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

09.10.2003


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!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>