Vitamin D and Sunlight Exposure: Review
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Posted August 01,2019; updated November 7, 2021   Disclaimer:  The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice.

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Latest news about Vit D

Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is a hormone.

"We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4000-8000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases - breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes," said Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "I was surprised to find that the intakes required to maintain vitamin D status for disease prevention were so high – much higher than the minimal intake of vitamin D of 400 IU/day that was needed to defeat rickets in the 20th century." [ Source Feb 22, 2011: Edwards: Vit D prevents cancer

"You can cut your risks from most major diseases by 50 to 80 percent. All you have to do is get enough D."

 Summary Vitamin D: 

Vitamin D is an unappreciated miracle nutrient. Yes, a miracle vitamin in that scientists had rediscovered it about 15 years ago as having magic powers to turn metabolic and DNA switches on and off to regulate disease and health.  Thus it can, with the help of other nutrients, activate disease states such as cancer, diabetes, and auto-immune disorders.  Vitamin D can also bolster the immune system; thereby protecting you from infections and diseases! One of the misleading pieces of information has been the extremely low recommended daily allowances [ vitamin D = 400IU ] that was set about 50 years ago on uneducated guesses of supposed nutrition experts. This low daily allowance is perceived to predispose us to many health disorders.

The new recommendations were made based on optimizing bone health, adding to the controversies related to vitamin D and and the experts who drafted the recommendations. In spite of numerous researchers advocating that this daily allowance be raised to 1000 -2000IU, the USA Institute of Medicine recommended 600IU per day for ages 1 - 70 on November 30, 2010.  Then there is the current dermatologist's controversial advice that we refrain from getting exposure to sunlight since sunlight will cause skin cancer; and therefore use sun screens to block the very ultra violet rays that stimulate our skin cells to naturally synthesize vitamin D in a safe manner.

The safest way to acquire essential vitamin D is from direct sunlight at the proper time of day, with about 40 percent of body exposure, for 10 minutes to several hours a day, dependent on skin color or melanin density. Sounds complicated and it is, but this is the job of this web-site ... to document, explain and simplify all the information about vitamin D.  Once you have relevant information you can then decide for yourself what to do about vitamin D and sun exposure for vitamin D! Back to top arrowup


The following You-Tube video is a good summary about vitamin D, its benefits and the controversy between getting sunshine and using sunscreens. Real Story about Vitamin D

Vitamin D does not act alone! Our bodies are complex organisms! Overlooked in this recognition of vitamin D's role as a "caretaker of body systems," is the need to recognize just how complex the human body is and how one aspect of the body is dependent on many inter-related body processes. So although vitamin D is critically essential for many body processes, it needs additional co-factors [enzymes], amino acids, vitamins, trace minerals, as well as good nutrition and exercise, to make things work together in our bodies. Just focusing on vitamin D alone will not do the job! Sullivan: Living complex systems    Back to Top   arrowup

 New Research 

"Ample intake of vitamin D [ about 2,000 IU/day ] can cut breast cancer incidence by half.  If vitamin D levels were increased worldwide, 600,000 cases of breast and other cancers could be prevented each year. Nearly 150,000 cases of cancer could be prevented in the United States alone.  Orthomolecular Med and vit D

A four-year study of 1,179 healthy, postmenopausal women showed that taking calcium, along with nearly three times the U.S. government's recommendation of 400IU of vitamin D3, showed a dramatic 60 percent or greater reduction in all forms of cancer. Additionally, there is growing evidence that maintaining vitamin D levels in the body during the winter can prevent the flu and other viral infections by strengthening the immune system."  Orthomolecular Med and vit D

rickets It has long been known as vitamin D cured rickets. But today, vitamin D is being hailed for being able to do much more than that. Scientists have known for some time that vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, in maintaining bone density, and in preventing osteoporosis. In an effort to prevent osteoporosis we have become consumers of calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Unfortunately, this has been a blind attempt to get adequate amounts of calcium while ignoring the body's other needs for vitamin D and other co-factors like magnesium. Yes, it was a blind attempt, for medical doctors were not aware that vitamin D has a much bigger role in the body than just helping to absorb calcium or prevent rickets. Nor was it really appreciated that a shortage of vitamin D was, in turn, disrupting the absorption of calcium; thereby activating the body to leach out calcium from the bones; thereby creating osteoporosis. Orthomolecular Med and vit D  arrowup


fearsunWhile this misunderstanding was silently taking place, another bigger controversy  Article by Gilchrest: VitD sufficiency is no longer active. was unfolding: Sunshine boosts cancer-fighting vitamin D!  Oh! ... but doesn't sunshine cause skin cancer? How can it be both ways? And do we really need vitamin D in order to use calcium in the body? This is the sunshine dilemma we find ourselves in 2010 and 2011.

A major controversy has been brewing in the last few years about whether sunlight exposure is essential and safe. The conventional "elderly" medical community has been taught that sunlight is bad for health and imposed this incorrect information on to the public: "You must cover up your skin, wear sunscreen and avoid any sunlight exposure at all if you want to be healthy."

This "stay out of the sun" hype has been challenged by numerous epidemiological studies and researchers.   Article by Grassroots Health Scientists is no longer active.  Article about vitamin-d-and-sun-exposure-the-pendulum-swings-back is no longer active.   Sullivan The-Miracle-of-Vitamin-D |   Article by Lusky, Vit D testing is no longer active.  These studies show that the risk of many cancers increases when you do not have sufficient exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is actually good and essential for you.

For many summers, people have slathered and sprayed on sunscreens and fretted about SPF factors while scrambling to protect themselves from ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation, a component of sunlight. Dermatologists had linked UV-B exposure to the development of skin cancer, including lethal melanomas. But according to a new theory based on research, sealing our skins off from the sun may be causing more cancer deaths than it prevents.

“If you look at these cancers as a group,” says Edward Giovannucci, who is also a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, ”you’ll see that 30 people die of these cancers for every one who dies of skin cancer.”  So we need to put exposure to sunshine and the potential of causing cancer in perspective with cancer prevention!

Recent clinical studies since the year 2000 provide new knowledge that explains how Vitamin D is changing the role it plays in a growing number of conditions and diseases. This has ignited controversy between the medical field, regulatory agencies, commercial enterprises and the public at large. Who do you believe?

Today vitamin D has emerged as one of the most important preventive factors in human health. Nearly every organ in your body has a receptor for D, meaning they need a certain amount of it to function properly. Vitamin D is essential in the functioning of most body processes; indeed, maintaining optimal well-being and preventing illnesses and diseases.    Vitamin D is a natural cancer preventative arrowup

 World Epidemic:  We have an ignored world health epidemic:  " Vitamin D is by far the greatest deficiency in the civilized world. Surveys show that at least 70% of all Americans are vitamin D deficient, and up to 85% of African-American women of child-bearing age are deficient. 48% of young girls aged 9 to 11 are deficient. 76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient causing widespread deficiencies in their unborn children. 90% of all hospital patients are deficient, and 99% of nursing home residents are deficient. 65% of Chicago residents are deficient and even doctors living in southern Florida are 42% deficient. It is estimated that at least 1 billion people worldwide are deficient." Article by Saunders Vitamin D Deficiency is no longer active.

The majority of American, Canadians and Europeans have low blood levels of vitamin D and don't know it. The exact number of persons deficient in vitamin D is unknown! Millions suffer from unexplained illnesses and chronic disorders that appear to be related to vitamin D.   Article by Holick Vit D future abstract is no longer active  |  Article by Hughes is no longer active.,  Article by Mercola is no longer active.  Article by Vit D Deficiency is no longer active.arrowup

 New vit D Recommendations: 

The Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended the following vitamin D-3 intake on November 30, 2010:  IOM: Report 2010

The amount of vitamin D recommended daily, from food or dietary supplements, in a report from the Institute of Medicine:

Ages 1 to 70: 600 international units.

