Sun, Infrared, and Photons
The sun contains quite a bit of infrared, which is very healing to us. I spoke about infrared with Dr. Gerald Pollack, where we discussed how infrared creates structured water in your body. This recharges your cellular batteries and makes you more resilient to oxidative stress.
The sun also has high energy photons that have special quantum properties, which I don’t fully understand (yet).
Sun and Bright Light
Sun has a certain intensity that is beneficial in resetting the circadian rhythm, which is why a bright light device helps with seasonal affective disorder in the winter.
I had a client who had all kinds of problems, and I realized that most of them were likely from not getting sunlight. I recommended the bright light device and he said that alone changed his life. I’ve had it for 3 years now and I definitely feel an enhancement from it. I only use it on the days that I don’t get a chance to get out or I don’t get any sun.
It’s best to use it for 30 minutes upon awakening to reset your circadian rhythm.
Sun and UVB
Sun is great for decreasing inflammation.
Particularly, UVB rays suppress immunity and can help autoimmune conditions (R).
Given that almost every disease seems like an autoimmune disease these days, it’s wise to make the effort to get sun and not take comfort in vitamin D supplementation, although vitamin D is definitely important if you aren’t getting sun.
Be aware, though, that most of the inflammation reduction is likely from the sun and not the actual vitamin D.
Sun also suppresses seasonal allergies, which are IgG and IgE-related allergies, which are caused by a Th2 response (R).
Sun or UVB POSSIBLY can even help your hair grow (R).
Even disorders that don’t seem to have anything to do with autoimmunity we’re finding out are related.
For example, I recently came across a study that associates schizophrenia with autoimmunity, likely contributing to the disease.
While the schizophrenia study found no correlation with bipolar disorder, research reveals high levels of gluten antibodies and casein antibodies in bipolar disorder and people with bipolar have increased inflammation. This smells like autoimmunity to me.
Off topic, but I thought I’d mention that casein is found in all dairy – even the raw milk, aged, fermented goats kefir from grass-fed and finished cows, never exposed to antibiotics and, most importantly, blessed by paleo gurus.
If you can’t get sun, get the UVB light and use it for at least 15 min a day on various parts of you body.
UVB Doesn’t Pass Through Windows.
Your body doesn’t produce vitamin D when the sun passes through a window because it’s the UVB rays that allows us to produce vitamin D and this ray is blocked by glass. UVA rays, which are more damaging and don’t produce vitamin D, pass through so we get less of the benefit and more of the damage.
Sun and Hormesis
To get a primer on hormesis, read this post.
In short, hormesis is when a brief exposure to a stressor induces a protective response. Short term sun exposure has this effect.
Brief exposure to UV-A, UV-B or UV-C induces apoptosis and autophagy, which actually protect you from skin cancer.
More specifically, UVB increases Nrf2, which increases our body’s internal antioxidant defenses.
The UV spectrum is also anti-microbial and can help us get rid of pathogens.
UV stimulates oxidative stress and is a type of oxidative therapy. Chronic oxidative stress isn’t good, but in acute doses it’s beneficial. Oxidative therapies are used to help us rid infections.
So the UV spectrum can function in various ways to enhance our resilience via hormesis. Of course, the dose makes the poison.
Sun and Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH)
When you get sun, you produce MSH so that you tan. MSH is very beneficial for you in various ways.
You aren’t getting MSH when you take vitamin D3 pills.
Sun and Sulfated Vitamin D3
When you get sun, you are getting a different form of vitamin D3 – one that is attached to a sulfate group. At this stage, I’m not sure how much this makes a difference and how much we’d sulfate vitamin D supplements when we take them, but it’s interesting to know that we’re not getting the exact form in supplements.
Low Vitamin D3 In Autoimmune Disease May Be a Result, Not The Cause, Of The Disease
Low levels of 25-D are frequently noted in patients with autoimmune disease, leading to a current consensus that a deficiency of the secosteroid may contribute to the autoimmune disease process. However, Marshall and team explain that these low levels of 25-D are a result, rather than a cause, of the disease process. Indeed, Marshall’s research shows that in autoimmune disease, 25-D levels are naturally down-regulated in response to VDR dysregulation by chronic pathogens. Under such circumstances, supplementation with extra vitamin D is not only counterproductive but harmful, as it slows the ability of the immune system to deal with such bacteria. (R)
How Much Sun Do You Need For Vitamin D?
Northeast of the US (New York): From April to October at 12 Noon EST, an individual with light skin, with 25 percent of the body surface area exposed, needs to spend 3 to 8 minutes in the sun daily to synthesize 400 IU of vitamin D. People usually supplement with 2000iu.
Southeast of the US (Miami): An individual with light skin, with 25 percent of the body exposed, would need to spend 3 to 6 minutes at 12 Noon EST to synthesize 400 IU. Vitamin D synthesis occurs faster in individuals with lighter skin.
Dark people will need significantly more sun to fulfill their vitamin D needs.
For someone with an average complexion (in between Nordic and Middle Eastern), I would recommend 15 minutes on each portion of your body and you should cover about 50-75% of your body. This is a minimum effective dosage for me that I feel good on.
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