How is it the children in America, who come from the most affluent sophisticated health care system in the world, are seemingly experiencing numerous health problems than ever before? According to Dr. James E. Dowd, MD., F.A.C.R Professor of Medicine at the Michigan State University, the medical problems are directly affiliated with a combination of diet and vitamin D deficiency which affects more than two thirds of the American population. That’s around 200 million people! So when we come from a country that appears to have the best of everything where did we go wrong?
After World War 2, with the industrial revolution, many people moved from sunnier areas leaving behind the outdoor working jobs of farming to the indoor jobs of factories in the Midwest and Northeast. In the 1980s, the digital revolution followed right behind with sitting behind an office desk. With the changes in our working environment there was a need for easier faster and more convenient ways to feed our families. This brought on the mechanization of the food industry. Many of our foods became highly processed, canned and frozen replacing fresh fruits, vegetables and free range meats. Unfortunately this urbanization has resulted in a pandemic of vitamin D deficiency and a dietary imbalance resulting in a medical crisis. So what’s the answer? According of Dr. Dowd, it’s pretty simple, maximize your “safe” sun exposure without sunscreens, supplement, exercise and neutralize acids through a good balanced diet.
Vitamin D is especially crucial during pregnancy and early childhood because it stimulates the production of proteins that kill viruses and bacteria to help prevent infections. Vitamin D also plays an important role in fetal development. Women, who have supplemented with vitamin D during pregnancy along with a proper diet, are less likely to have infants with intrauterine growth retardation. Because breast milk has little or no vitamin D supplementation is recommended for both you and baby while breastfeeding to help prevent cancers, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, gum disease, cavities, rickets and scoliosis.
So how do we naturally get vitamin D? Most people think you can get vitamin D through diet and casual sun exposure. However, even if you live in sunny California, the sun exposure we get from our urban lifestyle in combination of the elimination of the sun through sunscreens and the wide brimmed hat and long sleeves makes vitamin D virtually impossible to get. The biggest concern of course is skin cancer and people tend to link all skin cancers together. The most common skin cancer is basal cell which accounts for approximately 80% of skin cancers. Following close behind is squamous cell. Melanomas are the least common. According to the World Health Organization, UV exposure linking basal cell and squamous cell cancer is indisputable. However, UV exposure in affiliation with melanoma is questionable. According to Dr. Dowd, of more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer a year, only 112,000 are melanoma. And of those cases only about half are invasive. 73% of skin cancer deaths are attributed to malignant melanoma. The affiliation of UV light and melanoma became questionable when researchers found that indoor workers were at greater risk of melanoma than outdoor workers and some of the most common melanoma skin lesions sites were in non sun exposed areas of the body. This caused some experts to question the suns link to melanoma altogether. According to the National Cancer Institute you can reduce your risk of developing melanoma by increasing larger amounts of Vitamin D. So maybe the use of sunscreens to prevent melanoma and avoiding the sun altogether is not the answer.
Sunscreens pose a risk in itself. With the skin being the largest organ, anything you lather on is absorbed right into your body. With all the chemicals in many sunscreens, you may be increasing your risk of another form of cancer. To avoid sun burns, be selective on what you use especially when it comes to your baby. Do your research and use the safest sunscreen brands. You may have to spend a little more money to avoid the harmful chemicals but the peace of mind is worth the cost. However, avoiding the sun altogether may not be wise. Dermatologists have been scaring us for decades on sun avoidance and maybe it has gone too far. Our lifestyles already cost us too little sun exposure and we need all the “safe” sun we can get. Remember, mankind has worshipped and evolved under the sun for millions of years. Because the sun is giving us that healthy dose of vitamin D, maybe he’s really not such a bad guy after all!
The key to good health for you and your family is to maximize your “safe” sun exposure without sunscreens, supplement, exercise, and neutralize acids through a good balanced diet.
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ref: The vitamin D CURE by James E Down, MD and Diane Stafford