Ages 71 and older: 800 IUs.

Calcium and vitamin D must be taken together to build and maintain strong bones. Here are the recommended daily levels of calcium:

Ages 1 to 3: 700 milligrams.

Ages 4 to 8: 1,000 mg.

Ages 9 to 18: 1,300 mg.

Ages 19 to 70: 1,000 mg — but for women the amount rises to 1,200 mg at age 51.

Ages 71 and older: 1,200 mg.

The panel also issued "tolerable upper intake levels" (UL) for each supplement – the maximum it recommends per day, raising the limits in all cases:

  • 2,500 IUs per day of vitamin D for children ages 1 through 3
  • 3,000 IUs daily for children 4 through 8 years old;
  • 4,000 IUs daily for all others.
  • 2,500 milligrams per day of calcium from age 1 through 8
  • 3,000 milligrams daily from age 9 through 18
  • 2,500 milligrams daily from age 19 through 50
  • 2,000 milligrams daily for all other age group

Source: The Associated Press  Article by Assoc Press: vit D new recommendations is no longer active.   Article by Steven Reinberg: Vit D: new guidelines and reactions is no longer active.

The committee's advice applies only to nutritional requirements to maintain skeletal health, and should not, says committee member Dr. JoAnn Manson, be interpreted to suggest benefit for any other health condition. Read more


Controversy: The report adds more fuel to the controversy about vitamin D and the panel of experts making nutritional recommendations. Why the controversy? Well, the new recommendations were made based on optimizing bone health; however, vitamin D does other things in the body beyond the well-known role it plays in bone health. In the last few years research studies have reported a protective role for vitamin D against various cancers, metabolic syndrome, immunity and heart disease to name a few. These studies led many scientists to recommend a higher RDA for vitamin D.

These newer recommendations reflect a growing interest among nutritionists and the general public to make recommendations that are based on preventing disease and optimizing health, rather than the old objective of just preventing rickets and nutrient deficiency.

The recommendations are stunningly disappointing, said Dr. Cedric Garland of the University of California, San Diego, who was not part of the institute's study. Article by Assoc Press: vit D new recommendations is no longer active.

There appear to be major flaws in the recommendations.  The recommendations are far below the 2,000 IUs a day that many scientists recommend. The recommendation mentioned the need to ingest calcium along with vitamin D, but overlooked mentioning that additional co-factors, like magnesium, boron, vitamin A and vitamin C, need to be ingested as well in order for vitamin D to prevent cancer and other disorders and diseases. Also overlooked by nutrition experts making the recommendation is that co-factors of a nutrient [ vit D ] need to be in the proper ratios to be utilized by the body. None of this critical information is alluded to in the report.  Despite mounting evidence of a link between vitamin D levels and the prevention of chronic disease, the authors of this long-awaited report do not call for a huge increase in people's intake of "the sunshine vitamin."

"Robert Heaney, MD, who was on the panel that made vitamin D and calcium recommendations in 1997 and was a reviewer on the current document, said that in addition to making some factual errors, the panel should have recommended much higher levels of the vitamin."   “The panel did raise the upper safety level to 4,000 IU, from 2,000 of daily intake,” says Dr. Heaney. “ So a dose somewhere between 600 IU and 4,000 IU is safe; so there is no risk in taking more than the 600, and that’s the point. If you do take more, you may have benefits; if you don’t take more, you don’t know what benefits you may have missed. I would take the betting man’s approach.”  Article by Burros: Triple Vit D is no longer active

"Another possibly controversial finding: The committee also concluded that, contrary to what most people have thought for years (and some recent research has suggested —that Americans don’t get enough vitamin D—they actually do...."   Article by Burros: Triple Vit D is no longer active

"Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University, who discovered the active form of vitamin D 40 years ago and is a leading proponent of high doses, isn’t backing away from his conviction that most people need at least 3,000 units a day. That’s what he takes, and what he recommends to his patients. Sometimes he prescribes 50,000 units of vitamin D a week."

Tainted Research:  The committee members ignored the recent scientific research and recommendations of nutrition experts!  Many of the reviewed 1000 research articles, reviewed by the 14-member Institute of Medicine committee [made up of nutrition and other experts] probably had poor research designs, like neglecting to account for all the co-factors involved in utilizing vitamin D, focusing on just one nutrient and making conclusions favoring the industry sponsoring the research.  Most of the older scientific-medical studies focused on studying the affects of a single vitamin D; thereby overlooking the new science that nutrients complement each other and work collectively and not as single nutrients.  Article by Barnett: drug research scams is no longer active.    Campbell: PHARMA = MDs    Goetz: wrong analysis

pharma money Major Flaw Corporate influence: But the major flaw of the research articles reviewed is the drug company influences on those conducting the research. Staropoli: Pharma approves most medication  Pharmaceutical companies fund virtually all the research being done to test the efficacy of new drugs; hence a significant conflict of interest. Credibility is eroded!  For example:

“According to a 1996 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, an amazing 98% of company-sponsored drug studies published between 1980 and 1989 in peer-reviewed journals or in symposia proceedings favored the funding company’s drug” (Bodenheimer and Collins, undated). Bodenheimer and Collins feel that this is due to the conflict of interest that arises because the pharmaceutical companies fund the research that determines whether their drug is efficacious." Bell: business ethics

"A report by USA Today indicated that roughly half the experts on these panels had a direct financial interest in the drug or topic they were asked to evaluate. The conflicts of interest included stock ownership, consulting fees, and research grants from the companies whose products they were evaluating. In some cases, committee members had helped to develop the drugs they were evaluating. Although federal law tries to restrict the use of experts with conflicts of interest, USA Today reported that FDA had waived the rule more than 800 times between 1998 and 2000. FDA does not reveal the magnitude of any financial interest or the drug companies involved."  Reference: Deyo Richard A., "Gaps, Tensions, and Conflicts in the FDA Approval Process:: Conflicts of Interest in the Approval Process," J Am Board Fam Med. 2004;17(2) © 2004  Deyo: FDA conflicts of interest   Cohen: Culture of corruption1 Rao: Clinical trials lack ethics


"Even if data obtained from clinical trials is not falsified, it is of little worth, because they are not performed appropriately. Trials involve relatively small numbers of people; so many harmful effects of a new drug appear only when it has been marketed and widely used.

Furthermore, the subjects taking part in the trial usually do not represent those who will use the drug after its approval. Very young or elderly people, women of child-bearing age and people with liver or kidney disease are usually not included in clinical trials, although such people may be given the drug after it is marketed. Also, optimal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of what is most effective for an average size adult [ contrary to biochemical individuality ]. Many adults differ from this average, and about 45 per cent of ordinary adults are probably going to respond atypically to some classes of drugs." Drug racket Part2

These illustrated flaws by themselves raise questions about the ethical integrity of the panel members; thus eroding the credibility of their vitamin D recommendations. Thus, one would suspect that the conclusions drawn from the 1000 tainted and conflict of interest studies would be self-serving and misleading! Things just ain't what the Institute of Medicine panel wants you to believe!  Sorochan concludes that this is an example of when science is not a science and medicine may not be a healing art!

Reactions to New 2010 vitamin D recommendations: [ incomplete list ]

Burros Marian, "New Vitamin D Guidelines Call for Triple the D," Rodale News, December 01, 2010.  Article by Burros: Triple Vit D is no longer active

Council for Responsible Nutrition, "CRN reacts to Institute of Medicine DRI recommendations for vitamin D, First Science News, November 30, 2010.  Article by CRN: reaction to new RDA is no longer active.

