Sunlight Actually Prevents Cancer...


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Sunlight Actually Prevents Cancer

Insufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation may be an important risk factor for cancer in Western Europe and North America, according to a new study published in the prominent Cancer journal that directly contradicts official advice about sunlight.

The research examined cancer mortality in the United States. Deaths from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems were approximately twice as high in New England as in the southwest, despite a diet that varies little between regions.

An examination of 506 regions found a close inverse correlation between cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet B light. The likeliest mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight is vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B.

The study's author, Dr William Grant ( , says northern parts of the United States may be dark enough in winter that vitamin D synthesis shuts down completely.

While the study focused on white Americans, the same geographical trend affects black Americans, whose overall cancer rates are significantly higher. Darker skinned people require more sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.

There are 13 malignancies that show this inverse correlation, mostly reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer.

Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumors of the bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach.

Cancer March 2002; 94:1867-75



Most people believe that sun exposure causes cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth. As this study published in the prestigious Cancer journal indicates, exposure to sun actually decreases cancer rates.

Does this mean that one's sun exposure does not contribute to skin cancer? Absolutely not.

However, skin cancers are more likely related to the large distortion most people have in their omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio. The high excess of omega-6 fats in most people's diet puts them at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer when exposed to excess sun.

So the solution is not to slather sun block on. Sun block can be quite toxic and should be avoided by most people. The sensible approach would be to limit sun exposure so you never get sun burned.
It is sunburn in conjunction with excess omega-6 fats that increases your risk of skin cancer.

But even with the potential increase in skin cancer, most skin cancers are relatively benign when compared with breast, colon, and prostate cancers that lack of sun exposure is associated with.

So you can't have it both ways. Avoid the sun and don't change your diet and you will lower your risk of skin cancer, but increase your risk of far more common and deadlier cancers.

So why not change the fat content of your diet and use sensible sun exposure guidelines and reap the benefits of sunlight?

It is also important to note that many researchers are currently evaluating vitamin D and its analogs in the treatment of cancer (van den Bemd GJ, Chang GT. Vitamin D and vitamin D analogs in cancer treatment. Curr Drug Targets. 2002 Feb;3(1):85-94.)

Vitamin D can no longer properly be considered a vitamin.

Nevertheless, vitamin D resembles true vitamins inasmuch as humans -- who are cut off from the critical solar ultraviolet wavelengths by reason of latitude, clothing, or shelter -- depend on an external source of the substance, just as they do for the true essential nutrients.

The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It promotes bone mineralization in concert with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones.

However, it is quite clear that vitamin D does far more than promote optimized bone health. In addition to the strong evidence provided in this article about prevention of cancer vitamin D has also been associated with improvement in the following conditions:

Heart Disease
Infertility and PMS
Fatigue, Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Autoimmune Disorders
Syndrome X

Some key points to remember. The vitamin D in milk, and that put in most vitamins is vitamin D2 and is synthetic. Vitamin D2 is also called ergocalciferol. It is not the vitamin D that you want to supplement with. It is not nearly as good as the vitamin D obtained from sunlight or natural food sources like cod liver oil which is called vitamin D3 or calciferol.

The best place to get vitamin D is from UV-B from sunlight. However, darker skinned people require 10 to 20 times the sun exposure length than lighter skinned people do to build up the same amount of vitamin D.

That is one of the major reasons why African Americans have a much higher rate of cancer in North America than other ethnic groups.

Most people, who have skin that is deeply pigmented, should take extra precautions when living in North America for health reasons. The only work around for them to maintain their health would be to optimize their vitamin D levels.

It is also very important to realize that the RDA of vitamin D of 400 units is absolutely inadequate for most people who do not have exposure to regular sunshine. Most people may need up to 10,000 units per day for a short time to build their vitamin D levels up to healthy ranges.

One must be very clear however that this should only be done under supervision with a health care professional who can monitor vitamin D levels. Vitamin D in excessive doses can be quite dangerous as it can cause calcium to deposit in your soft tissues and kidney and this is not easy to turn around.
According to Yoga, early morning and evening sun rays are the best to keep body healthy. May be they figured this out long time ago. There is even a posture for this called "The salutation to the Sun".
banshee, I must congratulate you for your contribution. The subject is most interesting and it is something everybody should learn about. This is something we have been claiming for years at our Foundation for Scientific Ecology, but it it against the widespread popular belief that sunlight (especially UV-B rays) are harmful for the body. On the contrary, UV-B are the really beneficial rays received from the sun, while the dangerous ones are the longer UV-A that penetrates deep into the skin, and are responsible for the basal and squamous tumors, and also for the aging of skin. Another ilnesses you can get because a lack of UV-B is ricketts (quite common of children in London back in the 1800s- skies with black clouds of smoke+fog+narrow streets in poor neighbourhoods), and osteoporosis (or osteomalacia) in aging people, especially women.

