin from the skin, which interferes with vitamin D production; vitamin D, of course, is involved in the regulation of over 2,000 genes, and therefore is more like a hormone, without which our entire genetic infrastructure becomes destabilized.

While the health benefits of vitamin D are well-documented (GreenMedInfo.com has identified over 200 health conditions that may benefit from optimizing vitamin D levels: Vitamin D Health Benefits page, and Henry Lahore’s Vitamin D Wiki has far more), the therapeutic properties of sunlight are only now being explored in greater depth by the research community.

Below are detailed five noteworthy properties of sunlight exposure:

1) Sunlight Has Pain-Killing (Analgesic) Properties: A 2005 study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine titled, “The effect of sunlight on postoperative analgesic medication use: a prospective study of patients undergoing spinal surgery,” analyzed patients staying on the bright side of the hospital unit who were exposed to 46% higher-intensity sunlight on average. The patients exposed to an increased intensity of sunlight experienced less perceived stress, marginally less, took 22% less analgesic medication per hour, and had 21% less pain medication costs. [i]

2) Sunlight Burns Fat: A 2011 study published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed a remarkable fact of metabolism: The exposure of human skin to UV light results in increased subcutaneous fat metabolism. While subcutaneous fat, unlike visceral fat, is not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is known that a deficiency of one of sunlight’s best known beneficial byproducts, vitamin D, is associated with greater visceral fat.[ii] Also, there is a solid body of research showing that vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity, with 9 such studies on our obesity research page.

One of them, titled “Association of plasma vitamin D levels with adiposity in Hispanic and African Americans,” and which was published in the journal Anticancer Research in 2005, found that vitamin D levels were inversely associated with adiposity in Hispanics and African-Americans, including abdominal obesity.[iii] The point? Exposure to UVB radiation, which is most abundant two hours on either side of solar noon and responsible for producing vitamin D, may be an essential strategy in burning fat, the natural way.

3) Sunlight via Solar Cycles May Directly Regulate Human Lifespan: Published in 2010 in the journal Medical Hypotheses and titled, “The effect of solar cycles on human lifespan in the 50 United states: variation in light affects the human genome,” researchers review the possibility that solar cycles directly affect the human genome.  According to the researchers:

In the current study we report that those persons conceived and likely born during the peaks (MAX approximately 3 years) of approximately 11-year solar cycles lived an average 1.7 years less than those conceived and likely born during non-peaks (MIN approximately 8 years). Increased energy at solar MAX, albeit relatively a small 0.1% increase from MIN, apparently modifies the human genome/epigenome and engenders changes that predispose to various diseases, thereby shortening lifespan. It is likely that same energy increases beneficial variety in the genome which may enhance adaptability in a changing environment.

Sunlight exposure, therefore, may directly affect the length of our life, and may even accelerate genetic changes that may confer a survival advantage.[iv]

4) Daytime Sunlight Exposure Improves Evening Alertness: A 2012 study published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience titled, “Effects of prior light exposure on early evening performance, subjective sleepiness, and hormonal secretion,” found that subjects felt significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening after being exposed to 6 hours of mainly daylight exposure, whereas they became sleepier at the end of the evening after artificial light exposure.[v]

5) Sunlight May Convert To Metabolic Energy:

If a novel hypothesis published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is correct,[vi] a longstanding assumption that animals are incapable of utilizing light energy directly is now called into question.  In other words, our skin may contain the equivalent of melanin “solar-panels,” and it may be possible to “ingest” energy, as plants do, directly from the Sun.

Melanin has a diverse set of roles in various organisms. From the ink of the octopus, to the melanin-based protective colorings of bacteria and fungi, melanin offers protection against a variety of threats: from predators and similar biochemical threats (host defenses against invading organisms), UV light, and other chemical stresses (i.e. heavy metals and oxidizing agents). Commonly overlooked, however, is melanin’s ability to convert gamma and ultraviolet radiation into metabolic energy within living systems.

Single-celled fungi, for instance, have been observed thriving within the collapsed nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine, using gamma radiation as a source of energy. Albino fungi, without melanin, were studied to be incapable of using gamma radiation in this way, proving that gamma rays initiate a yet-unknown process of energy production within exposed melanin.