Dawson-Hughes Bess [of Tufts University, US], ""New Vitamin D Recommendations for Older Men and Women," Science Daily, May 10, 2010.   Dawson: vit D for older

Flores Pam, "Canada Issues New Vitamin D Recommendations!" Health Central, July 21, 2010.  Flores: Canada vit D 2010    Calgary Prof Hanley recommendations

Stein Rob, "New vitamin D recommendations," The Washington Post, November 30, 2010.  Stein: New recommendations

Weil Andrew [Founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine],"New Recommendation: Why You Need More Vitamin D," The Huffington Post, Posted: February 7, 2010.  Weil: Need more vit D

Zelman Kathleen M., "New Vitamin D and Calcium Recommendations: Experts Weigh In What experts say about the Institute of Medicine's new recommendations for vitamin D and calcium," WebMD, November 30, 2010.   Zelman: Vit D recoms  arrowup

 Understanding Vitamin D    [ Cholecalciferol ]

Natural Synthesis Vitamin D
Illustration courtesy Walter Sorochan

The sunshine [ UVB; wavelengths of 290 to 315 nanometers ] begins converting the cholesterol in the middle layers of the skin into the first stage of vitamin D1.  Article about absorption UVB in skin is no longer active.

The second stage is in the liver, where vitamin D1 picks up extra oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D2, or 25(OH)D.  But 25(OH)D can’t function until it travels to the kidney.

d3real There it acquires a final pair of oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D; scientists know this active form of the vitamin as 1,25(OH)2D, or calcitriol [ D3], but for ordinary folks the name vitamin D is accurate enough.    Article about absorption UVB in skin is no longer active.  arrowup

 What happens to vitamin D in the body? 

Skin cells have 7-dehydrocholesterol or D1 and, when exposed to sunlight, D1 is converted to vitamin D.  Article by Holick Vit D future abstract is no longer active.  |   Article about Absorption UVB in skin is no longer active.  Go to animation, in references, to view another version of this synthesis.

"There are numerous individual factors that may affect the status of vitamin D and its metabolites in the body. According to the literature [ Leavitt ], photochemical synthesis of vitamin D3 in the skin in reaction to UVB exposure is a self-limiting reaction that achieves equilibrium within 20 to 25 minutes of exposure to strong sunlight in persons with white skin, and no net increase in D3 production occurs after that. Persons with darker skin require longer sun exposure, but the total yield in D3 is the same.

Formation of vitamin D in the skin also is inhibited if serum 25(OH)D is already at adequate levels. [ Article by Leavitt is no longer active.]

Vitamin D produced from a single sun exposure is metabolized and results in peak concentrations of 25(OH)D within 24 hours; it then declines during the next several days. However, research has demonstrated that in young adults the peak concentration achieved from sunshine is 4 times higher and the decline more gradual than in elderly persons receiving the same amount of sun exposure.  Essentially, as persons age, it is more difficult for them to acquire adequate vitamin D from UVB radiation.  Generally, less than 25% of a dose of vitamin D2 or D3 entering the body – from synthesis in the skin, or dietary intake including from fortified foods, and nutritional supplements – is actually utilized. In the case of food or supplement sources, bile is essential for adequate intestinal absorption of vitamin D, and this process is impaired in persons with hepatic or biliary dysfunction. Unused vitamin D is excreted into the bile or otherwise removed within several days. [ Leavitt ]

Of the relatively small portion that is put to use, some of it contributes to stores of vitamin D – maintained in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and many organs – and the rest is immediately metabolized to 25(OH)D. It is cleared slowly from the body, with an elimination half-life reported as approximately 14 to 21 days. Therefore, serum concentrations of 25(OH)D accumulate gradually and appear to plateau at steady-state levels by about 40 days to 90 days. [ Article by Leavitt is no longer active.] This is a general guideline as to how long it may take to boost a deficient vitamin D level to a desirable level in a person. 

When there is a continuous supply of exogenous vitamin D, an equilibrium is reached that maintains a balance between storage, removal from tissue stores, metabolism, and clearance. If vitamin D intake is diminished or stopped, re-absorption of vitamin D from the tissue-storage reservoirs can be used to sustain conversion to 25(OH)D for several months. However, an abundant supply of vitamin D during certain times, such as summer sun exposure, does not deter its complete depletion during periods of lean intake, such as during winter months. Article by Leavitt is no longer active.

It has been reported that men overall tend to have higher circulating 25(OH)D concentrations than do women, probably due to a greater storage of vitamin D in the body issues of females. Furthermore, clinical research experiments have demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation produces less of an increase in 25(OH)D if the body already has adequate amounts of circulating 25(OH)D. In fact, there appears to be an inverse relationship whereby the higher the baseline 25(OH)D concentration the less of an increase is produced per IU of vitamin D supplementation. Article by Leavitt is no longer active.

For purposes of bone metabolism, calcium homeostasis, and other vital functions served by vitamin D, the 25(OH)D metabolite must be converted to 1,25(OH)2D. This 1,25(OH)2D metabolite has a short circulating half-life of only 4 to 6 hours but it can remain active for 3 to 5 days. It's circulating concentrations are typically 500 to 1000 times less than 25(OH)D."  Article by Leavitt is no longer active.

The human body has the ability to naturally make vitamin D3 cholecalciferol in the skin.  Article about Absorption UVB in skin is no longer active. This is important information that everyone needs to know;  a fact that has profound implications for human well-being.  The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response 10–30 minutes summer sun exposure — 25 times more than the out-dated US government's recommendation of 400 - 600 IU per day! [ Article by Holick research is no longer active. ]  arrowup

 Disease Prevention:  Just how big is the role of vitamin D in the body?    Article by Lusky, Vit D testing is no longer active.   Clark: Vit D Dissertation review 2010

Although vitamin D is not a vitamin but instead works more as a hormone, it is a major factor in regulating many body processes. Vitamin D deficiency predisposes us to:

17dot1a  rickets Wikipedia: Vitamin_D
17dot1a  disruption of cellular growth and function  Article about Cofactor genistein and vit D is no longer active.   Article by Dignan Univ Copenhagen research is no longer active.
17dot1a  genetic diseases and disorders  [ Vitamin D regulates activity of over 2000 genes  or  about 10% of the human genomes in the human body ].
17dot1a  at least 17 kinds of cancer
17dot1a  heart disease, stroke, hypertension   Article by Roan Vit D and heart disease is no longer active.   Article about Vit D and CVD is no longer active.    Article by Laino Vit D improves heart is no longer active.
17dot1a  autoimmune diseases [ multiple sclerosis, lupus, and psoriasis ] link to other diseases
17dot1a  diabetes  Diabetes & vit D 
17dot1a  depression   Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
17dot1a  Chronic Pain  vitamin D-briefing.pdf   Article US Vit D info is no longer active.
17dot1a  osteoarthritis  Rheumatoid Arthritis
17dot1a  osteoporosis [ Maintaining proper calcium levels in the blood ] : Vitamin_D
17dot1a  muscle weakness and wasting 
17dot1a  birth defects Article about Vit D deficiency in pregnancy is no longer active.  Article by Ians: lower premature birthsis no longer active.
17dot1a  periodontal disease  Article by Grant Peridontal disease and Vit D is no longer active.
17dot1a  influenza and vitamin D respiratory infections
17dot1a  obesity    Article by Major Vit D and weight loss is no longer active.  [ obesity can cause vitamin D deficiency because body fat removes vitamin D from circulation. ]  arrowup


Please be aware that vitamin D needs  co-factors to make things happen in the body. That is, co-factor deficiency even though there may be sufficient vitamin D present, could result in the above body problems.  Co-factors  make things happen in the body.

