Sunlight Can Prevent Cancer

& Other Illness

Welcome! This page reunites three articles showing that the light of the sun rather than being a destroyer of health by leading to skin cancer actually is an essential ally against cancer development.

Sunlight and cancer incidence — can sunlight prevent cancer?

excerpted from BBC News

A small amount of sunshine can help reduce the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers, according to US scientists.

Sunlight is a key source of vitamin D, and scientists told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston the vitamin plays a crucial role in regulating the production of cells, a mechanism which is absent in cancer...

Dr William Grant, an independent researcher from Virginia, has examined the difference in cancer rates dependent on where people live.

Dr Grant's US work, using data from the Atlas of Cancer Mortality, found death rates for breast, colon and ovarian cancers in Boston and New England were almost twice as high as they were in the southwest from 1950 to 1994.

He found the same link, with varying increased risk, for 13 cancers including bladder, kidney, stomach and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

He estimates there have been 23,000 deaths from cancer per year — taking the difference in UV radiation between northern and southern states — which could have been prevented if people had had enough vitamin D [created by exposure of skin to sunlight’s UV-B fraction]. He suggests this year, the figure could be 30,000.

Based on his US findings, he estimates a quarter of breast cancer deaths in the UK are a result of vitamin D deficiency.

He told BBC News Online: "I believe my research should be considered a clarion call for more investigation by the health establishment on the benefits of solar radiation and UV B."

Study Shows Sunlight Prevents Cancer

originally found at

A prominent cancer journal directly contradicts official advice about sunlight. According to a study published in Cancer (March, 2002; 94:1867-75) conducted by Dr William Grant, insufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation may be an important risk factor for cancer in Western Europe and North America.

The research examined cancer mortality in the United States. Deaths from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems were approximately twice as high in New England as in the southwest, despite a diet that varies little between regions.

An examination of 506 regions found a close inverse correlation between cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet B light. The likeliest mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight is vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B.

According to Dr. Grant's study, northern parts of the United States may be dark enough in winter that vitamin D synthesis actually shuts down completely.

There are 13 malignancies that show this inverse correlation, mostly reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer. Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumors of the bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach.

Although the study focused on white Americans, the same geographical trend affects black Americans, whose overall cancer rates are significantly higher. Darker skinned people require more sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.

"Most people believe that sun exposure causes cancer," says Dr. Joseph Mercola (, one of the most visited health websites in the world), “but nothing could be further from the truth. Exposure to sun actually decreases cancer rates".

Dr. Mercola believes that sun exposure does contribute to skin cancer, but skin cancers are more likely related to the large distortion most people have in their omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio. It is the high excess of omega-6 fats in most people's diet that puts them at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer when exposed to excess sun.

The “solution is not to slather sun block on, since sun block can be quite toxic and should be avoided by most people. The sensible approach would be to limit sun exposure so you never get sunburned. Sunburn in conjunction with excess omega-6 fats increase your risk for skin cancer.”

“But, even with the potential increase in skin cancer, most skin cancers are relatively benign when compared with breast, colon, and prostate cancers that lack of sun exposure is associated with.

So you can't have it both ways. Avoid the sun and don't change your diet and you may lower your risk of skin cancer, but increase your risk of far more common and deadlier cancers.

So why not change the fat content of your diet and use sensible sun exposure guidelines and reap the benefits of sunlight?”

From reading various literature on the subject, it appears that Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients most lacking in the average Westerner’s body due to a combination of latitude, a predominantly indoor-based lifestyle, and societal clothing obligations. More in Dr. Mercola’s article Sunlight Actually Prevents Cancer at

“The vitamin D in milk, and that put in most vitamins is vitamin D2 and is synthetic. Vitamin D2 is also called ergocalciferol. It is not the vitamin D that you want to supplement with. It is not nearly as good as the vitamin D obtained from sunlight or natural food sources like cod liver oil which is called vitamin D3 or calciferol.

The best place to get vitamin D is from UV-B from sunlight. However, darker skinned people require 10 to 20 times the sun exposure length than lighter skinned people do to build up the same amount of vitamin D.

That is one of the major reasons why African Americans have a much higher rate of cancer in North America than other ethnic groups.

Most people, who have skin that is deeply pigmented, should take extra precautions when living in North America for health reasons. The only work around for them to maintain their health would be to optimize their vitamin D levels.

It is also very important to realize that the RDA of vitamin D of 400 units is absolutely inadequate for most people who do not have exposure to regular sunshine. Most people may need up to 10,000 units per day for a short time to build their vitamin D levels up to healthy ranges.

One must be very clear however that this should only be done under supervision with a health care professional who can monitor vitamin D levels. Vitamin D in excessive doses can be quite dangerous as it can cause calcium to deposit in your soft tissues and kidney and this is not easy to turn around.”

Cancer Prevention & Sunlight

Excerpted from the book "The Healing Sun", 1999, by Richard Hobday, MSc, PhD. Dr. Hobday is a member of the British Register of Complementary Practitioners and has studied traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese exercise systems in China. He has many years experience of solar design in buildings and is a leading authority on the history of sunlight therapy.

In some respects cancer is to industrialized countries today what tuberculosis was to the 18th and 19th century: a major cause of death and misery which defeats the best efforts of conventional medicine.

Rather ironically the way cancer has been, and continues to be, managed is very similar to the way 'surgical tuberculosis' was dealt with a century ago — before heliotherapy was rediscovered. [Heliotherapy is the treatment of disease by exposing the body to sunlight.] Then, as now, all of the emphasis was on removing the manifestation of the disease and not on enhancing the patient's ability to overcome it. ...