Vertebrate animals may also convert light directly into metabolic energy through the help of melanin. In a review  titled, “Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin,” Geoffrey Goodman and Dani Bercovich offer a thought-provoking reflection on the topic, the abstract of which is well worth reading in its entirety:

Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is ‘melanin’, unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is ‘melanin’. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer.

Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells.

A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling.

Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to ‘photomelanometabolism’ which, though small scale/ unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology and medicine.


Resources

  • [ii] Association Between Visceral Obesity and Sarcopenia and Vitamin D Deficiency in Older Koreans: The Ansan Geriatric Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Feb 8. Epub 2012 Feb 8. PMID: 22316299
  • [iii] Association of plasma vitamin D levels with adiposity in Hispanic and African Americans. Anticancer Res. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2A):971-9. PMID: 19549738
  • [iv] Walter E Lowell, George E Davis. The effect of solar cycles on human lifespan in the 50 United states: variation in light affects the human genome. Med Hypotheses. 2010 Jul;75(1):17-25. Epub 2010 May 7. PMID: 20452128
  • [v] Mirjam Münch, Friedrich Linhart, Apiparn Borisuit, Susanne M Jaeggi, Jean-Louis Scartezzini. Effects of prior light exposure on early evening performance, subjective sleepiness, and hormonal secretion. Behav Neurosci. 2012 Feb ;126(1):196-203. Epub 2011 Dec 26. PMID: 22201280
  • [vi] Geoffrey Goodman, Dani Bercovich. Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):17-25. PMID: 18479839

© December 8, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

The post 5 Amazing Properties of Sunlight You’ve Never Heard About appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Sunscreen Won’t Prevent Skin Cancer But Some Could Actually Cause It

sunscreen

Does wearing sunscreen prevent skin cancer? If you listen to public health officials that urge every man, woman and child to slather on sunscreen every day, you would think the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Aside from those who use sunscreen for the purpose of preventing wrinkles, it’s a safe assumption that many people use it with the intent of preventing skin cancer. But here’s the rub: wearing sunscreen may not actually protect you from cancer and, in some cases, may actually increase your risk.

Daily Sunscreen Use Versus Occasional Use: No Difference in Skin Cancer Rates

A Cochrane Review attempted to determine whether the use of topical sunscreen and physical sun-protective methods (such as wearing protective clothing, hats, and seeking shade) prevented the development of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) compared to taking no precautionary measures.1

There wasn’t much data on the topic to be found, so the review includes the results of just one study, which compared the daily application of sunscreen with the occasional use of sunscreen over a period of 4.5 years.

Among the more than 1,600 Australian participants, there was no difference between the numbers of people who developed BCC or cSCC (the most common types of skin cancer) in the two groups during the trial period.

As noted in the Cochrane Review, “So, there did not seem to be a difference in applying sunscreen daily compared with using it occasionally.”2

While I certainly don’t recommend spending so much time in the sun that your skin gets burned, the one-size-fits-all recommendation from public health officials to apply sunscreen daily may be causing more harm than good.

The fact is, sunlight offers many benefits to your health, the majority of which are only beginning to be understood. Meanwhile, most sunscreens contain harmful chemicals and may not protect your skin from overexposure the way you think they do. Some may even increase your risk of cancer.

Certain Sunscreens May Speed the Development of Skin Cancer

Close to 16 percent of U.S. sunscreens contain vitamin A, which sounds like a natural addition that might be beneficial for your skin, acting as an antioxidant.

However, retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, has been found to promote the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied topically and exposed to sunlight.3

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) National Center for Toxicological Research (NTP) has been studying the ability of vitamin A ingredients to trigger skin cancer when exposed to the sun for more than a decade.

One study on hairless mice revealed that the development of skin tumors was accelerated when a vitamin-A-laced cream was applied to the mice and then exposed to ultraviolet light daily for one year.4

Despite the known risks, these ingredients are still found in sunscreens with no warnings to consumers. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported:5

“Six years after EWG sounded the alarm about retinyl palmitate, the FDA still hasn’t completed follow-up studies that will allow the agency to take a position on the safety of vitamin A and related chemicals in cosmetics and sunscreens.