By ignoring/overlooking the possibility that vitamin D and inter-related co-factors may have on maintaining body processes and preventing diseases, the medical field has been unable to fix many of these health problems.   arrowup

 Vitamin D role in preventing cancer: 

You-Tube video about cancer & vit D: [ 7:45 mns long ]

Source: Grassroots Health

Dr. Baggerly with Dr. Garland: "Possible 75 % of breast and colon cancers could be prevented with adequate amounts of vitamin D!"  arrowup

 Vit D and Flu:   Claims have been made that high doses of vitamin D supplements have helped fight off flu infections. "An interventional study showed that vitamin D reduces the incidence of respiratory infections in children."  Article about Vit D and flu Report Summary is no longer active  Article about Testimonial that vitamin D stopped influenza is no longer active.  arrowup

 The Truth:   Truth is, most people, including many medical doctors, don't know the real story on vitamin D and health. Article by Dawson-Hughes Protein diet affect on vit D is no longer active.  It is only since 2000 that we have had a surge of new research about vitamin D; such new information that medical doctors graduating before the year 2000 probably may not be aware of it Mercola.

So here are 15 facts as reported from an interview between reporter Mike Adams and research professor Dr. Michael Holick:

"1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight. Article about Absorption UVB in skin is no longer active.
2. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don't generate vitamin D when sitting inside your car or home.
3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet.
4. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.
5.  A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
6.  The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator. [ less vit D from sun in winter north of San Francisco, Ca. ]
7.  People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 - 30 times more exposure to sunlight compared to fair-skinned people in order to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That's why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men -- it's a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.
8.  Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
9.  Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's bones and nervous system.
10. Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease -- by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.
11. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
12. If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
13. Vitamin D is "activated" in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.
14. Ability to activate circulating vitamin D. The sunscreen industry doesn't want you to know that your body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products.
15. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required."    arrowup

 At-Risk Groups

Although everyone is vulnerable to vitamin-D deficiency, especially in winter, certain groups are particularly predisposed:

Elderly:   when exposed to the same amount of sunlight, elderly individuals produce only 20% of the vitamin-D young adults do. As a result, more than half of individuals older than 65 are vitamin-D deficient. Article by Hughes is no longer active.

"The elderly are also at risk because there seems to be a three to four fold drop in the precursor of vitamin D in the skin of people over the age 70, and when exposed to light, blood levels of vitamin D only increased one-third as much as younger study participants. Additionally, when milk, "supposedly high" in fortified vitamin D, was tested, "seven out of ten samples contained less than 80% of the amount of vitamin D that was listed on the label. Half didn’t even contain 50%, and 14% of the skim milk samples contained no detectable vitamin D (NEJM 1993;329:1507; and 1992;326:1178)."

African Americans: due to their skin pigmentation Wasmeier: Melanosomes, require much more sun to produce the same levels of vitamin D than do fair-skinned Caucasians. At least 50% of African Americans, who are also less likely to drink fortified milk due to lactose intolerance, are vitamin-D deficient sometime during the year. Apparently, as a consequence, they have a much greater incidence of disorders associated with reduced sun exposure of northern latitudes. Artivle by Apperly is no longer active.

People with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis: often have decreased vitamin-D levels. Article by Johnston is no longer active. 

Computer nerds and others working indoors: who spend most of their time indoors and seldom go out!

Obese persons:   Vitamin D is stored in fat cells instead of being used by the body to metabolic processes.  Article by Hughes is no longer active. Obesity can cause vitamin D deficiency because body fat removes vitamin D from circulation.

Persons on medications:  Article by Hughes is no loner active.

Deficiencies:   One would think that persons living in sunny California and Texas would be full of vitamin D.  But according to research, this is just not true:

"In northern California 80% of clients tested during winter months had serum vitamin D deficiency (less than 20 ng/ml) or insufficiency (20-32 ng/ml). This problem increases dramatically in persons living at latitudes more distant from the equator and in persons living in all US latitudes with darker skins. In Texas there has been an increase in the number of children with African or Hispanic heritage suffering from rickets. Even in sunny southern California vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is prevalent in part due to avoidance of midday sunlight and/or the use of sunscreens which block vitamin D production." Recommendation for D test

Finally, persons living in the northern hemispheres , north of the equator at latitudes above 37 — in northern cities like Minneapolis, Boston, and San Francisco and all of Canada, are most susceptible to vitamin D deficiency. The sun ultra violet rays [ UVB ] are too weak or unavailable for much of the year.  Epidemiological data indicate that colon cancer rates are higher in the Northeast, where people absorb less sunlight. Overweight and obese individuals also have lower levels of vitamin D and higher rates of cancer. Article by Lambert is no longer active.  arrowup

 Sources of Vitamin D:    Vitamin D is not abundant in our usual food choices, so we get most of the vitamin from sun exposure and multivitamin supplements

1. Ultra violet wave B [ UVB ] sunlight is natural and safest way: Dehydrocholesterol, available in the skin Article about Absorption UVB in skin is no longer active., is converted into vitamin D, and in turn transformed into previtamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the most readily absorbed form of vitamin D.

2.  Foods that already have vitamin D: such as fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms, eggs, cheese Swiss.

3. Fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, yogurt

There may be discrepancies between the reported label amount of vitamin D and the actual amount in some fortified products.  Research is scant but here is one such example: "when milk, "supposedly high" in fortified vitamin D, was tested, "seven out of ten samples contained less than 80% of the amount of vitamin D that was listed on the label. Half didn’t even contain 50%, and 14% of the skim milk samples contained no detectable vitamin D (NEJM 1993;329:1507; and 1992;326:1178)." 

Conclusion:  Fortified foods may be cheating on the amount of vitamin D in their products! Buyer beware! You may not be able to trust what the food label reports on nutrient analysis.

4.  Supplements: Most multivitamins are fortified with the current IU for vitamin D; 400 IU; far short of what the body needs for optimal health. 

5. Plants: pre-vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is derived from plant sources and can only be obtained through diet.

Why are we having problems getting enough vitamin D when we have all these ways of getting it? One reason is that UVB is not available all the time north of latitude 37. Another reason is the biochemical individuality of people.  More on these issues later on.

Production of vitamin D in nature always appears to require the presence of some UV light; even vitamin D in foodstuffs is ultimately derived from organisms, from mushrooms to animals, which are not able to synthesize it except through the action of sunlight at some point in the synthetic chain. For example, fish contain vitamin D only because they ultimately exist on calories from ocean algae which synthesize vitamin D in shallow waters from the action of solar UV. Sunlight triggers the formation of vitamin D in the skin Article about Absorption UVB in skin is no longer active., which is then hydroxylated or activated in the liver and kidney into a more active and useable vitamin D, or hormone calciferol.

Vitamin D's influence on key biological functions vital to one's health and well-being mandates that vitamin D no longer be ignored by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health. arrowup

 How much sunlight exposure do you need? 

Our bodies are programmed to make vitamin D from sunshine, just as plants are.  Plants do so through photosynthesis and using carbon dioxide while we do by way of synthesis of cholesterol in our skin. We have evolved with parallel abilities.

Unfortunately, we as people do not have the same ability to absorb sunlight as plants.  Many of us live in areas where the sun is not as intense as in other areas. In northern climates sunlight is too weak in the winter months to make adequate vitamin D – about a six-month period referred to as ‘Vitamin D Winter’.  We need to be aware of areas with less sun intensity.

Below is a map of the world and the amount of potential  sunlight [ needed ultra-violet wave ] available in different areas to synthesize hormone [vitamin] D.

Hughes's map visualizing the potential for vitamin D3 synthesis

map hughes

Source: Hughes Map 2: cancer incidence is no longer active.

So what does the map above tell us?  The map theoretically should make us aware of how susceptible many are living in northern United States and especially Canada to vitamin D-3 deficiency. 

