Here Comes The Sun: Is Sunlight The Most Essential Nutrient For Your Body?
The long existing debate of whether the sunlight is good or bad for you continues to wage on. Science, history and common sense reveal that not only is sunlight essential to all life on planet Earth, but these life giving electromagnetic frequencies have historically been utilized for millennia to cure many illnesses and improve your health. So many of the ancient civilizations including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans have considered the sun to be a God and equipped their cities with sun gardens and outdoor spaces to worship. Hippocrates, the Greek physician known as the “father of modern medicine” recommended regular sun bathing for optimizing health.
Believe it or not, patients from the 19th Century suffering from tuberculosis were sent away to be treated at ancient hospitals where the prescription was literally to bask in the sunlight for months. In 1857, a French caretaker named Madame Duhamel exposed children to sunshine speed up recovery from tuberculosis. Heliotherapy (treatment by sun exposure) was the primary treatment for various bacterial infections for many years until penicillin was discovered in 1928 and then, unfortunately, heliotherapy was disregarded.
Most people immediately think of Vitamin D production as the sole benefit of sunlight exposure. However, sunlight has many therapeutic effects on your immune system, your nervous system and your hormonal system. Consider the beneficial effects of sunlight on Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and try to remedy this very serious illness by taking oral forms of Vitamin D, you will not benefit. Therefore, it is apparent that there must be additional healing elements of true sunlight. Natural sunlight can enter your body, through your eyes, affecting a part of your brain known as your hypothalamus. This vital, hypothalamic control center affects every important operation in your body, your hormones, nervous system, immune system and circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycles). You have hormones made in an area of your hypothalamus known as the Pro-opiomelanocortin receptor (POMC). This essential hormone is named melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH). MSH may be one of most important hormones in your body, yet most doctors have never even heard of MSH. Healthy MSH levels are needed for endorphin production, melatonin production and proper control of your immune system. This essential hormone, produced by your POMC in response to sun exposure can help you lose weight, increase your libido, fight infection, reduce auto-immune disease, lift your mood, contribute to restful sleep and many, many other positive functions. Have you ever spent a day at the beach and felt relaxed, energized, and slept peacefully that night? Those are the effects of natural sunlight on the POMC of your hypothalamus!
If you consider how much time you spend outside in natural sunlight compared to your ancestors, you will see a stark contrast. While your ancestors would spend almost all of their waking hours out of doors, perhaps 12-16 hours each day, modern life may limit you to a few hours (or even less) of sun exposure each week! It is very possible (and even likely) that deficient sunlight exposure can be one of the root causes of many chronic degenerative illnesses like heart disease, anxiety, depression, osteoporosis, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, auto-immune disease, chronic fatigue, fibromylagia and many other diseases.
You may think that I am over stating the benefits of sunlight in this blog. However, as a physician for over 30 years who has been treating chronically ill patients with natural methods for over 15 years, I can unequivocally state that adequate natural sunlight exposure is amongst the most important things you can do for your health. I had the idea for this blog while I was outside in my back yard doing some “spring cleaning”. The sun was shining and it just felt so good to be outside and so good to be alive, I wanted to encourage my readers to go out into the Sun!
Many of you are familiar with The Beatles song (written by the late George Harrison), Here comes the Sun. Consider one line from the lyrics of this musical masterpiece, “Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces”, sunlight increases your mood and puts a smile on your face. There is much ancient and emerging science on the benefits of natural sunlight (and the dangers of unnatural lights). Your body is designed to utilize sunlight through your skin and through your eyes. Sunlight is one of the most important “nutrients” your body needs to be healthy. Unfortunately, you may have been told that sunlight is a literal poison, that sunlight is dangerous and causes cancer, that you should protect yourself from sunlight by wearing sun glasses, covering yourself with a hat and smearing sun block all over your body. Do not believe this disinformation! Yes, too much sun exposure can cause you to burn. I am not suggesting that you burn! Be careful, too much of anything is unhealthy. However, sunlight is a natural remedy for many things that can ail you. “Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right, it’s all right.” Go outside, spend some time breathing fresh air and absorbing sunlight, and I truly think you will be all right.
Are you interested in my holistic approach to wellness? Come in for a consultation with Dr. Rothman by calling, 732-268-7663 and establish a better plan guaranteed to help you improve your health, feel more youthful, and live well.