In our website we have a page where we talk about this matter, and have graphs showing the amount of UV-A and UV-B rays from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it is in Spanish but, if you are interested in the graphs, take a look at:

<b><A HREF="">Play it Safe: Take Sun at Noon</A></b>

I will start to translate the article so you can read it in English. <b>You see, banshee, sometimes we can agree on something.</b>

And kmguru, science demonstrates that yoga has it backwards, at least regarding the sun rays. The worst time to expose yourself to the sun's rays is precisely before 10:00 AM and after 4:00 PM, as widely recommended by dermatologists. After all, they are not good Physicists, and ignore many things related to the physics of UV. You'd be getting very liittle UV-B rays and lots of UV-A. As we say in our article, you should expose yourself right at noon (1:00 PM) and not more than 20-30 minutes. That time is enough to give you the adequate amount of UV-B, as any exposure beyond those 30 minutes will not increase or speed up your "tanning". There seems to be a dose limit for triggering the mechanism of rising the melanocytes to upper levels of the skin.

If you use a strong sun block, you will bypassing two fundamental defense mechanisms --the warning signal: reddening of your skin (erythema) and the defense mechanism: the going up of melanocytes to block UV rays. So you will stay cooking under the sun, blocking beneficial UV-B rays, while letting in harmful UV-A. <b>Insane!</b> As you cannot do anyhting about the UV-A, the less time you stay under the sun the better. There seems to be now in the market sunscreens against UV-A, but I think they will also block UV-B. I hope there will someday something that would allow UV-B pass the sunscreens while keeping the UV-A out.

But as always, <b>The Dose is the Poison</b>: be careful when exposing to the sun. Don't overdo it. Caution is the word.
Edufer, you could be right. I have to do a little digging myself. The amount and spectral composition of sunlight at sunrise and sunset is different than any other time due to diffraction. The sunrise includes time when you see the sun peaking from the horizon to the time it is fully formed as a sphere only. I am surprised to see that your graph shows 600 watts/m2 across the board for UV.

But I will check it out if the yogis screwed it up.

Another reference:

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kmguru: the 650 watts/m2 correspond to UV-A radiation, while UV-B radiation amounts to 350 watts/m2. Then, the total radiation reaching Earth makes the average of 1,000 watts/m2.

I have finished translating the article <A HREF="""><B>"Play It Safe: Take Sun at Noon!"</B></A> that can be accesed in English from our website. I did it quite fast so please forgive some funny syntax you may encounter.

See you! (or read you...)
Here is the EMF spectrum. Here is where I have problem with. The shorter wavelength can knock out electrons in the DNA and cell structure causing mutations and anamolies in the cell repair process as in X-rays. So, it occurs to me that UV C is bad for you where as UV A should be good for you while UV B should be in-between. Unless someone tells me why and how a longer wavelength cause more damage than the shorter wavelength - I remain skeptical. I need the biochemistry of cellular activity vs, Vitamin D production and have not found any detail biochemistry yet.

The other part is though I do not have access to a spectroscope, common sense dictates that the sunrise spectrum is more shifted to infrared than UV - which is a much longer wavelength. That is why you have an yellow-orange-red hue during sunrise, sunset. (Mie-Scattering , I think) Again, I need proof that it is not so.

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Kmguru, you are right, but you are not considering the matter of different effects UV-C, UV-B and UV-A have on the human (and other living forms) cells. Almost <b>ALL UV-C</b> is filtered in the upper stratosphere by nitrogen and oxygen, so there is almost nothing left to reach the surface. UV-C is not a problem to living things in the surface, although there could be some in the high mountain peaks. UV-C has a very strong effect on cells, however, because it has very short wavelenght. By the same token, the shorter the wavelenght (or the higher the frequency), the stronger is the action of the radiation. When radiation pass a certain point of "shortness", they are called "ionizing" radiation, as can be seen in the graph you supplied. (ie: X-rays, gamma, alfa, beta, cosmic rays, etc), that are extremely harmful to cells <b>--if given in excess</b>.