The significance of this map and research becomes more obvious when one compares it to the incidence of cancer in the USA on the map below.  Cancer is most prevalent in the northern states [ red-pink in USA and light blue in Canada colored areas ] where the sunshine intensity is weak.  The two maps reinforce each other and imply that there is a epidemiological relationship between cancer and exposure to UVB or vitamin D-3.

map cancer incidence

WINTER WOES. Cold-weather wear and the sun's angle in the winter sky limits how much ultraviolet light reaches the skin. This can add up to a deficiency in production of vitamin D, which might explain why respiratory infections are common and severe in winter.
Janet Raloff, "The Antibiotic Vitamin Deficiency in vitamin D may predispose people to infection," Science News Online, Nov_ 11, 2006.   Vit D def & infections

The Canadian Cancer Society was the first to recommend, in 2007, that all of its adult citizens begin taking 1,000(IU) per day of vitamin D [ Zones 2 and 3 ]. This initial recommendation has been updated to 4000IU per day for adults and 2000IU per day for infants.   Article by Saunders Vitamin D Deficiency is no longer active.

Canada's northern latitude was a factor in the decision, as was the growing body of evidence showing the vitamin's effectiveness in lowering instances of cancer.   In the UK [ Zone 3 ], doctors have already been told they're doing a disservice to patients if they tell them to avoid sunlight. They're already being advised to tell people to get more sunlight and not to wear sunscreen every time they go outside, at least not for the first few minutes of sun exposure. So Canada and UK are well ahead of the U.S. in this thinking.   arrowup

 Dosage:  Minimal acceptable serum blood level is 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L). "In a recent study, Heaney, et al expanded on Bruce Hollis's seminal work by analyzing five studies in which both the parent compound (cholecalciferol) and 25(OH)D levels were measured. They found that the body does not reliably begin storing cholecalciferol in fat and muscle tissue until 25(OH)D levels get above 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L). The average person starts to store cholecalciferol at 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L), but at 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L) virtually everyone begins to store it for future use. That is, at levels below 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L), the body uses up vitamin D as fast as you can make it, or take it, indicating chronic substrate starvation --- not a good thing. 25(OH)D levels should be between 50–80 ng/ml (125–200 nmol/L), year-round."  Article by Vit D Council Min dosage is no longer active.

The above dosage recommendation from the Vitamin D council, headed by executive director and researcher John Cannell, is supported by the most recent research over that proposed by US Office of Dietary Supplements.  There is no consensus about the appropriate reference range and cut-offs for deficiency or insufficiency, as well as optimal and possible toxicity status.   Article by Rollins Vit D testing is no longer active.   Article by Vit D Council Min dosage is no longer active .arrowup

 How much sunlight exposure do we need?  This depends on many variables.

The reason it is difficult to get adequate hormone [vitamin] D from sunlight is that while UV-A is present throughout the day, the amount of UV-B present has to do with the angle of the sun's rays.

Thus, UV-B is present only during midday hours at higher latitudes, and only with significant intensity in temperate or tropical latitudes. Only 5 percent of the UV-B light range goes through glass and it does not penetrate clouds, smog or fog.

Vit D miracle Park: balancing risks

You can calculate the amount of UVB needed: Calculation.  However, this can be complicated and inaccurate. arrowup

 Biochemical Individuality is a variable:       Article by Hall UC Davis study is no longer active.   Every person absorbs and/or produces vitamin D in varying amounts.  Article by Mercola is no longer active. Wasmeier: Melanosomes  A person has just so many genetically pre-determined "vitamin D factories" per cm of skin, some parts of the body having more factories than other parts. More skin will produce more D but again, this is an incredible variable in 'amount'. UV-B intensity, skin color, skin age and your genes all alter the outcome. Sullivan The-Miracle-of-Vitamin-D  |  Article by LE Mag: Drug side effects is no longer active.

UVBbest Graph above shows how the UV dose rate varies throughout the day. Graph represents a typical mid-summer, diurnal curve of erythemally weighted UV dose rates at 20øN, 40øN ,and 60øN with the same amount of ozone overhead. Note the rapid rise (decrease) during the mid-morning (mid-afternoon) hours. However, during the solar noon hour (half hour on either side of solar noon) the curve is relatively flat. Orange area highlights the best times for exposure to UVB.  Radiation & vit D best time

 Skin type:  How do I know what my skin type is?

Accurate determination of skin type requires experience. However, you may estimate your skin type using the following table:


I Pale white Always burns - never tans
II White to light beige Burns easily - tans minimally
III Beige Burns moderately – tans gradually to light brown
IV Light brown Burns minimally - tans well to moderately brown
V Moderate brown Rarely burns - tans profusely to dark brown
VI Dark brown or black Never burns – tans profusely
For more info, refer to references and Skin phototype






Knowing your skin type can help you to avoid sun burns! It can also help you get sunshine vitamin D.

There are numerous contradictory reports that we need from five to 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight for light skin colored persons, and much more for darker skinned persons, in order to help the body synthesize enough vitamin D for one day. The amount of vitamin D produced depends on the intensity of the UVB in the sun and many other factors. Darker-skinned individuals may need 5-10 times more exposure than a fair-skinned person to make the same amount of vitamin D.  Wasmeier: Melanosomes  Articles by Holick, Hughes are no longer active.

As a rule of thumb, a 30 minute full-body sunbath at midday without sunscreen will provide from 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU of vitamin D; and a possible sunburn.

Although the number of subjects in the   Article by Hall UC Davis study is no longer active. by Hall was small, it adds credibility to the recommendation that Americans need between 1000 to 3000 IU every second day.

Too much D may be as unhealthy as too little.

So how do you really know if you are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D from all sources?  Newspapers and TV reports add to the confusion by overlooking that we are biochemically different and have different vitamin D needs. 

How about testing your body to find out just how much vitamin D is in the blood stream? arrowup

 Get a D test: 

Testing for vitamin D is somewhat controversial. New research breakthroughs are taking place very fast.  As of June 20, 2010, there is no agreed to "gold standard" as a bioassay technique or acceptable level in interpreting the vitamin D tests.   Article by Lusky, Vit D testing is no longer active.   Binkley test standardization  But this controversy should not discourage anyone from trying to find out whether they are deficient in vitamin D.

25-hydroxyvitamin D  blood serum test is the only way to tell if you have or are taking the correct amount of vitamin D, need to take any D, or if your sun habits are sufficient. Too little vitamin D may contribute to many degenerative diseases. Because of the varied ethnicities, latitudes and lifestyles in the United States [ and most of Europe and Asia too ] the only way to safely use supplemental vitamin D is test, test and retest.  You also should make sure that your medical doctor understands how to interpret test results.

Getting a single vitamin D test should cost about $ 40.00.   Ask your doctor to allow you to get a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test to find out if you are deficient in vitamin D.  Then he can adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50-80ng/mL [ or 125 - 200 nM/L ] year-round.  This is an important test consideration for those living in northern United States and all of Canada and not getting enough UV2 during the entire year.  Remember:  It is the amount of vitamin D in the blood that counts and not how much sunshine you are exposed to, or get from other sources.

A new test  for vitamin D is being validated.  It is based on calcium levels being lowered by insufficient vitamin D levels. This future test measures calcium in urine and would cost about $ 8.00.   Article by Cox urine test for Vit D is no longer active.  arrowup

 Need for more than just vitamin D or sunshine 

Having adequate amount of vitamin D is not enough for the body to be able to use vitamin D. Article by Dawson-Hughes Protein diet affect on vit D is no longer active.   Article by Jajoo Body acidity & vit D is no longer active.  The body needs a spark to ignite the use of vitamin D and this is done by vitamin D co-factors: magnesium, zinc, boron, genestein, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K12.  [ vitamin D's co-factors ]  Magnesium is the most important of these co-factors. In fact, it is common medical practice to raise vitamin D levels to exacerbate any underlying magnesium deficiency. If one is having problems supplementing with vitamin D, a magnesium deficiency could be the reason why. [ As a reminder:  magnesium [ Sirus, Magnesium: the light of life ] is equally as important a co-factor in maintaining health as vitamin D, vitamin C, iron and all other nutrients. ] Park: balancing risks arrowup

 Don't put all your eggs in the D test:  What you may really need is a total diet analysis of all the foods and drinks you consume. This idea is supported by the overwhelming number of Americans who are overweight and obese. Something is just not right with the American diet and lifestyle! If you have a weight problem, chronic disorders and recurring illnesses, then it may be time for a total diet and lifestyle analysis as well as a vitamin D test! Article by Beun: Tomatoes fight osteoporosis is no longer active.