Most cosmetics companies have not removed these ingredients from sunscreens and other skin and lip products … EWG calls for sunscreen makers to voluntarily stop adding this ingredient to sunscreens until there is proof that it can be safely used on sun-exposed skin. …

EWG recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens and other skin and lip products containing vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinoic acid.”

The SPF Myth: Is Higher SPF Really Better?

Dermatologists at Northwestern University in Chicago conducted a survey to assess people’s understanding of sunscreen labels.6 Many people consider SPF (sun protection factor) as a leading factor in their decision of which sunscreen to buy, despite the fact that, in the study, fewer than half knew what SPF meant.

Meanwhile, most of the people surveyed believed that SPF 30 offered double the sun protection of SPF 15. It’s an understandable assumption, but one that’s blatantly false. In fact, the difference between the two is much smaller — about 4 percent.

While an SPF 15 sunscreen should filter out about 93 percent of UVB (ultraviolet B) rays, SPF 30 filters out about 97 percent. Higher SPFs offer only minute benefits beyond this, with SPF 50 blocking 98 percent, and SPF 100 blocking 99 percent, of UVB rays.7

While SPF works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays on your skin, its protective ability is not linear and does not offer a great deal more protection at higher levels.

SPF Refers Only to Protection Against UVB Rays, Not UVA

In regard to SPF, another important factor to remember is that an SPF rating refers only to protection against UVB rays, which are the rays within the ultraviolet spectrum that allows your body to produce vitamin D in your skin.

But the most dangerous rays, in terms of causing skin damage and cancer are UVA rays. According to EWG:8

“A sunscreen lotion’s SPF rating has little to do with the product’s ability to shield the skin from UVA rays. As a result of the FDA’s restrictions on ingredients and concentrations, U.S. sunscreens offer far less protection against UVA than UVB, particularly those products with the highest SPF.

Because UVA and UVB protection do not harmonize, high-SPF products suppress sunburn much more effectively than other types of sun damage.”

Not to mention, studies show that high-SPF products may not offer the SPF they claim. One study found that even small differences in testing conditions of an SPF 100 sunscreen yielded results between SPF 37 and 75.9

The amount of sunscreen applied, sunlight intensity, sweat, swimming and more can all affect how much sun protection you actually receive. There’s also evidence that people tend to stay in the sun longer when wearing high-SPF sunscreens, putting them at risk of overexposure.10

No Evidence in Support of Full-Body Screening for Skin Cancer?

The nervousness people experience over threats of skin cancer such as melanoma is augmented by U.S. government intervention that equates sun exposure with skin cancer.11

Yet, at the same time, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says there’s not enough evidence that screening for skin cancer can lower skin cancer cases or deaths.

Still, European studies suggest that after public awareness campaigns to inform people about whole body visual screening for skin cancer, the rates of melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancers went down, Time reported.12 According to The Washington Post:13

“An editorial accompanying the task force’s statement said the ‘I’ rating [insufficient evidence] does not mean there is not a benefit from screening but that more research is needed to determine if it should be recommended — and, if so, for whom.

… [T]he statement doesn’t apply to people who have skin lesions or any other kind of suspicious growths or to those with an increased risk of cancer or a family history of the disease.”

Optimal Vitamin D Levels Linked to 65 Percent Lower Risk of Cancer

Another way that wearing sunscreen daily has the potential to increase your cancer risk rather than decrease it is by blocking your body’s ability to produce vitamin D.

If you do not get regular sun exposure on your bare skin (or consume a vitamin D3 supplement), there’s a good chance you may be vitamin D deficient, which is a risk factor for cancer. One recent study published in PLOS One found vitamin D levels above 40 ng/mL are associated with a more than 65 percent lower risk of cancer. According to the researchers:14

“We found a clear association between 25(OH)D [vitamin D] serum concentration and cancer risk, according to multiple types of analyses. These results suggest the importance of vitamin D for the prevention of cancer. Women with 25(OH)D concentrations ≥40 ng/ml had a significantly lower risk of cancer (~70 [percent]) compared to women with concentrations <20 ng/ml.”

