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Dr. Sears

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Anti-Aging Pioneer Dr. Al Sears

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How should you protect against sun damage?

morning outside

For decades, dermatologists have scolded you over sunscreen.

They insist the “only way” to enjoy yourself outside is to cover yourself in sunscreen – and the higher the SPF, the better. Some even demand you wear sunscreen indoors!

Americans listened – to the tune of spending $400 million on sun products every year. And as we head into the summer months, you can bet they’ll be drumming home their message – once again – that the sun “causes cancer.”

This is absurd, of course.

Moderate sun exposure is essential.

In fact, getting natural vitamin D from the sun is one of the best all-around cancer-fighters.

And now, another new study confirms it.

Sun Exposure Reduces Cancer Risk?

According to this latest study, researchers report that spending 20 years or more working outside in the sun actually REDUCED a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.1

Danish scientists looked at 38,375 women under the age of 70 who were diagnosed with the disease. Then they compared each patient to five control patients who were all born the same year.

Full employment history was reviewed. The researchers were stunned to find that not only was there no association with working outside in the sunlight to overall breast cancer risk…

But that long-term occupational exposure was associated with a 17% reduced risk of breast cancer after age 50.

These researchers in Denmark may have been surprised. But I’m not.

A four-year study conducted by researchers at Creighton University found that vitamin D and calcium supplementation can help prevent 17 types of cancer and lower your overall cancer risk by a whopping 77%.2

In fact, studies show that the “sunshine” vitamin can:3,4,5,6,7

  • Target the genes responsible for cancer-cell proliferation
  • Change cancer cells into normal cells
  • Stop cancer cells from multiplying into tumors
  • Help prevent certain cancers from spreading
  • Regulate your immune response to cancer

Vitamin D can even prolong the lives of existing cancer patients.

These findings from Denmark were published only a few weeks after another study looked at human migration over the last 500 years. This research, published by Oxford University, found that as people moved from areas of intense sunlight to regions where sunlight was low, the number of people with a vitamin D deficiency surged.8

In America, that number is almost 70%.9

In addition to cancer, too little vitamin D increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, colds and viruses, depression, osteoporosis, and all-cause mortality.

To overcome a vitamin D shortfall and improve almost every aspect of health, I advise my patients to get plenty of sunshine.

To get the most vitamin D in the least amount of time, I recommend getting outside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

That’s when the sun is highest and rays are strongest so you can get some good exposure over a short time. As little as 10 minutes in the midday sun can give you 10,000 IU of vitamin D.

Get the best cancer protection under the sun

    • Eat sun-dried mushrooms. When shitake mushrooms are placed in the sun for six hours, their vitamin D levels skyrocket – from 110 IU per 100 grams to 46,000!
    • Try the best source of D after the sun. Next to sunlight, cod liver oil is the best source of vitamin D, providing 1,360 IUs in just a single teaspoon per day. If cod liver oil isn’t your thing, increase the amount of wild-caught fatty fish you eat. Salmon, tuna, herring, and anchovies are good sources.
    • D3 Power in a Pill. Choose a vitamin D3 supplement called cholecalciferol, which is identical to the vitamin D3 that your body produces. Be sure to avoid the synthetic, less potent and less absorbable vitamin D2 form you find in many multivitamins. Get between 5,000 and 10,000 IUs a day.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

 


1. Pedersen J, et al. “Occupational exposure to solar ultraviolet B radiation and risk of subtypes of breast cancer in Danish women.” Occup Environ Med. 2021 Apr;78(4):286-292.
2. Lappe, J.M., et al, “Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk.” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. June 2007; 85(6):1586-91
3. Johnson CS, et al. “Vitamin D-related therapies in prostate cancer.” Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2002;21(2):147-58.
4. Maruyama R, et al. “Comparative genome analysis identifies the vitamin D receptor gene as a direct target of p53-mediated transcriptional activation.” Cancer Res. 2006;66(9):4574-4583.
5. Aranow C. “Vitamin D and the immune system.” J Investig Med. 2011;59(6):881–886.
6. Hokravi MT, et al. “Vitamin D inhibits angiogenesis in transgenic murine retinoblastoma.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1995;36(1):83-87.
7. Lappe JM, et al. “Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(6):1586-1591
8. Andersen T, et al. “Historical migration and contemporary health.” Accessed May 1, 2021.
9. Tovey A. “Are we currently amid a vitamin D pandemic?” Vitamin D Council. November 18, 2016. Accessed May 14, 2018.

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