Don't forget to calculate your total vitamin-D intake from all sources—sunlight, food (including vitamin D in milk) and supplements, including cod liver oil.  arrowup

 Best way to get Sunlight: although unreliable, is the best, safest and only natural source of vitamin D. Many scientists and medical doctors point out that humans make 90 percent of their vitamin D naturally from sunlight [ ultraviolet B ] exposure to the skin; [ Holick,] . Although proponents argue that humans can get Vitamin D from a few foods that naturally contain or are fortified with supplemental vitamin D, the amount in fortified foods is just 10 percent of what the most conservative vitamin D researchers now say we need daily. In contrast, sun exposure to the skin makes thousands of units of vitamin D naturally in half hour or less of time. Articles by Holick, Lambert are no longer active. Brody: Get sunshine

Our bodies prefer making vitamin D instead of ingesting vitamin D supplements, thereby allowing safer and more effective utilization in our bodies. The body controls the amount of vitamin D to be synthesized and prevents toxicity from sunlight. The body automatically turns off making more vitamin D when it reaches an adequate level. arrowup

 Safe way to get vitamin D: 

According to Dr. Michael Holick, from Boston University: Article by Holick is no longer active. [ approximate interpretation ]

Skin color:
 Sun exposure:  Length:
light spring, summer, fall mid-day from 11am to 2pm 5-10 mns
light  winter mid-day from 11am to 2pm 20-30 mns
Medium spring, summer, fall same
10 -15 mns
Medium winter same 20-30+ mns
dark spring, summer, fall same
30+ mns ?
dark winter same
3 hours ?

Dosage assumed:  10,000 IU per exposure.
The amount of sun exposure above varies with geographical location and intensity of the sun.

Do it right: You will need to experiment to find out the amount of sunlight exposure that is best for you.  Monitoring your exposure with a vitamin D test will help! 

5–10 min of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) and increased dietary and supplemental vitamin D intakes are reasonable approaches to guarantee vitamin D sufficiency." Article by Holick is no longer active.

Glerup points out that the current US recommended supplemental amount is insufficient.   Article by Glerup is no longer active.

And remember: After exposing your body to about 10 or more minutes of sunshine in the heat of the day [ with about 40% of body exposure ], use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your face and wear a wide-brimmed hat, especially if you’re going to be outside for any length of time.

You do not need to get all sunlight exposure in one time period. You can get some sunshine while walking in a parking lot, or gardening, or while walking or playing in the sun.  Every little bit of exposure adds up.  Your body can store vitamin D and use it later, as needed.

Researcher Sullivan suggests that we "do not take D supplement in amounts larger than 2,000 IU daily from all sources without clinical testing, physician guidance, or cautious personal monitoring if a physician is unavailable."  [ Sullivan ]  arrowup

 Best way to get sunlight vitamin D:

Because too much ‘D’ from dietary supplements may cause the body to over-process calcium [ and cause toxicity ], nobody really knows for sure how much supplementary vitamin D is safe. On the other hand, the body does not have a problem with sunlight-induced vitamin D – the safe way to get vitamin D is when your body makes it! US nutrient regulatory body is scheduled to issue new vitamin D guidelines in the summer of 2010.  New guidelines 2015 

The human body has an automated mechanism to turn off the synthesis of vitamin D when a required amount has been reached from sun exposure.  Only sunning between 10 am and 2 pm during summer months [ or winter months in southern latitudes ] for 20-120 minutes, depending on skin type and color, will form adequate hormone [vitamin] D before skin burning occurs.  Articles by Sullivan and Matsuoka are no longer active.arrowup

 ALERT Delay shower:  It takes about 20 to 30 minutes [ with about 40% of body exposure ] for the body of most persons to convert skin cholesterol into D1.  The body thereafter begins a slow process of absorbing D1 into the blood stream; taking 30 to 90 minutes to complete the absorption.  In most instances this duration of time is insignificant; except to those who shower immediately after exposure to the sun.  Many cholesterol - D1 skin cells will probably be washed off during an immediate shower; hence the amount of potential vitamin D being absorbed would be greatly diminished.  arrowup

 ALERT: When is it enough sunshine?   Although the body may no longer make raw vitamin D, the body can get sunburned from excess radiation.   The body monitors exposure to sunlight and sends warning signals: your skin starts to itch and starts turning a pink or reddish color; letting you know that you need to stop "frying your skin" .... stop becoming a hamburger!

Avoiding sunburn:  The best advice is to gradually expose your skin to the sun.  Start out with about 10-15 minutes of sunshine on your skin, then gradually increase the time of exposure a few minutes each day for the next two weeks.  This allows melanin in the skin to become activated and create a natural body shield against UV rays.

On the issue of sunlight exposure, by the way, it turns out that super antioxidants in the diet greatly boost your body's ability to handle sunlight without burning. We need to balance the amount of sunlight we need with the risk of sunburn. This balancing act depends on where you live, the intensity of the sunlight, the color of your skin and your biochemical individuality. We all have different bodies and our body needs are not exactly the same!  Park: balancing risks arrowup

 Dealing with the controversy: 

While the the controversy spins and the medical experts get their act together, it is wise to consult with your knowledgeable doctor about taking D supplements.

You need to be under a pharmacist - doctor's care as Vitamin D needs to be balanced out with calcium intake and other co-factors, so that osteoporosis and other body essential functions dependent on calcium and vitamin D can be monitored closely.  Remember:  biochemical individuality makes all of us different and we may need different amounts of vitamin D and sunshine!  Article by Kimlin Vit D synthesis validation is no longer active.

Dermatologists, the medical profession and mass media have created a fear of cancer and that cancer is caused by sunlight.

"There is little evidence that adequate sun exposure will substantially increase the risk of skin cancer; rather, long term excessive exposure and repeated sunburns are associated with non-melanoma skin cancers." Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Sunshine exposure estimates regarding the threshold of vitamin D toxicity are unreasonably low and based on old, poorly designed studies.

The previous Recommended Daily Allowance [ RDA] stems from the work of  the eccentric Scottish Lord some 80 years ago, and the RDA was set at 5 to 10 micrograms (about 200 IU´s) per day over 50 years ago.  The regulatory bodies setting RDA nutrient amounts for the USA public did so when definitive research on cancer and sunlight exposure was lacking.  The current vitamin D requirement of 400IU for adults was set years ago with no scientific basis. Article by Lusky, Vit D testing is no longer active.

We do not need to deliberate whether sunshine and vitamin D are important and essential for the body. We do not need to be sun worshippers but we do need some "common sense" body exposure to sunlight for good health.


 Conclusion:  Final Comment about vitamin D: Just as we need to spend 30 or more minutes exercising, get adequate amount of sleep, and spend time eating a balanced meal, we need to deliberately plan getting UVB sunshine exposure each day. The length in minutes of sunshine exposure will vary with each person's biochemistry, intensity of the sunshine and where one lives. But the essential body need is deliberate sun exposure of about 10 to 30+ minutes per day that, in turn, the body needs to synthesize a safe amount of vitamin D.