Optimizing your vitamin D levels may reduce your risk of as many as 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate and skin cancers.

Higher Vitamin D Levels at Melanoma Diagnosis May Improve Prognosis

Studies show melanoma mortality actually decreases after UV exposure. Additionally, melanoma lesions do not tend to appear primarily on sun-exposed skin, which is why sunscreens have proven ineffective in preventing it. Exposure to sunlight, particularly UVB, is protective against melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) — or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective. The following passage comes from The Lancet:15

“Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect.”

In another recent study, it was found that vitamin D deficiency at the time of melanoma diagnosis is associated with thicker tumors that likely have a poorer prognosis.16

The researchers believe increasing vitamin D levels to 20 ng/ml or higher (which is actually still a deficiency state) could result in 18 percent of melanoma patients having thinner tumors and therefore improved prognosis. If their levels were increased to optimal levels (50 to 70 ng/ml), it’s likely this rate would improve even more.

Oxybenzone: Another Reason Why Many Sunscreens Are Dangerous

Oxybenzone, a popular sunscreen ingredient that has been detected in nearly every American, is believed to cause hormone disruptions and cell damage that may provoke cancer.

This endocrine-disrupting chemical acts like estrogen in your body, alters sperm production in animals and is also associated with endometriosis in women. It has relatively high rates of skin allergy and is a highly skin-penetrating chemical.17 According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):18

“… [T]he chemical oxybenzone penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can trigger allergic reactions. Data are preliminary, but studies have found a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and health harms.

One study has linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters.”

There’s really no reason to risk exposure to this chemical, as safer alternatives exist. In lieu of the skin-penetrating hormone-disrupting chemicals like oxybenzone, safer sunscreens tend to use non-nanoparticle sized zinc- and titanium-based mineral ingredients, which block the sun’s rays without penetrating your skin.

Four Steps to Safely Enjoying the Sun

Applying chemical sunscreens every time you step outdoors may do little to prevent your risk of skin cancer while raising other risks. In addition, you’re blocking your body’s production of vitamin D and possibly some of sunlight’s other health benefits, like its pain-relieving properties. That being said, you don’t want to overexpose your skin to the sun and end up with a sunburn, either. To continuously enjoy the positive effects of sun exposure without getting burned, I recommend following these simple safety tips:

1. Protect your face and eyes by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or a cap. The skin around these areas is much thinner than other areas of your body and is more at risk for cosmetic photo damage and premature wrinkling. If it’s too hot to protect your skin by covering with light clothing, and you’ll be outside for extended periods, be sure to use a natural mineral-based broad-spectrum sunscreen on your skin — these products often contain zinc.

2. Limit your initial sun exposure and slowly work your way up. If you are a fairly light-skinned individual who tends to burn easily, limit your initial exposure to just a few minutes, especially if it is in the middle of summer. The more tanned your skin gets, the longer you can stay in the sun without burning. If it is early or late in the season and/or you are a dark-skinned individual, you could likely safely have 30 minutes on your initial exposure.

3. Build an internal sunscreen with beneficial antioxidants. Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, can be used both internally and topically to protect your skin from the sun. You can make your own lotion by adding astaxanthin to organic coconut oil, but be careful of staining your clothing, as astaxanthin is dark red.

Other helpful antioxidants include proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and lycopene. Eating healthy is also important. Fresh, raw, unprocessed foods deliver the nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils in your skin, which is your first line of defense against sunburn.

Fresh, raw vegetables also provide your body with an abundance of powerful antioxidants that will help you fight the free radicals caused by sun damage that can lead to burns and cancer.

4. Moisturize your skin naturally. Before sunbathing, apply organic coconut oil on the exposed areas of your skin (as noted above, you could add some astaxanthin to the oil for an added measure of protection). This will not only moisturize your skin to prevent dryness but will also give you additional metabolic benefits.

