The Sun - The Forgotten Nutrient
The Sun – The Forgotten Nutrient
When we think of
nutritional supplements rarely, if ever, is the Sun listed
among the vitamins or minerals. Yet the Sun plays a vital and
pivotal role in many physiological life processes.
Without enough sunlight many people are prone to depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is prevalent in the winter months and
in the Northern Hemisphere. The solution for this problem
is full-spectrum light to duplicate the sun’s emissions as well as the
ingestion of cod liver oil.
Sunlight is also essential
for Vitamin D absorption and conversion in the skin. While much
has been made of the risk of skin cancer, the truth is that
melanoma occurs in areas of the body that are not usually exposed to
sunlight (thighs, trunk and buttocks) Basal cell carcinoma is the
cancer that occurs from excessive exposure to the sun, usually seen on
exposed body parts. Our culture’s obses sion with the extreme
(over-application of sunscreen or excessive exposure and tanning
salons) is unhealthy. Melanoma though is found in areas of the
body that are NOT usually exposed to the sun.
adequate amounts of Vitamin D bones cannot be strong. Patients
with osteoporosis are deficient in Vitamin D – either from a lack of
sun exposure, or an inability to absorb Vitamin D from their intestinal
tract. Vitamin D absorption is dependent upon the presence of
some fat in the diet.
Vitamin D is an
immune-modulator.. In actuality Vitamin D is not a vitamin at
all, but a hormone. Hormones are delivered by the
bloodstream to all cells in the body. Much research remains to be
done to elucidate all the mechanisms of Vitamin D’s biochemical
effects. Recent research indicates a pivotal role of Vitamin D in
the prevention of multiple sclerosis in Caucasians, especially
women. MS is much more prevalent the farther north of the equator
Sunlight is vital to our ability to
sleep. Melatonin, which is synthesized by the pineal gland in the
brain, is light-sensitive. Without the sun to “set” its diurnal
secretion, our sleep-wake cycles become irregular.
Shift-workers who may not see the sun for weeks on end have
difficulties focusing, lack energy, and experience sexual
Lastly, the sun plays a role in night
vision. Over-use of sunglasses inhibits the body’s ability to
distinguish between shades of darkness and light as well as inhibiting
melatonin synthesis. Certainly other nutrients play a role (Vitamins A
and E, fatty acids - especially phosphatidylcholine) but the sun
remains an essential ingredient to healthy vision.
summary Sunlight is vital for balanced mood, normal sleep
cycles, vision and bone/calcium physiology. Nothing
on God’s Earth would function without Sunlight -which is what He
God created the Sun and it was good.
www.drlam.com - excellent article on Osteoporosis
Article on Melatonin
Melatonin article from the National Sleep Foundation
Links on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Harvard Study on Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis