The Necessity of Sunshine

Has the medical profession been wrong in frightening us from the sun for fifty years? The formation of vitamin D3 is critical to health.  The fear of the sun may have reduced some skin cancers, but created the opportunity for many autoimmune diseases, for reduced immunity, and for chronic disease. The sun is necessary for health because of photo-reactive biological processes.

sun-fearThere have been many discussions about whether vitamin D is as effective as a supplement as it is from the sun.  I have now concluded that vitamin D supplementation is not as effective as forming vitamin D in the skin from the sun.  There are several reasons for this conclusion: the formation of vitamin D3 sulfate, the formation of cholesterol sulfate, and the formation of structured water exclusion zone (EZ) at the cell membranes.  We are just at the beginning of understanding the science involved in these processes.  During the healing of my cartilage, the most significant healing occurred when I was spending at least twenty minutes in the midday summer sun. The following explanations are complex and may be confusing.  If you really want to understand, then you will need to take time to read the links and find other resources. 

Sulfur chemistry in human physiology has basically been ignored as there is an abundance of sulfur in the body.  We typically measure the three critical negative ions in blood chemistry: Chloride, Phosphorus, and Carbonate.  However, we do not measure the amount of sulfate in the blood.  There are several sulfate/sulfur molecules that should be measured as markers for health.  The major one is cholesterol sulfate with a ratio of total cholesterol to cholesterol sulfate being very critical.  It is odd that we don’t measure sulfur as it is the third most abundant mineral based on body weight.  The sulfur- related cycles, in their many functions in human physiology, need to be better explored as they are critical to human health.

GAGs or Glycosaminoglycans are healing compounds that are made in Golgi bodies inside of cells. Hyaluronan is the only GAG that is not sulfated.  Hyaluronan is used by the body as the lubricant for joints and other soft tissue functions. Hyaluronic acid injections into joints is now commonly used for relief of joint pain (I highly suggest this type of injection instead of steroids as steroids will cause cartilage erosion). Not mentioned in GAGs Wiki article linked above are cerebrosides and cerebroside sulfate which are necessary for the formation of the myelin sheath around neurons and for reduced skin permeability. The lack of sulfur compounds has been implicated in the current problem with Autism (link here to paper-pdf) and perhaps other brain diseases.

Sulfate molecules are water and lipid soluble.  This allows for detoxification of the body as sulfated esters attach to waste molecules and are eliminated by the kidneys.  Reduced sulfur is one of the problems with using acetaminophen, as sulfate is required to remove this toxin used as an analgesic.   Acetaminophen is one of the leading causes of liver failure because it is used in so many different pain meds and cold remedies. Sulfur deficiency has only caused a larger problem with this drug.

We know that vitamin D sulfate and cholesterol sulfate are needed in all human cells.  The only researcher I know that is currently discussing this issue is Stephanie Seneff.  She is a researcher at MIT and a sulfur expert.  You can find many of her articles here.  You can also find many interviews with Dr. Mercola at Mercola.com.  Dr. Seneff suggest that we make both vitamin D3 sulfate and cholesterol sulfate at the same time in the skin when it is exposed to the sun.  Of course, exposure to the sun without adequate sulfate can leave you without the formation of UV derived sulfate compounds.  She also suggests that when supplementing with large amounts of vitamin D, you may be stopping your production of cholesterol.  Dr. Seneff is emphatic about getting vitamin D from the sun. Dr. Mercola has commented that he does not supplement but uses the sun and UV/vitamin D lamps. He promotes the Sperti brand as it is the only FDA approved UV/vitamin D lamps.

