The Sun and Vitamin D
I have pointed out before that we are very much Vitamin D deficient in the United States. This is a natural result of the barrage of warnings that we get to stay out of the sun. Normal, unshielded exposure to the sun, especially about 20 minutes a day on the face and upper body causes the body to naturally produce Vitamin D. Not getting enough sun can lead to Vitamin D deficiency. And, Vitamin D deficiency leads to a variety of health problems, not the least of which is brittle bones.
A scientist is being ostracised for actually recommended moderate amounts of sunlight! How did we get to this stage?
Add this hysteria to keep people out of the sun with the fact that there is evidence that current sunscreens may be harmful in and of themselves, and you have another healthcare crisis brewing! Using a toxic sunscreen loaded with titania (titanium oxide) may lead to neurological damage, according to EPA researchers. Titania, the same material used to make white pigment for paint, is also found in sunscreen formulations, which claim to absorb ultraviolet light. Such “protection from the sun” comes at a price according to recent research: Toxicity when titania is intermingled with various cell types, including skin, bone and liver. Scientists exposed titania nanoparticies (some 30 nanometers in size) to the microglia cultures (cells that protect brain neurons) taken from mice. Over the short term, the mouse microglia protected neurons from titania by releasing natural chemicals to destroy them. Because it takes more than hour for those microglia to do the job, however, scientists believe this prolonged chemical reaction sets the stage for oxidative stress, the root of conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
“The Study, carried out by Bellina Veronesi of the US Environmental Protection Agency and published on the website Nature.com, looked at the affects of nano-sized Titania, now commonly used in sun cream formulations and often labelled titantium oxide, on cultures of microglia mice cells. Although Veronesi has stressed that the research does not necessarily imply that the Titania grains are harmful to the human body and other experts have aired caution over the interpretation of the findings, it does add to a growing body of research that suggests potential risks might exists when certain compounds are reduced to nano size.”
What is the bottom line? Moderation! Keep your sun exposure reasonable, to produce enough natural Vitamin D, but not so much that you get burned. Simple. So, why is that so hard?