Sun Tan, Melanoma, Sunscreen, and Science

I would have to assume that like me you are one of those people that thought there was a huge amount of science saying that if we used sunscreen that we are protecting ourselves from melanoma.  However, the science suggest otherwise.  The dermatologists have been used over the last fifty years to help develop this belief as they have believed this from their own education.  However, consider this statement made by Edward Gorham, PhD during a presentation on sunscreen and melanoma.  “Sunscreen has changed our ancient relationship between our skin and the sun.”  Unfortunately this change has not been for the better.

To date there has been no control study to show that sunscreen reduces the amount of melanoma in the population.  It has been just the opposite.  In the US as a whole melanoma has increased by a factor of four in the population since the 1960’s and in some northern European countries by a factor of ten.  So what is the deal?  Epidemiological studies show that melanoma is made worse by using sunscreen more than 2 to 1 and the studies that show a reduction in melanoma are usually close to the equator where the skin pigmentation is darker.

I had originally interpreted Gorham’s data on melanoma across the world as solely a use of sunscreen, but it is also predicted (by 30%) by the thickness of the ozone layers across various areas of the world.  I had thought that the lower levels of melanoma in Argentina which is approximately the same latitude as Australia was a result of solely the promotion of sunscreen in Australia.  However, in looking at the ozone thickness we can see that there is significantly reduced layer of ozone in Argentina.  Ozone it appears acts just like a sunscreen in blocking the UVB wavelength of light and letting the UVA through.  UVB is the beneficial wavelength that makes vitamin D in our bodies.  Also I had wrongly thought that the increase in melanoma in Australia was a result of a hole in the ozone layer.  However, the weakness of the ozone in the Antarctic seems to allow a thicker ozone layer over Australia according the ozone map that Gorham shows.

So what are you to do this summer when seeking to get that great tan and not develop melanoma?  It would seem that using sunscreen is an absolutely a no-no.  The sunscreen blocks UVB and lets the UVA through which science has shown to develop melanoma.  Have we unintentionally perpetrated this heinous act against the population because we have shown that sunscreen reduces squamous cell carcinoma which is not a killer?  Or worse we somehow correlated burns with melanoma?  It is odd that most melanoma occurs on parts of the body that are never exposed to the sun.

Please watch the video form Grass Roots Health by Dr. Gorham and decide for yourself: “Skin Cancer/Sunscreen – the Dilemma”

Here are his slides from the presentation if you would like to look closer at them: Skin Cancer/Sunscreen Slides

Of course the issue is that it is not just melanoma that we are experiencing an increase, it is a host of other chronic diseases that develop because of vitamin D deficiency and as we learn more the news will magnify our lack of responsibility in the matter.

At the end of the video presentation you will learn that the body stops vitamin D production when the skin reaches saturation of pre-vitamin D.  For a light skin person this occurs at about 20 minutes of tanning in the noon day sun.  The body makes about 20,000 IU during this short period.  As the melanin forms to protect your skin you can stay in the sun longer.  Before that if you have to stay in the sun longer then cover up with clothes and hats.  The only safe sun protection that we know is either zinc oxide or lithium dioxide.

When we stay in the sun much longer because the chemical protection is keeping us from burning, it exposes us to the opportunity for forming melanoma.

In the sun and not wearing sunscreen, and I hear the dermatologist saying just another child going look ‘mom no hands’ as he rides his bike.  To practice profit and not science seems to the art of medicine in the US.  – Pandemic Survivor

Vitamin D, Disease, and Research

In 2006, I went to PubMed, the government clearing house for medical publications, and just entered vitamin D in the search engine and limited the search to that year.  There were over 2,100 papers.  I just did this for 2008 and there were over 2,300 papers.  If you limit it to the last ten years it comes up with over 17,000 papers.  The published recent work on vitamin D is voluminous.

