As I suspected all my life, natural sunlight is healthy and not carcinogenic. My readers know that I warn about the dangers of long-term vitamin D deficiencies caused by avoiding sun exposure. I have patronized tanning salons for the past 30 years with no hint of skin or other health problems.
Nadine Artemis is the author of Renegade Beauty and Holistic Dental Care. She is also the creator of Living Libations, “an exquisite line of serums, elixirs, and essentials oils for those seeking the purest of the pure botanical health and beauty products on the planet.” These products have received “rave reviews in the New York Times, the National Post, and the Hollywood Reporter.”
Artemis spoke at the 2013 Longevity Now Conference about how certain severe diseases such as rickets and the “white plague” of tuberculosis became common when the United States transitioned from a nation of farmers to a nation of factory and office workers.
The 1903 Nobel Prize was awarded to Danish physician Niels Finsen for healing tuberculosis with the sun, a treatment known as heliotherapy.
Medical doctor Auguste Rollier, inspired by Finsen’s work, became an expert in the healing properties of sunlight. An article published in a 1923 edition of Time magazine, stated that Dr. Rollier brought sun therapy to its highest perfection.
Dr. Rollier opened 36 clinics in the Swiss Alps which treated tuberculosis, rickets, lupus, smallpox, and the disinfection and healing of wounds. His miraculous, complete cures, which included tuberculosis, made world headlines at the time. Clinics featured rows of beds on outdoor porches so patients could recline in the fresh air and healing sunlight.
The ancient Greeks believed in the healing power of sunlight. Dr. Rollier said that the sun was the best masseur. He agreed with the ancient Greeks that sunlight on naked skin in the fresh air induced muscle tone with no movement. The original Greek Olympic athletes also discovered that the sun made them stronger without working out.
“There is an action of the sun that was able to fortify the muscles and create a proper body heat, proper maintenance of bones, and proper posture,” said Artemis.
Dr. Rollier said the best results from sun therapy during the summer months were achieved by “sunning” in the morning and eating nutritious meals. According to him, well-nourished skin responds better to sunlight than mineral-deficient skin.
Dr. Rollier’s approach to healthy nutrition did not feature any calorie counting or nutritional breakdowns of vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins, and fats. His staff simply prepared wholesome meals for their patients to accompany the sun exposure therapy. The positive results of this treatment approach were nothing short of astonishing.
On the whole, American children spend much less time outdoors today than in decades past and are deprived of natural sunlight. The medical industry has told us all our lives that sunlight damages skin and causes cancer. (Ironically, recent studies are proving that chemicals in sunblock products are carcinogenic.)
It should come as no surprise, then, when we learn that rickets still afflicts children in the U.S. today. Many people suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis, hip fractures, and dowager’s humps.
In the northern latitudes, by late winter, when our vitamin D reserves are very much depleted, there is a rise in diagnoses of influenza, dental cavities, and cancer.
Nonetheless, U.S. health campaigns continue to link cancer and exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from natural sunlight. We have been taught to avoid the sun at all costs. We have been told that sunlight causes photoaging, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and three types of skin cancer: malignant melanoma (cancer of the pigment cells which can spread to the lymph system and is highly lethal), squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
It is true that skin can be damaged by repeated sunburns in the same area can create visible damage.
There is actually very little scientific evidence that shows sunlight exposure (without burning) causes cancer. In fact, studies show that people who spend most of their time indoors are much more likely to get melanoma than those who work and play outside – as are people who live close to the equator where the UV radiation is much more intense than at the planet’s poles.
Skin lesions (melanomas) develop on regions of skin that are not normally exposed to sunlight. A 1986 study from Australia showed no correlation between the sun and melanoma. Instead, researchers noted a 25-40% reduction in the incidence of melanoma with increased recreational sun exposure.
Other published scientific studies have found no relationship between UV exposure and melanomas. The opposite is true: indoor workers exposed to artificial fluorescent lighting who had minimal sun exposure were twice as likely to develop melanoma than people who work outdoors, according to a 1982 study by Dr. Helen Shaw that was published in the Lancet medical journal.
Current scientific thinking is that a chronic lack of sunlight produces a vitamin D3 deficiency – and it is this health imbalance that increases the risk of developing cancer.
Other studies have shown that appropriate sun exposure actually prevents skin cancer.
Incidences of melanoma decrease with sun exposure and increase when patients use sunscreen.
Just remember: tan, don’t burn.