May 25, 2017

Director's Letter 

Our bodies were made to be exposed to sunlight.  At our Vitamin D for Public Health seminar in 2014, presenters clearly showed how many ways we depend on the sun for our health and, how it impacts so many more of our body's mechanisms than vitamin D production alone.  As I drive down the freeway, I see billboards now promoting staying out of the sun. It's scary. Please join with me and use your great minds to promote healthy sun exposure!  We need it, we evolved to be in the sun.


This week we are summarizing two different papers on the pros and cons of sun exposure. Both papers conclude that healthy, non-burning sun is important for a vibrant life. We also continue to explain how to get healthy sun - it is an equation that you have to discover for yourself. It depends on your skin type, the sun's strength and duration (below).

We hope you are encouraging others to join D*action. We are in the last few days of our May promotion. If a new participant is within the recommended range, 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L), they will receive a refund on their test. Send people here to check it out!


Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 
Moving Research into Practice NOW!
  The Positive and Negative Effects of Sun Exposure

Researchers from the Netherlands representing dermatology, public health, and molecular cell biology conducted an extensive review study based on 71 original studies, 21 meta-analyses, 6 systematic reviews and 17 reviews (115 total). The research team, led by Han van der Rhee, reviewed both the positive and negative effects of sun exposure and concluded that both too much and too little sunlight may be harmful to our health.
    What is the Proper Amount of Time to Be in the Sun?

An "erythema dose" is used by doctors to define the amount of ultraviolet radiation, from the sun or ultraviolet lamp, which results in a reddening of the skin. A minimal erythema dose is defined by a pinkness of the skin about 1-6 hours after sun exposure, going away within 24 hours. Sunny Hippocrates, our sunshine cartoon mascot, says to get no more than a *smidge* pink. There is no single number, due in part to differences in skin type and other individual differences in vitamin D production.
   Sunlight, UV and Vitamin D for Health

This publication summarizes many of the main points about sunshine, vitamin D, and optimal health. Dr. Michael Holick starts by summarizing our history with the sun. Was it always a demon? No. In fact, he starts by reminding us that sunlight enabled evolution. He concludes the paper with information from a study that showed 48 ng/ml (120 nmol/L) was the average 25(OH)D status of Maasai herdman, who live near the equator and are outside daily, suggesting that our hunter-gatherer forefathers likely maintained their 25(OH)D levels within the range of 40 - 60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

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We forget that the sun is more than natural vitamin D production in our skin. The sun is a symphony of light that effects our whole body, without it we perish. Research has shown the further we move away from the equator, the higher our risks for diseases.

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Solar D

Solar D sunscreen is designed with compositions that optimize sunlight filtering for vitamin D while helping prevent sunburn. Solar D comes in 3 forms - SPF 30, 50, and kids. Solar D has no parabens, PABA, oxybenzone, nanoparticles, gluten, or animal testing. It is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and sensitivity-free. Find out more and stock up for spring at their  web store
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Your participation in this project provides information for your answers to D questions and helps fund GrassrootsHealth.

Sunlight: For Better or For Worse? A Review of Positive and Negative Effects of Sun Exposure
Han van der Rhee et al.
Cancer Research Frontiers
May 2016
Read Paper

Biological Effects of Sunlight, Ultraviolet Radiation, Visible Light, Infrared Radiation and Vitamin D for Health.
Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD
Boston University Medical Center
Anticancer Research
March 2016

What Amount of Sun is Right for You?

A Brief History of Early Sun Therapy

Sunlight Infographic
Download and Share

Skin Cancer vs. Sunscreen - The Dilemma
Read Blog

Health Benefits of Sun

Vitamin D and Sunlight for Public Health
GrassrootsHealth Seminar
Summary of Research Presented
Read Blog

Vitamin D from the Sun and Corresponding Skin Damage
Summary of Paper

Fitzpatrick Skin Type
A scale used by dermatologists to identify skin colors

Sunny Hippocrates
Cartoon about sun exposure
May 2016

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