Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


NIH told regular and moderate exposure to sunlight is the key to preventing chronic disease


The researcher who discovered the active form of Vitamin D, Dr. Michael F. Holick, a Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, Physiology and Biophysics at the Boston University School of Medicine, told the National Institutes of Health’s symposium on "Vitamin D and Health in the 21st Century" that the nation faces "severe Vitamin D deficiency" which, if not properly addressed, will have profound far reaching health consequences such as hundreds of thousands of new cases of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Holick said, "We have a severe unrecognized epidemic of Vitamin D deficient patients on our hands. The public health issues at stake go far beyond bone health and involve chronic disease such as breast and colon cancer and high blood pressure. There is a mountain of well conducted, validated science that demonstrates that the production of the activated form of Vitamin D is one of the most effective ways the body controls abnormal cell growth. Regular and moderate exposure to sunlight is the best way to help the body manufacture the Vitamin D it needs. The idea that we should protect ourselves from the sun all the time is misguided and unhealthy.

"Moreover, the 1997 daily recommended allowances for Vitamin D are totally inadequate to protect public health. New science supports a significant revision of the recommendation. Adults should be getting 1000 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D a day, not the 200-600 (IU) that was recommended in 1997. Rewriting the recommended daily requirements as soon as possible should be a top priority.

"Taking diet supplements or drinking foods that have been fortified with Vitamin D is too often inadequate since a patient would have to drink the equivalent of 10 days of fortified milk or orange juice every day. Only regular and moderate exposure to sunlight fulfills the body’s needs. We ought not to be like the groundhog that is afraid to cast a shadow on a sunny day.

We need a national public health information and education campaign that encourages people to get the exposure to sunlight they need and then put on lots of sunscreen. It is not a question of a few minutes here and there. It is a question of determining how much ultraviolet light you need to maintain the right Vitamin D level in your blood and finding a way to get it.

"There is not a quick and easy answer to the question of how much is enough? African-American, Hispanics and people with a Mediterranean heritage require more. Blue-eyed, red heads from northern Europe need far less. The one basic rule that applies to everyone is avoiding sun burn. It is the burning of the skin and chronic excessive exposures, not the limited sensible exposure to ultraviolet light or sunlight, that creates the concern about skin cancer.

"The public health consequences of ignoring this epidemic are profound. Today, Vitamin D deficiency is associated with more than 100,000 additional cases of cancer and 30,000 annual cancer deaths. The epidemic extends beyond cancer to Type I diabetes, heart disease and other chronic adult disease. Possible overexposure to ultraviolet light should not be an excuse to scare people out of the sun entirely," Holick said.

Dr. Michael Holick is the former Chief of the Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Diabetes; Director of the General Clinical Research Center, and Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, and Physiology and Biophysics at the Boston University Medical Center. As a graduate student, Dr. Holick not only isolated and identified the active form of vitamin D but also chemically synthesized this complex molecule and was one of the first to use it for the treatment of renal osteodystrophy. After completing his Ph.D. and M.D. at the University of Wisconsin, he trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

While an intern and resident, Dr. Holick established a laboratory to evaluate how vitamin D is made in the skin, and during the past 25 years, has looked at not only the intricacies of how vitamin D is made in the skin during exposure to sunlight, but has also provided global recommendations for how sunlight exposure is important for bone health.

For the past decade at Boston University School of Medicine, he has pioneered the use of activated vitamin D compounds for the treatment of psoriasis. This is now considered to be the treatment of choice for this common skin disorder. Dr. Holick has published over 200 original scientific publications, written over 200 reviews, and edited several books including two that will be published next year.

The Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) is a national trade association representing all major manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of indoor tanning equipment as well as approximately 6,000 professional tanning facilities nationwide.

Jeff Nedelman | EurekAlert!

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>