The post Sunscreen Won’t Prevent Skin Cancer But Some Could Actually Cause It appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Why Sunlight Deficiency Is As Deadly As Smoking (VIDEO)

Why Sunlight Deficiency Is As Deadly As Smoking (VIDEO)

A groundbreaking new study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine has revealed something absolutely amazing about the role of the Sun in human health: a deficiency of sunlight could be as harmful to human health as smoking cigarettes.

The new study titled, “Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort,” was conducted by Swedish researchers on a population of almost 30,000 women. They assessed the differences in sun exposure as a risk factor for all-cause mortality, within a prospective 20-year follow up of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden (MISS) cohort. The women were aged 25-64 years at the start of the study and recruited from 1990 to 1992. When their sun exposure habits were analyzed using modern survival statistics they discovered several things.

First:

“Women with active sun exposure habits were mainly at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and noncancer/non-CVD death as compared to those who avoided sun exposure.”

Second:

“As a result of their increased survival, the relative contribution of cancer death increased in these women.”

This finding may be a bit tricky to understand, so let’s look at it a little closer.

Because cancer risk increases along with biological age, the longer you live, the higher your cancer risk will be. Therefore, because increased sunlight exposure actually increases your longevity, it will also appear to increase your risk of cancer. But this does not necessarily mean that sunlight is intrinsically “carcinogenic,” which is commonly assumed.

Because heart disease is #1 killer in the developed world, and since sunlight reduces this most common cause of premature death, even if it increases the risk of the #2 most common cause of death (cancer), the net effect of sunlight exposure is that you will still live longer, which helps to contextualize and neutralize the “increased cancer risk” often observed. Keep in mind, as well, that a huge number of cancers are overdiagnosed and overtreated, without sufficient acknowledgement by the medical establishment, whose culpability is rarely addressed. These “cancers” greatly inflate the statistics. With millions of so-called early stage cancers like these — especially breast, prostate, thyroid, lung, and ovarian — being wrongly diagnosed and treated, the complexity of the topic makes determining the role of sunlight exposure and cancer risk all the more difficult to ascertain.

Moving on, the point about the longevity promoting properties of sunlight are driven home strongly by the third major observation:

“Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking.”

This is a powerful finding with profound implications. To say that “avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking,” is to point out that sunlight exposure, rather than being the constant lethal threat it is perceived to be, warranting the slathering on all over the body of synthetic sunscreens virtually guaranteed to cause harm from toxicant exposure, is essential to our health. In fact, according to the CDC, smoking is responsible for 6 million unnecessary deaths a year, and the “overall mortality among both male and female smokers in the United States is about three times higher than that among similar people who never smoked.” And so, sunlight exposure may be so powerful an essential and necessary ingredient in human health that it might be considered medically unethical not to provide access to it, or to advise more routine exposure to it.

The fourth and final observation of the study was that:

“Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6-2.1 years.”

Sunlight Attains Its Former Status As An Indispensable Component of Health

While we can say that sunlight deficiency may contribute to lethal outcomes on par with smoking, we can rephrase the information positively by affirming that the Sun and its light may be as important to human health as is clean food or water. In fact, compelling new research suggests that energy from the Sun drives the cellular bioenergetics of the biomachinery of our bodies through non-ATP dependent processes. Consider the work of Gerald Pollack, PhD, author of the “The 4th Phase of Water” (see video below), who explains how infrared energy of the Sun charges up the water molecules within our body (99% of the molecules in our bodies in number are water) like trillions of molecular batteries.

When pertaining to cardiovascular health, sunlight energy in the form of infrared charged water molecules supports the heart’s job of pumping the blood throughout the blood vessels by producing a form of highly structured and energized water known as Exclusion Zone water, or EZ water, and which may actually provide over 99.9% of the biomechanical energy needed to push the 1.2-1.5 gallons of blood in the average adult body through the literally thousands of miles of blood vessels.  Provocative new research also suggests the body contains a variety of photoacceptors/chromophores (e.g. cytochrome C oxidase) capable of accepting and utilizing sunlight to generate so-called “extra synthesis” of ATP. Additionally, melanin may absorb a wide range of the Sun’s electromagnetic spectrum, converting it into useful energy and perhaps also biologically important information, even perhaps taking harmful gamma radiation and turning it into biologically useful energy. Even something as commonplace in the human diet as chlorophyll has recently been found to act as a means to enhanced the light-harvesting properties of animal cells. In fact, we reported recently on a study that found enhanced ATP production (without the expected concomitant uptick in reactive oxygen species production) through intermediary of chlorophyll metabolites that end up in the mitochondria of our cells following microbiome-mediated digestive processes.

