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.
There 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