I covered myself with moisturizer, stepped into the stall, pulled the door shut behind me, grabbed the overhead straps and WHOOSH... sun lamps flooded all sides of my body. As their warmth gently enfolded me, a fan whirred overhead, keeping the temperature at a very happy level.
Suddenly the lamps shut off; my three minutes were up. Sadly, I stepped out of my sun stall, put my sweats on over my lubricated body and went home to take a real shower.
No I am not insane; just better informed, healthier, and slightly more tan than I was yesterday.
For the past seven years, I have relentlessly studied the known, probable and possible causes of invasive breast cancer. In 2007 I created a national non-profit organization that teaches women lots of safe, effective and inexpensive ways to help stop breast cancer before it can start.
I soon discovered research on how increasing vitamin D3, the sunshine vitamin, is a powerful way to strengthen your body's ability to block the growth of any breast tumors, not to mention prevent or relieve asthma, allergies, some skin conditions, colon cancer, depression and auto immune diseases. After completing a more extensive review of the vitamin D3 literature, I understood that maintaining a tan throughout the year, while supplementing with vitamin D3 can be the most effective way to raise and maintain blood levels to a protective level. Once you get enough of this special vitamin, (it's actually a hormone that our bodies synthesize from UVB tanning rays) your immune system gets stronger and stronger.
Over the past twenty years, dozens of research biologists and epidemiologists have understood that one major reason New England women have higher breast cancer rates than women living in southern states, is because the northern winter sun's UVB rays are too weak to enable the skin to produce vitamin D3.
A few years ago, Cedric Garland, an epidemiologist at the Moores Cancer Center in San Diego, found that raising vitamin D3 blood levels to 60ng/ml-80ng/ml makes breast cells interlock or stick together, enabling healthy cells to knock out any neighboring mutated or pre-cancerous cells through a process called apoptosis. Using this knowledge, computer models indicate that breast cancer will become a rare disease within the next 20 years, once women are able to reach and maintain that magical 60-80 ng/ml vitamin D3 blood level.
Dr. Joseph Mercola M.D., founder of mercola.com., the leading natural health website with 1.4 million subscribers, and Dr. Marc Sorenson, director of the Sunlight Institute, believe that maintaining a tan, using outdoor and indoor light sources, is the most efficient and effective way to raise and maintain these protective D3 levels. According to a 2004 study by Michael Holick, the nationally known Vitamin D3 researcher at Boston University, people who used indoor tanning had vitamin D3 levels 90% higher than people who avoided sun lamps. Holick's tanners also had significantly higher bone mineral density than their un-tanned or pale-face peers.
So ignore those TV ads by sunscreen manufacturers and those magazine articles (paid for by the same advertisers) about the need to use sunscreen all the time. Chemical sunscreens, a $640 million business in the U.S. alone, block UVB rays, the very rays we need to naturally make vitamin D3. Constant use of chemical sunscreens, by children and adults alike, can also block their ability to develop a decent tan, the one natural sunburn protection enjoyed by our ancestors for centuries.
Holick recommends that light-skinned people who burn, but never tan, use an umbrella in the summer for best protection. Since their pale skin does not block any UVB rays, they actually produce vitamin D3 very efficiently! Reflective sun light and supplements are all these pale faces need to reach significant D3 blood levels.
But those of us who tan easily, especially African Americans, Italians, Greeks, and Hispanics, need much more outdoor and indoor unprotected tanning time because it takes our darker and darkening skin tones longer to absorb enough of those UVB rays to create healthy vitamin D3 levels.
What about melanoma? Recent studies show that people with the highest risk for this deadly skin cancer include folks who drink a lot of alcohol every day, don't eat many leafy green vegetables, and/or have low vitamin D3 levels.
"As more and more Americans work indoors full time, and as more sunblock is used each year, U.S. melanoma rates continue to sky rocket; but people with high levels of vitamin D3, do not develop melanoma," said the Sunlight Institute's Sorenson.
Once U.S. doctors begin to understand the incredible immune support offered by higher vitamin D3 levels, they may stop recommending sunscreen 24-7 to all of their patients. As physicians begin to focus more on preventing disease naturally, instead of quoting corporately-supported pro-sunscreen articles, they will hopefully encourage their patients to become nourished by UVB rays, sensibly gained through limited outside and indoor tanning sessions.
So let the sunshine in!
Susan Wadia- Ells PhD is founding director of the National Breast Cancer Prevention Project/ Know Breast Cancer, http://www.knowbreastcancer.net/, sponsors of the 2012 Essex County (MA) & & Key West (FL) Busting Breast Initiatives...teaching women 3 EASY WAYS to help stop breast cancer before it can start. To begin an Initiative in your community or for more information on Know Breast Cancer's work, email email@example.com