Natural health advocates have sung the praises of sunlight for health since time immemorial. While in modern times, sunlight-phobia is omnipresent, with parents of especially lighter skinned ethnicities forcing their children to don space-suit level all body protective gear, along with spraying or slathering them with extremely toxic petrochemical derivatives and nanoparticle metals with potentially cancer-promoting properties, there is a growing appreciation that we need the Sun as both a form of food, energy and information.

It’s, of course, not all about vitamin D. To reduce the perceived health benefits of sunlight to this hormone like compound is as reductionistic as saying a orange’s health benefits are solely dependent on and reducible to the molecular scaffolding of atoms that comprise the chemical skeleton of the ascorbic acid molecule. We are beginning to learn that certain wavelengths of sunlight activate a wide range of ancient, hard-wired genetic and epigenetic programs, relevant to all of our body’s systems. The wavelengths of light that occur at sunset, for instance, may have been so important to our evolution as a species that our very hairlessness, and our massive brains may not have evolved without daily exposure to them, for hundreds of thousands and even millions of years. This phenomena, also known as biophotomodulation, opens up a radically new perspective on the role of the sun in human health and disease. If sunlight deficiency is really as deadly as actively smoking cigarettes, it could be said that those who do not experience regular natural light exposure are no longer truly human, or capable of experiencing the optimal expression of their biological, mental, and spiritual blueprint. A fundamental right, and health practice, would be daily outdoors exposure. How many of us have considered the state of office workers, institutionalized educational systems without windows, night shift work, and prisons? Sunlight depravation, in light of these new findings, could be considered a significant violation of human health rights. 

This new study my pave the way for a deeper understanding of what humans need to be truly healthy, with sunlight deficiency being a prime example of what is most wrong about our modern incarnation as a primarily indoors focused creature, leading to our physical and psychospiritual degeneration. As new models of cellular bioenergetics emerge, taking into account the ability of the body to directly or indirectly harvest the various light wavelengths of the Sun, direct daily exposure to sunlight may be looked upon as at least as an important step as “taking your vitamins,” or exercising, for maintaining our health. Conversely, sunlight deficiency and/or depravation will be likely be viewed to be as dangerous or lethal as smoking.

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Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

The article Why Sunlight Deficiency Is As Deadly As Smoking (VIDEO) published by TheSleuthJournal – Real News Without Synthetics


Source: Alternative news journal

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Does Skin Pigment Act Like A Natural Solar-Panel?

Does Skin Pigment Act Like A Natural Solar-Panel?

While ubiquitous in nature, melanin, which provides the coloring found in hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales, etc., is an especially important substance as far as the human condition is concerned. After all, melanin’s role in determining skin color makes it the primary physiological basis for racial differentiation among humans. Entire civilizations, no doubt, have risen and fallen due to their conceptions (and misconceptions) about this pigment’s effects on human behavior, to the point that the very notion of humanness itself has been called into question depending on how little or how much melanin a body possessed.

It is for this reason that melanin’s lesser known, functional properties should be considered more closely. In fact, being more pigmented, i.e. darker skinned, or put oppositely, being less de-pigmented, may confer a unique set of health benefits which over the course of human history have been repressed or intentionally misrepresented in order to fuel the sociopolitical construct of race.

In biological science melanin is known to possess a diverse set of roles and functions in a wide range of organisms. These include:

  • Protection against biochemical attack: e.g. the smokeshield-like ink of the octopus, and the melanin-based protective colorings of bacteria and fungi which are capable of encapsulating and oxidizing invading organisms in a process known as melanization.
  • Mitigating chemical stresses associated with exposure to heavy metals and oxidizing agents.
  • Acting as a natural sunscreen: shielding light-sensitive tissue from the potentially damaging effects of ultraviolet light.