As far as conventional medicine is concerned, the preferred methods treating cancer are surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Cancer cells are removed or destroyed and no attempt is made to eliminate the disease by strengthening the body's natural defense systems.

Indeed, chemotherapy and radiation do exactly the opposite. Against this background it is understandable that people are turning to non-interventionist 'conservative' techniques as an alternative, or supplement, to surgical and chemical remedies.

A number of alternative therapies have been developed for cancer which claim to use the body's own healing powers rather than drugs or machine-medicine, with varying degrees of success. Sunlight has been used to treat cancer and there is evidence that goes back over half a century which suggests that sunlight exposure prevents deep-seated cancers from developing.

Now, although sunlight can cause basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in susceptible people, there is a very good correlation between sunlight exposure and low incidence of internal cancers.

Death rates from cancer increase with distance from the equator. Or, to put it another way, the nearer you live to the equator the less chance you have of developing an internal cancer.

This association has been clearly demonstrated in a number of studies such as the one carried out in 1941 in the United States by Dr Frank Apperly.

He examined the statistics on cancer deaths across North America and Canada and found that compared with cities between 10 and 30 degrees latitude, cities between 30 and 40 degrees latitude averaged 85 per cent higher overall cancer death rates; cities between 40 and 50 degrees latitude averaged 118 per cent higher cancer death rates, and cities between 50 and 60 degrees latitude averaged 150 per cent higher cancer death rates.

Dr Apperly also looked at the relationship between sunlight, ambient temperature and skin cancer. He concluded that sunlight produces an immunity to cancer in general and, in places where the mean temperature is less than about 5.5° C, or 42° F, even to skin cancer.

However, at mean temperatures higher than this, solar radiation causes more skin cancer despite the increased general immunity to the disease.

So, the nearer one is to the equator, the less chance there is of developing cancer of the breast, colon, lung, etc. There is an increased risk of developing skin cancer but this decreases in cooler climates with mean temperatures below 5.5° C, or 42° F.

Dr Apperly appears to have been the first scientist to investigate the relationship between ambient temperature and skin cancer. He also suggested, as others have done before and since, that exposure to sunlight might be an effective way to reduce the number of deaths from internal cancers. He concluded his review of the statistics as follows:

A closer study of the action of solar radiation on the body might well reveal the nature of cancer immunity.

There have been a number of scientific studies in the last 20 years which support the view that sunlight can inhibit cancer, and it is clear that the mortality and incidence of breast cancer and colon cancer in North America and other areas of the world increases with increasing latitude.

In 1992, Dr Gordon Ainsleigh published a paper in the journal Preventive Medicine in which he reviewed 50 years worth of medical literature on cancer and the sun. He concluded that the benefits of regular sun exposure appear to outweigh by a considerable degree the risks of squamous-basal skin cancer ... and melanoma.

He found trends in epidemiological studies suggesting that widespread adoption of regular moderate sunbathing would result in approximately a one-third lowering of breast and colon cancer death rates in the United States.

Colon cancer and breast cancer are the second and third leading causes of cancer deaths in North America and Dr Ainsleigh estimated that about 30,000 cancer deaths would be prevented each year if moderate sunbathing on a regular basis became the norm.

The subject was reviewed again in another American paper published in 1995, entitled Sunlight — Can It Prevent as well as Cause Cancer? The authors were concerned that medical research was largely directed towards investigating the harmful effects of sunlight on fair-skinned individuals, and not on people with dark skin who lived in, or had emigrated to, parts of the United States where the incidence of sunlight was low.

They concluded from their review that although there was no definitive proof that sunlight and vitamin D protect humans from the development and progression of carcinomas of the breast, colon or prostate, there were good grounds for questioning any broad condemnation of moderate sun light exposure.

They felt that for some Americans — those with heavily pigmented skin — lack of solar radiation could be rather more of a problem than too much: that it may well contribute to the high incidence of prostate cancer in black American men and the particularly aggressive progress of cancer of the breast in black women.

The final sentence of this paper is as telling, in its own way, as the one at the conclusion of Dr Apperly's paper of 1940 quoted above. The authors suggested that the:

... study of the beneficial effects of sunlight on cancer progression should be removed from the realm of mysticism and thrust in to the scientific arena of experimental studies.

Vitamin D performs a number of important functions besides its role in mineral absorption. By regulating the level of calcium in the blood Vitamin D influences the nervous system, as calcium aids nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.

It influences the secretion of insulin by the pancreas and plays an important part in regulating the body's immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in the growth and maturation of cells: in laboratory experiments the biologically active form of vitamin D has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Significantly, recent laboratory research confirms that vitamin D deficiency may be an important factor in the emergence of cancer of the breast as well as cancer of the colon, prostate and, to a lesser extent, leukemia, lymphoma and melanoma.

Scientists are getting to grips with the mechanisms which account for vitamin D's capacity to retard the progress of cancer. So, the findings of epidemiological studies of sunlight and cancer are supported by work in the laboratory. There are trials under way to see if the vitamin D can be used to treat prostate cancer and other malignancies.

There do not, however, appear to have been any major clinical trials to establish whether sunlight can be used in cancer therapy, although there have been reports of its use.

... and for the best, easiest, and least expensive ways knows to heal cancer

after studying the subject for some twenty years, click here.

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