There are a couple of ways to get an adequate amount of sulfur.  First, you could move to a region in the world where the soil is high in sulfur like Japan, Greece, or Iceland.   These countries have low heart disease rates.  The reason the soil is high is sulfur and magnesium is because of volcanism.  Given that you like where you live, you can supplement with MSM or methyl sulfonyl methane.  There are many foods that contain MSM.  With food, the best bet is to get the required sulfur from high sulfur plants like cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables and from alliums like onions, garlic, and leeks.  Three servings a day of combination of these vegetables may be adequate.  Consider the onion as it concentrates sulfur from its environment.  The burning in the eyes when peeling onions is caused by aromatic sulfur compounds that form sulfuric acid in the eyes—ouch.  Another way to get sulfur is to soak in an Epsom salts bath three times a week for about twenty minutes.  You not only get the required sulfur in the skin, but also magnesium.  If you think about all the many healing remedies throughout the ages, many of them are about soaking in mineral water or applying mineral mud that is high in sulfur and magnesium.

Now that you are replete in sulfur, you need to go into the sun.  As we have said earlier, vitamin D3 sulfate and cholesterol sulfate are made at the same time in the skin with adequate UV exposure and adequate cholesterol.  I think that Dr. Seneff may be over empathizing the need for cholesterol.  If you are on a statin drug, then you are taking your own life into your hands.  Reduced cholesterol is not a healthy thing if it gets too low.  About half of men over 65 are on a statin drug—modern “sick-care” at its best.  The other important thing to know is that vitamin D is responsible for the sodium-sulfur cotransport through the body’s dermal layers.

The other recent discovery is a fourth phase of water.  We were taught in school that water has three phases: liquid, solid, and vapor.  Dr. Gerald Pollack at the University of Washington has spent years in defining a fourth phase of water as structured water or H3O2. We should have been aware of this structured phase because of the crystalline structure of snowflakes.   This means there are five phases to water: liquid, structured liquid, solid, structured solid, and vapor. The understanding of this phenomenon is best received from Dr. Pollack’s TEDx speech on You Tube.  The exclusion zone or EZ that is formed at the cell membrane acts as part of the gate at the membrane to allow the correct molecules into cells.  This is done by the viscosity difference and the charge difference in the EZ.

I know this is all very complicated to understand.  Your take away is that vitamin D is best made in the sun because you make vitamin D3 sulfate and vitamin D3.  Supplementation of vitamin D3 works for most functions, but all diseases don’t respond. Vitamin D3 supplements are made from either fish oil or sheep lanolin. I suspect that some vitamin D3 products are higher in vitamin D3 sulfate, that is the vitamin D that is made from sheep lanolin.  It would seem logical that there would be some cholesterol sulfate in the lanolin.  Cholesterol is very important to health as well as cholesterol sulfate made when the skin is exposed to sun.  There seems to be another pathway for making cholesterol sulfate on the surface of red blood cells, but I don’t understand this yet.  In any case, it is necessary to have adequate sulfur.  The medical profession has ignored this vital mineral.

Stay off statin drugs, get adequate sulfur, and go into the sun with safe exposure.  Keep a normal serum vitamin D level of 50 to 70 ng/ml within the medical normal for serum vitamin D or 25(OH)D of 30 to 100 ng/ml.  –Pandemic Survivor

©2017 Mark Pegram

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Discovery of the Century—Healing Cartilage

Cartilage damage is the number one problem that creates pain in the aging population.  Cartilage compresses, nerves compress, and pain and chronic disease is the result. Unfortunately, it has also become a problem with the not so aged.  If you are a reader of this blog, you know of the back and nerve pain that I suffered for three decades.  I even wrote a book about the recovery, Healed from Chronic Pain.  I have been in the process of writing a second book about how to repair cartilage and felt that something was missing.  The missing environmental factor is the SUN.

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I started to supplement with vitamin D3 November 4, 2004.  I had shrunk an inch from degenerative disc disease over the years.  When I combined the supplements that I had researched, my cartilage repaired.  Not only did my cartilage repair, but also my health overall returned.  I had always assumed that getting vitamin D3 from whatever source was one of the keys.  That is, keeping my serum vitamin D (25(OH)D) above 60 ng/ml.  However, I noticed at times that my cartilage had not rehydrated to keep me at my new height.  During the year of recovery, I had grown back to my original height in the first seven months.  During the next three months, I grew to my genetic height of–-an inch and one half taller than I had ever been.