Absorption UVB in skin: Family Doctor:  " Approximately five per cent of UV radiation striking the skin is immediately reflected; the remainder passes into the tissue, is bounced around by the contained particles and then passes back out again, or else is absorbed by molecules in the stratum corneum, epidermis or dermis. Absorption of the short-wavelength UVB (290 to 320 nm), if it occurs, is largely in the dead stratum corneum and the living epidermis, particularly in the latter by DNA and melanin, whereas the longer UVA (320 to 400 nm) is mostly transmitted to the dermis and absorbed there, predominantly by the haemoglobin in blood. "


Natural news Vit D    Vitamin_D and breast cancer

Apperly [1941. The relation of solar radiation to cancer mortality in North America. Cancer Research 1, 191-195] first proposed that increased mortality from cancer in the north than in the south of the USA might be due to the south to north decrease in ambient solar radiation. This inverse association between ambient solar radiation and cancer mortality has been subsequently reported for cancers of the colon, breast, ovary and prostate. While the evidence that sunlight might be related to lower incidence or more favourable outcomes from cancer came initially from ecological studies, case-control and cohort studies have now shown a similar association of sun exposure with risks of colon, breast and prostate cancers in individuals, and other studies in individuals have found that serum and dietary vitamin D levels are associated with reduced risks of colorectal cancer and, less certainly, prostate cancer. Studies in individuals have recently also suggested an effect of sun exposure to reduce risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and to increase survival after a diagnosis of melanoma. Data on variation in survival from cancer by season of diagnosis suggest that sun exposure may also improve outcome from cancers of the breast, colon and prostate and Hodgkin lymphoma."

UV Guide UK and researchers such as Holick, Ferguson and Gehrmann in the United States, that tries to summarize how your body, similar to a reptile, synthesizes vitamin D UV GuideUK

"The pathway begins when a cholesterol, provitamin D, [ full name 7-dehydrocholesterol, or 7DHC ] is manufactured by cells in the skin. When exposed to UVB at wavelengths between 290 - 315nm, a simplified animation [ below]  illustrates the vitamin D pathway. [ light violet color ]  Provitamin D, held within the cell membrane, is converted very rapidly to previtamin D3. The peak production is at 297nm.  

vitD 2 vitDpathway
[ courtesy UV Guide UK ]

Previtamin D3 is then transformed by a re-arrangement of atoms in the molecule slowly, in warm skin, over one to two hours, to vitamin D3.

The vitamin D3 is released from the skin cell membranes and is taken up by a "vitamin D-binding protein&" into the plasma. It is thus carried in the bloodstream from the skin to the liver, where it is hydroxylated to calcediol, or 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3. This is the substance which is tested for in blood samples taken to assess vitamin D status.

Calcediol is then circulated in the bloodstream all around the body. In the kidneys, some is converted to the active hormone calcetriol. This plays a major part in calcium metabolism, governing the levels of calcium in the blood by controlling absorption of calcium from the gut and also from the bones, should dietary levels be inadequate for the body's needs. UV GuideUK

Calcediol has also, in recent years, been found to play a vital part in the normal functioning of other organs. It is taken up by cells throughout the body, and converted intracellularly to calcetriol; commonly called vitamin D. This local action has beneficial effects upon the immune system, the cardiovascular system, and in preventing cells in many organs from becoming cancerous by controlling cell division." UV GuideUK

Associated Press, "How much vitamin D is enough? Report sets new levels," NBC News and news services, 11/30/2010.   Article by Assoc Press: vit D new recommendations is no longer active.

Barnett Antony, "Revealed: how drug firms 'hoodwink' medical journalsPharmaceutical giants hire ghostwriters to produce articles - then put doctors' names on them," The Observer, December 7, 2003.  Article by Barnett: drug research scams is no longer active.

Bell Robert I. , et la., "Conflict of Interest: The Common Thread Underlying Ethical Lapses," EJBO Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2005. Bell: business ethics

Beun Julie, "'Everyone should be on vitamin D' In the battle to reduce osteoporosis risks, tomatoes and supplements may be key tools," The Gizette(Montreal), November 9, 2010.  Article by Beun: Tomatoes fight osteoporosis is no longer active.

Binkley N, Krueger D, Cowgill CS, Plum L, Lake E, Hansen KE, et al. "Assay variation confounds the diagnosis of hypovitaminosis D: a call for standardization." J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:3152-57. Binkley test standardization

Brain Marshall, "How Sunburns and Sun Tans Work," Wilipedia.  Brain: sunburns

Brannon Patsy M, Elizabeth A Yetley,Regan L Bailey and Mary Frances Picciano, " Vitamin D and Health in the 21st Century: an Update," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 2, 483S-490S, August 2008.  2008 conference update on vit D

Brody Jane E., "Head Out for a Daily Dose of Green Space," The New York Times, November 29, 2010.   Brody: Get sunshine

Burros Marian, "New Vitamin D Guidelines Call for Triple the D," Rodale News, December 01, 2010.  Article by Burros: Triple Vit D is no longer active.

Calculated Ultraviolet Exposure Levels for a Healthy Vitamin D Status:   Calculation See  Engelsen: UVB exposures vit D  |   Article by Kimlin Vit D synthesis valiation is no longer active.

"An acknowledged benefit of exposure to ultraviolet radiation is synthesis of vitamin D in human skin. Here we have defined a standard vitamin D dose based upon recommended requirements for vitamin D, and present a web-based tool that enables the user to calculate associated exposure times for any time and place ( The recommended UV exposure times depends on latitude, time, total ozone, clouds, aerosols, surface reflectivity and altitude all of which can be specified by the user."  Author: Ola Engelsen, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway.   Email:   Copyright © 2008 Ola Engelsen Last modified February 17th 2010.

Method outline (see the journal article above for details)  Article for Calculation Method outline & interpretation is no longer active.
Fast RT was used to compute erythema [MacKinley and Diffey 1987] and vitamin D effective [MacLaughlin et al., 1982] UV doses. The former were expressed in standard erythemal units (SED = 100 Jm-2 erythemally effective UV, which for skin type I = half Minimal Erythemal Dose, MED). The latter were computed using the action spectrum for conversion of 7-DHC to previtamin D in human skin [MacLaughlin et al., 1982] with an exponential decay extrapolation. We then defined a Standard Vitamin D Dose (SDD) corresponding to the UV equivalent of an oral dose of 1000 IU vitamin D [Holick 2004c], i.e. the dose recommended to gain all the possible health benefits of vitamin D [Holick, 2004a]. Since radiation is incident on the skin, and the response to either irradiation or oral dosing is measured in the blood, the SDD must be qualified by the conditions of skin exposure. Following the formula of Holick [2004a] that recommends exposure to a quarter of a personal MED on a quarter of the skin area (hands, face and arms), we calculated the equivalent D effective UV. We calculated UV doses for a mid-latitude midday in spring (Boston, 21 March, 42.2 degrees N, ozone = 350DU) when it is known that vitamin D can be synthesised in the skin. This latter assumption is based on the work of Webb et al. (1988) who showed that from November to February there was insufficient solar UVB to synthesise vitamin D in Boston, but by March previtamin D was formed from 7-DHC in both solution and the skin. From this we calculated the time to acquire a quarter MED (= half SED for a fair skinned person). Using the same solar exposure we then calculated the vitamin D effective dose acquired over the same time interval. This is then the SDD based on exposure of a quarter body surface area. A fair skinned person exposing hands, face and arms (ca. 25% of the body) would now make sufficient vitamin D with 1 SDD, and will suffer a minimal erythema after 1 MED (2 SED), which by definition is 4 times the SDD exposure in these reference conditions (i.e. Boston, 21 March, 42.2 degrees N, ozone = 350 DU). Darker skinned people will require both multiple SDDs and a greater number of SEDs to achieve the same effects.

