Due to fear of melanoma, a deadly disease that has been erroneously attributed to sunlight exposure, the people are leaving the sunlight and becoming more like cave dwellers. For those of you who believe in evolution, can you imagine that after millions of years under the sun, human beings have been frightened away from their heritage?
There is an inconvenient truth about melanoma that the Powers of Darkness (those who would take away our sunlight) would prefer you not know: people who work regularly outdoors have a lower risk of melanoma than those who work indoors.
Godar, et al. present evidence that outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the UVR exposure as indoor workers,  have had no increase in melanoma since before 1940, whereas melanoma incidence in indoor workers has increased steadily and exponentially. Other research corroborates the idea that outdoor workers have fewer melanomas than indoor workers. Vagero, et al. showed that melanomas were more common among indoor office workers and other indoor workers than among outdoor workers, and Kennedy, et al. showed that a lifetime of sunlight exposure correlated to a reduced risk of melanoma. Garland, et al. showed that those who worked indoors had a 50% greater risk of melanoma than those who worked both indoors and outdoors, and Kaskel, et al. demonstrated that children who engage in outdoor activities are less likely to develop melanoma than those who do not. Many other papers in the scientific literature show that both incidence and death rate from melanoma are reduced with increasing exposure to sunlight.          
This is not to say that sunburn does not contribute to melanoma, but it certainly shows that habitual, non-burning sun exposure correlates to a reduced risk of this deadly disease. In addition, there are approximately 105 additional diseases that are reduced among those who have higher sunlight exposure and therefore have higher levels of vitamin D (see my book for a discussion on each disease). We cannot live without vitamin D, which is not a vitamin at all, but in its most active form is a potent steroid hormone that controls at least 1,000 genes. It is also important to understand that 90% of all vitamin D is produced in the skin by the action of sunlight on skin.
However, blood levels of this important hormone are dropping precipitously in the American population, with a near doubling of the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency that existed 10 years ago, and with 90% of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians, and 75% of the white population now suffering from the disorder.
So what does this mean to the health of US citizens? I have calculated in a manuscript currently in preparation, that the diseases that correlate to sunlight deprivation/vitamin D deficiency kill approximately 1.42 million people per year in the US. Diseases that correlate to sunlight exposure kill approximately 1,500 people per year. That produces a ratio of about 948:1. I will continue with my mid-day sunbathing, thank you!
Remember that no one is advising the injudicious use of sunlight; baking in the sun for hours is neither necessary nor desirable, but regular sunlight exposure is a sine qua non for vibrant health. To say that we should avoid sunlight is like saying we should avoid water. Water correlates to drowning, but no one asks us to avoid water; if we did the results would be catastrophic, as are the results of vitamin D deficiency due to sunlight deprivation.
Of course, there are some extremely rare conditions that may preclude sunlight exposure. Check with your (enlightened) physician.
Is it time to return to reasonable, habitual, non-burning sunlight exposure? It could save your life!
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