BTW, although gamma rays particles are very penetrating, alfa particles are stopped by a thin sheet of paper. Radon subproducts emit alfa rays directly in people's lungs <b>that can adversely affect smokers</b> because alfa particles stick to smoke particles and get deep into the lungs. Otherwise, the low levels of radioactivity of radon seems to trigger the "hormetic" effect --that is, <B>the beneficial effefcts of low level radiation.</B> This is why thermal baths (radioactive waters) have been curing and relieving people's ilnesses since Romans built their Temple to the Godess of Health in the thermal fountains at the city of Bath, England.

As wavelenghts become longer, the chemical activity is being reduced, so UV-B has much less activity on cells than UV-C. However, there is also the matter of penetration capacity of the radiation. UV-B does not go deep into the skin, but UV-A yes. Longer wavelenght lose their chemical activity and develop mechanical properties (infrared act on our nerve sensors mechanically, giving us the feeling of heat.)

Because UV-A does reach profoundly into our skin, and it still has some chemical activity on our cells, this radiation provokes some changes in the cells, triggering the "aging" effect. UV-A does not damage the DNA or chromosomes, but its weaker chemical effect is enough to cause some changes in the cells and initiate the process of aging.
I think you are mixing up diffrent items together. If my memory serves me right, while gamma rays are high energy photonic energy and a part of the EMF, alpha particles are different (they are particles !).

Alpha particles are positively charged particles made up of two protons and two neutrons. The particles lose their energy quickly and do not penetrate the surface of the skin if the body is exposed externally. Material containing alpha radioactivity can enter the body through a cut in the skin, by ingestion, or inhalation. Uranium-238 and plutonium-239 are sources of alpha radiation.

Beta particles are fast moving electrons which are negatively charged. Beta radiation can penetrate a few millimeters in human tissue before losing all of its energy. Iodine-131, phosphorus-32, and strontium-90 are all sources of beta radiation.

IONIZING RADIATION The types of radiation capable of removing one or more electrons from atoms they encounter, leaving positively charged particles such as alpha and beta, and non-particulate forms such as X-rays and gamma radiation. Ionizing radiation may damage human cells. Non-ionizing radiation includes visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light, as well as radio waves.

Non-ionizing radiation. Electromagnetic radiation at frequencies below ionizing and ultraviolet levels has not been shown to cause cancer. While some epidemiologic studies suggest associations with cancer, others do not, and experimental studies have not yielded reproducible evidence of carcinogenic mechanisms. Low-frequency radiation includes radiowaves, microwaves, and radar, as well as power frequency radiation arising from the electric and magnetic fields associated with electric currents (extremely low-frequency radiation). (- American Cancer Society)

Radiation can generally be defined as being ionizing or non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation consists of high-energy waves that are able to penetrate cells and can cause ionization in different parts of the cell. Ionization is the development of a positive charge in a molecule (group of atoms) that is normally neutral (without a charge). Ionized molecules are unstable and quickly undergo chemical changes. This can lead to the formation of free radicals that can damage the molecule or other molecules around it.

One type of molecule that is sensitive to ionizing radiation is DNA, the part of the cell that contains the genes (blueprints) for each person's characteristics. Ionizing radiation can lead to a mutation (change) in a cell's DNA, which could contribute to cancer, or to the death of the cell. All cells in the body can be damaged by ionizing radiation. The amount of damage is related to the dose of radiation received by the cell. While the process of cellular change from radiation takes only a fraction of a second, other changes such as the beginning of cancer may take years to develop. (- ACS)

The more common types of radiation used for cancer treatment are:

High-energy photons from radioactive sources such as cobalt, cesium, or a machine called a linear accelerator.
Electron beams that provide superficial treatment but avoid radiation to deeper tissues.
Protons that are a newer form of treatment. Protons are parts of atoms that cause little damage to tissues they pass through but are very effective in killing cells at the end of their path in the targeted tissue. This means that proton beam radiation may be able to deliver more radiation to the cancer while reducing side effects of nearby normal tissues. Proton beam radiation therapy requires highly specialized equipment and is currently only available in a few medical centers.
Neutron radiation is used for some cancers of the head, neck, and prostate. (-ACS)

Here is the photobiology of erythema at the frequencies indicated
using UV-A (400-320 nm) and UV-B (320-290nm) and UV-C (290-200nm), We are in a borderline with UV-B from this test. I could not find any other recent test results on different people (Europeans, Chinese, Mexicans, Africans).