The Vitamin D Council has provided a wonderful list of diseases that have been associated with vitamin D deficiency on their research page.  You go there, pick the disease and it sends you to PubMed right to the abstract of the article.  If you do not have a subscription to the particular journal you can purchase the article from the publisher online.

In reading this list, it makes me wonder why there are so many diseases and so much research and yet the medical profession is not treating with vitamin D.  There are so many diseases that are a result of or have a component related to D deficiency, you would think the news organizations would be all over this, but I digress.

If you are a doctor or a researcher and you are trying to just get a feel for the research that is out there then Dr. John Cannell has organized the research by disease.  It is a starting place as there are still many diseases that he has not listed.  For example, I had degenerative disc disease that is really a form of osteoarthritis.  This disease caused severe chronic pain, muscle wasting in my legs, central sleep apnea, memory loss from brain shrinkage with the pain, and other symptoms from oxygen deprivation from the sleep apnea.  If we took sleep apnea we find that it is not in the list because no one has done any research on it and vitamin D even though it has an obesity and stenosis vector which both can be tied directly to vitamin D deficiency.  There is a lot of work that is left to be done and a lot of miss-education of doctors, researchers, and the public in general that needs to be corrected.

Another disease that is not listed is psoriasis and I know that it can be treated with vitamin D according to Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University.  Dr. John Cannell has done a great job and we are grateful for his work, but the tentacles of vitamin D reach far and long in the course of human health and disease.

If you do not find the disease that you have interest with, then just go to PubMed and search on the disease itself and components of vitamin D.  Also I am sure that if you can identify research and that has not been listed then the Vitamin D Council would be interested.  Send that along to them.

Let’s just make a copy of the list without comment to see how long it is:

Vitamin D Council Research Links by Disease

Addison’s Disease
Allergic Hypersensitivity
Alzheimer’s Disease
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Asthma
Autism
Autoimmune Illness
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Bladder Cancer
Brain Cancer
Breast Cancer
Cancer
Celiac Disease
Cerebral Palsy
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Pain
Cognitive Function
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Cystic Fibrosis
Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Diabetes
Endometrial Cancer
Epilepsy
Ethnicity and Vitamin D
Eye Cancer
GastrointestinalFunction
Gaucher’s and Fabry’s Disease
Vitamin D and Genetics
Graves’ Disease
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Heart Disease
HIV and AIDS
Hypertension
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Influenza
Innate and Adaptive Immunity
Liver Cancer
Liver Function
Lung Cancer
Lymphoid Cancer
Melanoma
Mental Illness
Mineral Metabolism
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscular Weakness and Falls
Obesity
Osteoarthritis
Osteomalacia
Osteopenia
Ovarian Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Parathyroid Function
Parkinson’s Disease
Pediatrics
Post menopause
Pregnancy and Lactation
Premenstrual Syndrome
Prostate Cancer
Renal Function
Rickets
Sarcoidosis
Sickle Cell Disease
Skin Cancer
Stroke
Toxicity
Toxin and Radiation Exposure
Tuberculosis
Turner’s Syndrome
Vitamin D Deficiency

Other items of interest for Vitamin D with links to the research:
Best Science
Commentaries and Editorials
Genetics
Requirements
Reviews
Treatment
UV Exposure
Veterinary and Animal Studies
Worst Studies

Vitamin D Council Research Links by Disease

Well, I hope that you find this useful and that you do not think that just because your disease of interest is not in this list that it does not have a vitamin D vector.  This seccosteroid is the most important steroid of the human body – Vitamin D3.

There is a lot of pain and death listed above.  Shine the light on this research!!!  – Pandemic Survivor

Brigham and Woman’s Study on Vitamin D

Well it looks like the NIH is finally taking this vitamin D thing seriously.  Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Woman’s Hospital are to enroll 20,000 people in a study taking vitamin D3 at 2,000 IU per day and fish oil for omega three fats.  Twenty five percent of the people in the study are to be black.  You can read the AP article here.

I believe the level of supplementation is less than half of where it should be, but this is enough to start to see the effect on chronic disease.  The real issue is that it will take several years into the study to start to see that the nation as a whole should be supplementing.  The question for you is that if it does no harm why wait until the study is complete to get your serum level high enough to where it will do some good.

The serum level should definitely be above 40 ng/ml of 25(OH)D and to get the best effect in the body it should be above 70 ng/ml.  The NIH fact sheet (Table 1) says that harm does not start to occur until it is above 200 ng/ml and animal studies show that below 400 ng/ml is safe.  This gives you a safety factor of at least 3 which is much better than most any prescription drug.

The thing that is really troubling to me is that many of the participants will be given placebos with no vitamin D.  I will pray for these people that they do no die from this continued deficiency of this vital steroid.  Hopefully as positive results are shown that the placebo group will also be given vitamin D.

If you decide not to wait because you already have one of the many chronic diseases from vitamin D deficiency then do what it says on the Vitamin D Council home page.  The volume of research is already HUGE and why we need another study is beyond me.  We have already done this the first part of the 20th Century when everyone was taking 2 tablespoons of cod liver oil, about 2600 IU of D3, per day without harm.  The only issue was that the vitamin A level may have been too high in the cod liver oil.  Look at the volume of research by disease at this Vitamin D Council Research Page.

I have been reading extensively on roles of vitamin A and how it interacts with vitamin D.  How these two act in synergy is still not complete science, but I do feel much better when I eat liver or take about 4000 IU of vitamin A from fish liver oil.  I will blog about this in the near future.

Here are the many diseases:  17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

Why wait!?  It is your health and your life – be healthy!   The encouraging thing about this pandemic is that the news of vitamin D is moving very fast through word of mouth and blogs like this one.  We should start to see things like the overall rate of cancer start to reduce significantly as more people take it on themselves to supplement.

Go into the sun!!!  The best time is between 11AM and 2PM when the UVB radiation is at it highest.  Wear the least amount of clothes possible so that you do not get locked up and if you start to turn pink it is time to get out of the sun and wait until the next day.  As you start to tan it will take longer and only about 15 to 20 minutes to start depending on skin color will be long enough.  – Pandemic Survivor

Blast Your Concerns about Cancer Away with Dynamite (DINOMIT)

Dr. Cedric Garland has been researching cancer and vitamin D for over thirty years.  Through Grass Roots Health and University of California San Diego, he has released a video talking about the stages of cancer and how vitamin D and calcium acts at many stages.

Until now typical treatment and prevention only considers Initiation, Overgrowth, and Metastasis.  He describes the additional stages as follows:

D – Disjunction

I – Initiation (genetic variation)

N – Natural selection

O – Overgrowth

M – Metastasis

I – Involution (cancer stops or slows)

T – Cancer becomes chronic condition)

A must watch video for doctors, researchers, oncologist, those concerned about cancer and cancer patients.  This University of California San Diego – TV video:  How Vitamin D Reduces the Incidence of Cancer: The DINOMIT Model by Dr. Cedric Garland.  For best results Dr. Garland says that you should get your serum 25(OH)D above 60 ng/ml.  Everyones serum level responds differently depending on disease state and body mass.  You most likely will need between 4000 IU to 10,000 IU per day of D3 from all sources.  The only way that you know for sure that your serum level is maintained is to have a blood test.

I would not suggest that you use D2 because it does seem to act the same as D3.  D2 and D3 has always been thought by the medical profession to be equivalent but new research shows this is not the case.  D2 also seems to be more toxic.  The Vitamin D Council on Treatment with D3. and  D2 versus D3 in this paper by Armas, Hollis, Heaney.

For doctors with your concerns about toxicity:  The NIH data shows serum 25(OH)D to be safe at levels consistently below 200 ng/ml.  Animal studies have shown that levels below 400 ng/ml do not cause toxicity.  See Table 1 at the NIH Fact Sheet on Vitamin D.

Also be sure your diet has enough calcium or about 4.5 mg per pound of body weight per day as discussed in this fact sheet on calcium from the NIH.