It took me several years to find one key necessary for cartilage repair.  During the year of repair, I had supplemented with methyl folate, as I had read that it crossed the blood brain barrier.  I knew that my brain had shrunk from over a decade of chronic severe pain.  I thought the methyl folate would help my brain repair.  I now realize that the methylation cycle, with methyl folate and its cofactors, were necessary to stimulate stem cell growth.  Only fifty percent of the population can convert folic acid, a manmade molecule, to folate required to drive the methylation cycle.  Thanks to Dr. Ben Lynch, I now understand how important the methylation cycle is to health because of its role in genetic expression. (Note: betaine or trimethyl glycine will allow the methylation cycle to work without folate.  The human body is so smart in usually having two pathways.  Both folate and betaine are in spinach; Popeye was so shrewd!)

The other key that I did not understand, at the time, was sulfate.  Sulfate is critical to health, and here. If you think of all the healing remedies that were about soaking in mineral baths, sulfate and magnesium ( and here) were always key factors. I supplemented with large amounts of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate during the year of healing.  I now realize that these molecules are so large that you most likely do not absorb them.  However, I think the sulfate from the molecules is absorbed.  This is especially true if you have a higher vitamin D3 level as vitamin D controls the transport of sulfur through dermal layers.  I now use MSM as a sulfur supplement as well as eat cruciferous and allium vegetables.  Both vegetable groups are high in sulfur, especially the garlic, onions, and leeks.

The “event” happened this past fall to bring to light the last missing component that is necessary for cartilage repair and hydration.  I had oral surgery in October for a granuloma that had developed over long amount of time per the surgeon.  I had noticed an issue with the tooth that I had a root canal done in the ‘90s.  The surgeon said there was an opening in the root crest that was allowing bacteria to destroy the bone.  In any case, this prevented me from doing my normal routine of using a tanning bed in October.  By the first of November, I started to get a nerve rash on both legs.  I had experienced this before and knew that it was coming from compression of my disc.  I measured my height, and sure enough I had shrunk. I recovered my height in two times of tanning in one week.  The nerve rash disappeared and the severe itching stopped.

The three months that I grew to taller than I had ever been was during the summer.  I spent at least thirty minutes with the midday summer sun on my back.  It has now become obvious to me that the sun is critical in three ways.  The formation of vitamin D sulfate, formation of cholesterol sulfate (Dr. Stephanie Seneff and here), and improved formation of the exclusion zone (Dr. Gerald Pollack) at the cell membranes. I will not pretend to understand the biology involved, but know that this helps to hydrate and repair cartilage.

Through the grace of God in my medically untrained ways of thinking about how to reduce pain and repair cartilage, I stumbled on the significance of vitamins and minerals and environment.  Cartilage repair is complex and that is the reason that medical science has misdirected us, I hope.  I think specialization has kept us from putting it all together.  Vitamins and minerals that I was taking when my cartilage healed–-all the vitamins as supplements and mineral complexes. The source of the manufacture and the dose of the vitamins and mineral supplements is critical.  With modern processed foods, I would have to eat about 8,000 calories per day to get an adequate amount.

Critical supplements for cartilage repair: Vitamins A (used cod live oil), B (methyl folate and its cofactors), C, D3, and possibly E; magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, manganese, calcium, and sulfate; and environmental exposure to UV light and infrared light. Proteins from bone and skin are also critical (gelatin-simple explanation).  The dosage is key to this combination.  Too much or too little of any of these items will trip you up.  Through trial and error, I have arrived at the correct combination.  I will now begin the rewrite of my book about how to heal cartilage. I have had many people to try my formula with great success.  The ones that regularly exposed themselves to the sun were the most successful.  –Pandemic Survivor

©2017 Mark Pegram