Melanin is capable of transforming ultraviolet light energy into heat in a process known as “ultrafast internal conversion”; more than 99.9% of the absorbed UV radiation is transformed from potentially genotoxic (DNA-damaging) ultraviolet light into harmless heat.

If melanin can convert light into heat, could it not also transform UV radiation into other biologically/metabolically useful forms of energy? This may no seem so far fetched when one considers that even gamma radiation, which is highly toxic to most forms of life, is a source of sustenance for certain types of fungi and bacteria.

Single-celled fungi, for instance, have been observed thriving within the collapsed nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine, using gamma radiation as a source of energy. Albino fungi, without melanin, were studied to be incapable of using gamma radiation in this way, proving that gamma rays initiate a yet-unknown process of energy production within melanin. There is also the curious discovery of bacteria living within vats of radioactive waste.

Given these examples, it is no surprise that vertebrate animals may be capable of converting light directly into metabolic energy through the help of melanin. In a review on the topic published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, titled “Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin,” Geoffrey Goodman and Dani Bercovich offer a thought-provoking reflection on the topic. Their abstract is well worth reading:

Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is ‘melanin’, unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is ‘melanin’. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer. Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells. A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling. Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to ‘photomelanometabolism’ which, though small scale/ unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology and medicine.

If the authors are correct, a longstanding assumption that animals are incapable of utilizing light energy directly is thrown out the window. In other words, melanized tissue within our body may be capable of “ingesting” sunlight, and not unlike plants, using the “harvested” light in biologically useful ways.

Should it be any surprise, really, that our skin was designed to benefit from being bathed in sunlight? We already know that sunlight exposure can reduce the risk of over 30 diseases, and that its primary metabolite in our skin, vitamin D, may reduce the risk of over 150 additional conditions. Our biological connection to, and dependence on, the sun, is so profound that the very variation in human skin color from African, melanin-saturated dark skin, to the relatively melanin de-pigmented, Caucasian lighter-skin, is a byproduct of the offspring of our last common ancestor from Africa (as determined by mitochondrial DNA) migrating towards sunlight-impoverished higher latitudes, which began approximately 60,000 years ago.

In order to compensate for the lower availability of sunlight, the body rapidly adjusted, essentially requiring the removal of the natural “sunscreen” melanin from the skin, which interferes with vitamin D production; vitamin D, of course, is involved in the regulation of over 2,000 genes, and therefore is more like a hormone, without which our entire genetic infrastructure becomes destabilized.

While a life-saving adaptation, the loss of melanin likely has adverse health effects, which include losing the ability to convert sunlight into metabolic energy, increased prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (which involves de-melanization of the substantia nigra and disproportionately affects those of Caucasian descent), and others effects which have yet been investigated in any detail.

For now, it is important to point out that within the span of only 60,000 years (a nanosecond in biological time), many of the skin “color” differences among the world’s human inhabitants reflect how heavily genetically-conserved was the ability of the human body to produce vitamin D. Furthermore, the trade-off involved in maintaining the ability create enough vitamin D within a sunlight-deprived clime by sacrificing melanin may have had adverse health effects that are only now being investigated.

For those who are not naturally gifted with large quantities of melanin, tanning is an attractive prospect. However, it is important to differentiate between UVA light-induced tanning and UVB light-induced tanning. Although visually there is little, if any discernable difference, UVA light results from the photoxidation of existing melanin and its precursors, whereas UVB stimulates melanocytes to up-regulate melanin synthesis and increases pigmentation coverage.1

Because UVA light does not provide any additional photoprotection and is far more toxic to cellular DNA, it is important to maximize exposure to the UVB wavelengths which predominate around solar noon (approximately 12 o’ clock), tapering off in intensity several hours before and after. It is within this window of time that vitamin D production also happens to be at its greatest, as UVB radiation is responsible for stimulating its synthesis as well.

References

The deceptive nature of UVA tanning versus the modest protective effects of UVB tanning on human skin.Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2011 Feb ;24(1):136-47. Epub 2010 Oct 6. PMID: 20979596


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

The article Does Skin Pigment Act Like A Natural Solar-Panel? published by TheSleuthJournal – Real News Without Synthetics


Source: Alternative news journal

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