Kmguru, you are right again in what you say, except that I am confusing two things. I mentioned the gamma rays and alfa particles as an example of ionizing radiation. Although gamma rays are high energy photons, (and photons are supposed not have mass), so they are considered "waves", Einstein told us that light (allegedly a wave) can be seen both as a "vibration" or as "particles" (photons). This means light (or photons) are particles and a wave, at the same time. In here we would go into quantum physics, something that scared Einstein out of his discussion with Nils Bohr. So imagine how would it scare me...

BTW, I had a prostate cancer treatment six years ago with a linear accelerator that worked marvels on me. It did not provoke damage to nearby cells (some irritation to the colon for a few months) but not much else. And, as I brought up the prostate issue here: <b>Did you have your yearly prostate checkup lately?</b> If you haven't, just do it. I don't know your age, but if you are under 55, your risk of a fast prostate cancer is high (the ones called "hares" by doctors, as opposed to prostate cancer developed at later ages (65 and over) that are called "tortoises". Most autopsies performed in men of 80 and over, showed they had prostate cancer in a slow development.

And speaking of ionizing effects, did you know that this is what's happenig inside catalytic converters? And that is also what makes catalytic onverters useless for fighting pollution. As gases enter the catalytic chamber, the gases become ionized, that is, they are separated in their constitutive atoms (or ions). But, when these ions exit the chamber and start their way down the escape pipe, they start mixing again with each other --but in a random manner, so you'll find at the tailpipe all sort of new gases, among them hydrocyanic gas (the one used at the gas chamber) and other as poisonous. You'll also find that the converters, made for the purpose of eliminating nitrogen oxides, only decreases their amount, because as the ions mix together, they form NOx again, among all the other new gases. The only guys that have been benefited by the regulation is the Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) minning company, the biggest platinum producer (and the converter industry, of course). The losers? We, the suckers, that have luxurious platinum mesh in our more expensive cars...
I understand what you are saying...

My comments are based on the EMF and UV. The alpha and beta partcles do not belong to the EMF classification and therefore should not be a part of our discussion on photon energy states as relates to UV and Cancer.

The other problem I faced when researching about UV is that there is no standards to define where the ionizing frequency starts (I sent an email to NIST to find out if they have one). Also, I could not find any large studies of specific frequencies at which the cell damage occurs. It is more of a statistical nature than direct study like "power frequencies cause Leukemia" type blame it on something.

And to study properly, one has to take into account the skin color standardized to melanin content, stress level (ie, amount of cortisol in blood), hours of sleep, blood chemistry and so on. I do not think any such data exists...I could be wrong...

Prostate Cancer: Yes, mine is checked every year. As I get older, I learned a few things after extensive research. BTW, Proton therapy is a good therapy for prostate cancer.

I take a DHT inhibitor from herbal therapy such as Saw Palmetto, which also can inhibit the binding of dihydrostestosterone at cellular binding sites. If in future it gets enlarged, my doctor could prescribed a stronger medicine like Proscar which does inhibit 5 alpha-reductase. I also take Milk Thistle that improves liver function which can act on balacing excess hormone in the body. I take an Indian formula called Triphala, which is an over all tonic that contains linoleic acid. I take some other stuff. But the most important act I do is use the "tool" that keeps the pipes clean (that is what my doctor told me). Luckily I am married, otherwise, I would be buying a lot of porn movies. The doctor said "use it or lose it". Most old people do not use it as often they their liver functions are not as great.

Even after proton treatment, I suggest keeping your liver and urinary tracts in ship shape. Here are tips for good health:

1. Keep Liver in optimum health: The food you ingest contains small amount of toxins due to pesticides that is large load on the liver.

2. Keep urinary tracts in order: It empties liquid waste. Cranberry juice is good.

3. Keep colon in good order: Again body waste. Yogurt can help - simbiotic relationship....

4. Keep lungs in order. Good breathing techniques ...oxygen is life. I have not found any herbal item that is good for lungs. I am still searching. Berries should work because they work on and dilate capillaries...

5. Above all, take REM sleeps that heals the body....

6. Reduce stress in daly life. 85% disease is caused by Stress (Hans Seyle).