Other presentations from Grass Roots Health and UCSD-tv.  Vitamin D Presentations

If you have cancer be sure that your oncologist sees this information and do it conjunction with whatever protocols that he recommends.

You may also want to consider watching this one hour free video from Dr. Mercola on Vitamin D to help clear up the confusion of this strategic prehormone for health.

Cancer is not necessarily a death sentance.  Take control and be healthy.

GET HEALTHY!  and my  prayers are with you. – Pandemic Survivor

Black People, White People, the Sun

So once again we have found that black people have been discriminated against because of their skin tone.  It has been known since we started keeping statistics on disease and skin color that people with dark skin have more chronic disease and shorter life expectancy.  I have asked black people why they thought this was and the response was because they believe the stress of discrimination and an overall lower standard of living because of their suppression which lead to reduced medical care.  When I have asked white people what they thought I would get the response that black people just did not take care of themselves.  It seems that none of us are free of bigotry.  Neither answer is even close to correct.

The true reason for much higher disease states is the physical fact that skin color has evolved over time so that we can more easily live with the amount of sun that we would typically get at that latitude.  You can see what this looks like from the skin color map of indigenous people.

As you move away from the equator skin color of indigenous people gets lighter so that they can make an adequate amount of vitamin D.  As you go toward the equator, the skin tone gets darker to protect the skin from the damage of UV.  It then follows that if you have light skin and move closer to the equator that you take a higher risk of skin damage from the sun.  If you have dark skin and move further away from the equator you take the risk of not making enough vitamin D for a healthy long life.

So let’s take melanoma for an example.  Should we expect to find the melanoma rate higher at the equator or at the higher latitudes?  If it was totally from exposure to the sun then you would expect to find higher rates along the equator.  With our very mobile world people with light skin at the equator would have an extremely difficult time with this disease.  However, this was not the case with the data from Edward Gorham, PhD et al in the presentation Skin Cancer\Sunscreen – the Dilemma.   What we see on page five is that as you go away from the equator melanoma gets worse.  So what is going on?  What is even more of a dilemma is that we see that the rates for Argentina are much lower than they are for Australia even though we found that the skin color of the indigenous people were about the same at the same latitude.  Could it be that the cause of a higher melanoma rate is because of an intense program for sunscreen use in Australia?  It is complex and complicated because you also have to consider ozone.  Watch the video: Skin Cancer/Sunscreen, the Dilemma.

It seems that as skin tone gets darker that it takes more time in the sun or a more intense sun for the body to produce the same amount of vitamin D.   For example a person with a light skin tone may take only 15 minutes to produce 10,000 IU of D3 and a person with dark skin at the same latitude and sun intensity it could take 3 to 10 times longer to produce the same 10,000 IU of D3.

With this being the case and low supplementation then it stands to reason that lower vitamin D levels will lead to more disease.  Low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with the ‘big three’ killer chronic diseases: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  Dark skin people have a higher incidence of chronic disease.

Our response to this understanding as a society has been alarmingly slow because of our bigotry.  Consider this article Racial Opportunities – about race from Dr. John Cannell at the Vitamin D Council and this civil rights complaint that was filed with the DOJ against the FDA and was refused to be heard by the NIH in 2005.  What are we to think?

In 2005 and 2006 I went to see my local congressman and wrote to the NAACP twice to try to get some help in having the complaint heard.  My congressman told me that there was nothing that he could do about it and the NAACP did not respond to either of my letters.

The research on chronic disease and skin color is being published at an every increasing rate.  Consider this paper just published earlier June.

Differences in Vitamin D Levels Likely Explain Ethnic Differences in Incidence of Congestive Heart Failure

William B. Grant, PhD ; Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 169, No. 11, June 9, 2009

Let’s get healthier, give up the agendas, and embrace the light.

Boundaries improperly defined
As shackles bind us in a darkness
That can only be compared to slavery     – Pandemic Survivor