In a nation where over 70% of the population has vitamin D deficiency, sunscreen actually blocks vitamin D production.
Vitamin D deficiency is perhaps the most widespread vitamin deficiency in North America. According to the research, 70% of whites are deficient in vitamin D, and up to 97% of blacks are deficient!
Chronic vitamin D deficiency promotes cancer, winter flu and infections, osteoporosis and hormonal imbalances.
By blocking vitamin D production in the skin, sunscreen products actually contribute to cancer-promoting nutritional deficiencies.
Sun exposure isn’t enough – even in the eternally sunny city of Honolulu, Hawaii where people reported a whopping average of 28.9 hours of sun a week, over half of the population is still deficient in vitamin D.
This doesn’t mean you should never wear a sunscreen product, of course. If your skin is really pale and you’re planning a day on the beach in Hawaii, you will obviously benefit from some level of sun protection using a truly natural sunscreen product. But an informed health-conscious person would try to allow their skin to achieve a natural, healthy tan (yes, a tan truly is healthy if it’s combined with good nutrition, see below) through sensible exposure levels that activate vitamin D production in the skin.
Either way it’s a good idea to supplement with vitamin D3.
What You Eat can Actually protect you from sun damage.
Did you know you can boost your internal sunscreen by eating antioxidant-rich foods and superfoods?
At Tel Aviv University, a study was conducted showing how the Mediterranean diet (rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 Fatty acids) actually prevents sun damage.
An Omega 3 Supplement, for example, is very well known for boosting your skin’s natural resistance to sunburn as well as protecting you from skin cancer.
Colorful fruits are high in carotenoids and lycopene. Carotenoids offer skin and eye protection from the sun. According to Ralph Felder, MD, PhD, “The more colorful the plant, the higher its protection against unwanted rays.” He also explains, “When you and I go out in the sun, we put on sunscreen. Plants use color as sunscreen.”, helping us reduce signs of skin aging and from development of skin cancer.
A study, performed in 2001, looked at volunteers who ate 40 grams of tomato paste in addition to two teaspoons of olive oil over a ten-week period. The group was 40% less likely to experience sunburn when exposed to harmful UV rays.
The more natural antioxidants you have in your diet, the more sunlight your skin will be able to handle without burning. Nearly everyone mistakenly believes that a person’s sunlight burn response is purely a genetic factor. They’re wrong. You can radically improve your resistance to UV exposure through dietary changes.
UV exposure alone does not cause skin cancer
It is a complete medical myth that “UV exposure causes skin cancer.”
The truth is actually more complicated: Skin cancer can only be caused when UV exposure is combined with chronic nutritional deficiencies that create skin vulnerabilities.
To create skin cancer, in other words, you have to eat a junk food diet, avoid protective antioxidants, and then also experience excessive UV exposure. All three of those elements are required. Conventional medicine completely ignores the dietary influences and focuses entirely on just one factor: Sunscreen vs. no sunscreen. This is a one-dimensional approach to the issue that’s grossly oversimplified to the point of being misleading.
Not all “natural” sunscreen products are really natural
Be careful when shopping for so-called “natural” sunscreen products. While there are some good ones out there, many are just examples of greenwashing, where they use terms like “natural” or “organic” but still contain loads of synthetic chemicals anyway.
A good guide for checking on sunscreen products is the Environmental Working Groupguide (EWG) here:
Environmental Working Group guide
Read the ingredients labels to see for yourself. Don’t use any sunscreen product containing ingredients that sound like chemicals:
Always buy unscented sunscreen unless for some reason you just enjoy coating your skin with artificial perfume chemicals. A typical sunscreen product is made with over a dozen cancer-causing fragrance chemicals, and they’re absorbed right through your skin. Most sunscreens, when applied as directed, are really just toxic chemical baths that heavily burden your liver and can give you cancer.
Stick with truly natural sunscreen products and try to build up a healthy tan while consuming large quantities of superfoods and antioxidants in your diet. Consider taking astaxanthin or other fat-soluble nutrients on a regular basis.
Engage in daily juicing of fresh fruits and vegetables which are loaded with living nutrients. Time your sun exposure to build up a healthy tan so that you don’t need sunscreen at all. Contrary to all the misinformation we’ve all been fed, a healthy tan is actually a good sign that you’re achieving adequate vitamin D synthesis in your own skin.
Dr. Morgan’s Comments:
You need mid-day sun to promote Vit D production, but you should get out of the sun before you get to the erythema stage (skin turns red). If you can’t get out then cover up, wear a hat. Wear clothes that block (not all do), some fabrics have SPF ratings. Supplement with vitamin D.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University (2010, August 17). SPF on your plate: Researcher connects the Mediterranean diet with skin cancer prevention.
Jean Y. Tang; Angela Wu; Eleni Linos; Neeta Parimi; Wayne Lee; Michelle Aszterbaum; Maryam M. Asgari; David R. Bickers; Ervin H. Epstein, Jr. High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients With Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome. Arch Dermatol, 2010
Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans. An assessment of early genotoxic markers.
Rhodes LE, Shahbakhti H, Azurdia RM, Moison RM, Steenwinkel MJ, Homburg MI, Dean MP, McArdle F, Beijersbergen van Henegouwen GM, Epe B, Vink AA.
Carcinogenesis. 2003 May
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