The recommended blood serum level is under debate [Dawson-Hughes et al., 2005], but 30 ng(mL is widely recommended e.g., by [Hollis, 2005]. Clinical studies found 500-1,000 IU of vitamin D/day maintains blood serum levels of 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) [Tangpricha et al, 2003], [Heaney et al., 2003], [Meier et al., 2004]. We allow the user to change the recommended level. The user is also allowed to specify variable body exposure, because clothing changes with season. In order to assess the fraction of the body that is exposed to the sun, the Lund and Browder Chart for skin burns provides an indication: Face 3.5%, neck 2%, trunk 26%, hands 6%, arms 14%, legs 14%, thighs 18%. Output The resulting output, recommended UV exposure to obtain sufficient vitamin D, is two numbers in a single row at the bottom, i.e. hours:minutes. NOTE: There may be slight deviations from the results in the journal paper because the computations in the latter are more rigourous."

Calculation: Solar Geometry for Irradiance Calculations:  Calc solar geo calcs

Campbell Eric G., et la., "Physician Professionalism and Changes in Physician-Industry Relationships From 2004 to 2009," Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(20):1820-1826.   Campbell: PHARMA = MDs

Cancers: Does sunlight have a beneficial influence on certain cancers?   Articles about Cancers are no longer active.

Cannell John, "What is the ideal level of 25(OH)D?" Wellsphere.  Article by Cannell ideal level vit D is no longer active.

"We don't know. However, thanks to Bruce Hollis, Robert Heaney, Neil Binkley, and others, we now know the minimal acceptable level. It is 50 ng/ml. In a recent study, Heaney et al enlarged on Bruce Hollis's seminal work by analyzing five studies in which both the parent compound, cholecalciferol, and 25(OH)D levels were measured. It turns out that the body does not reliably begin storing the parent compound (cholecalciferol) in fat and muscle tissue until 25(OH)D levels get above 50 ng/ml. The average person starts to store cholecalciferol at 40 ng/ml, but at 50 ng/ml, virtually everyone begins to store it for future use. That is, at levels below 50 ng/ml, the body is usually using up the vitamin D as fast as you make it or take it, indicating chronic substrate starvation, not a good thing."

Hollis BW, Wagner CL, Drezner MK, Binkley NC. Circulating vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in humans: An important tool to define adequate nutritional vitamin D status. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):631-4.  Article by Hollis Adeq nut vit D is no longer active.

Cannell JJ, Vieth R., Holick MF., Grant WB, Madronich S., Garland CF., Giovannucci E., "Epidemic influenza and vitamin D." 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40. Epub 2006 Sep 7.   Article by Cannell Vit D and flu Report Summary is no longer active.

Cannell John MD, Vitamin D Council, You-tube Video:  Real story about vitamin D

Cannell John, E-mail feedback to Walter Sorochan inquiry;

Dear Professor Sorochan:

I know of no research in the area but believe what you say is true.

It appears to me the question is do people of the same skin type have an equal amount of 70de-hydro-cholesterol?

I doubt it.

In fact, I suspect a feedback system exists in that high 25(OH)D levels retard 7--de-hydro-cholesterol syntheses but no data I am aware of addresses this.

Perhaps Professor Michael Holick knows? John Cannell, MD President Vitamin D Council 805 468-2061 >>> "Walter Sorochan" <> 3/30/2010 11:23 PM >>>

RE:  UV skin receptor cell density

I [ Sorochan ] have read many of your articles, as well as those of other researchers, about vit D.  The general approach taken is to recommend 10 or more minutes of sunlight exposure at peak sun intensity. The assumption appears that light-color skinned persons have about the same number of cholesterol-skin receptors in their face, chest, arms and legs. But no one has provided any evidence that this is so. Furthermore, biochemical individuality probably comes into play and number of skin cells capturing UV2 may differ from individual to individual. The inference here is that the amount of sunlight needed may vary among similar skin-colored individuals.

What is the required density of skin cells per unit area to absorb 10,000IU from the sun?

How does this density differ between light, moderate and dark skinned persons?

Do you have information about these variable issues?  Can you refer me to research sources on this? Incidentally, I have reviewed the research and information about vitamin D and published it on the web-site below:

Your help and comments are most appreciated. Thank you. Have a great sunny day, Walter Sorochan Emeritus Professor: San Diego State University

Carter GD., "25-hydroxyvitamin D assays: the quest for accuracy.," Clin Chem 2009;55:1300-02.

Clark Amy J., "A Best Practice Guideline for Screening and Treating Vitamin D Deficiency in a Primary Care Setting: Moving Beyond the Bones," Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice College of Nursing University of South Carolina 2010.   Clark:Vit D Dissertation review 2010

Cohen Jay, "The Medical Profession's Culture of Corruption, Part 1," Medication,   Cohen: Culture of corruption 1

Cox Jeremy, "Nemours clinic devising less expensive vitamin D test for children," The Florida Times Union, May 23, 2010.   Article by Cox urine test for Vit D is no longer active.

Dawson-Hughes Susan S. Harris, Helen Rasmussen, Lingyi Song and Gerard E. Dallal, "Effect of Dietary Protein Supplements on Calcium Excretion in Healthy Older Men and Women," The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Vol. 89, No. 3 1169-1173  Article by Dawson-Hughes Protein diet affect on vit D is no longer active.

Dietary Guidlines:  The guidelines that will be implemented four years from now, 2010.  New guidlines 2015

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D," US Office of Dietary Supplements November 13, 2009. Article by US Office Dietary Supplements Fact sheet vitamin D is no longer active.

There is considerable discussion of the serum concentrations of 25(OH)D associated with deficiency (e.g., rickets), adequacy for bone health, and optimal overall health (Table 1). A concentration of <15 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) (or <37.5 nanomoles per liter [nmol/L]) is generally considered inadequate; concentrations >15 ng/ml (>37.5 nmol/L) are recommended. Higher levels are proposed by some (>30 ng/ml or >75 nmol/L) as desirable for overall health and disease prevention [   PubMed abstract  ], but insufficient data are available to support them Advisory Com on nutrition: Update Vit D. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D consistently >200 ng/ml (>500 nmol/L) are potentially toxic.

Table 1: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] Concentrations and Health*
ng/mL** nmol/L** Health status
<10-11 <25-27.5 Associated with vitamin D deficiency, leading to rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults [ Institute of Medicine  Advisory Com on nutrition: Update Vit D]
<10-15 <25-37.5 Generally considered inadequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals [ Institute of Medicine Advisory Com on nutrition: Update Vit D
≥15 ≥37.5 Generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals [Institute of Medicine]
Consistently >200 Consistently >500 Considered potentially toxic, leading to hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, although human data are limited. In an animal model, concentrations ≤400 ng/mL (≤1,000 nmol/L) demonstrated no toxicity [ Holick vit D Def  | Shephard Vit D intake ].

* Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D are reported in both nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).
** 1 ng/mL = 2.5 nmol/L   [ 5 µg = 200 IU ("International Units" ]

"An additional complication in assessing vitamin D status is in the actual measurement of serum concentrations of 25(OH)D. Considerable variability exists among the various assays available and among laboratories that conduct the analyses [ Carter    Hollis   Lensmeyer Vit D lab test ]. This means that compared to the actual concentration of 25(OH)D in a sample of blood serum, a falsely low or falsely high value may be obtained depending on the assay or laboratory used [Binkley test standardization  ]. A standard reference material for 25(OH)D became available in July 2009 that will now permit standardization of values across laboratories."

Dignan  Larry, " Vitamin D It's a linchpin to your immune system,"  Smart Planet, March 7, 2010. Article by Dignan Univ Copenhagen research is no longer active.

Researchers found that T cells, need to be triggered into action. Vitamin D acts as that trigger. Without Vitamin D, these T cells remain dormant.

Edwards Kim, "Higher Vitamin D Intake Needed To Reduce Cancer Risk," UCSD News Center, February 22, 2011.   Article by Edwards: Vit D prevents cancer is no longer active.

Engelsen Ola, "The Relationship between Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure and Vitamin D Status," Science News Online, May 4, 2010.  Article by Engelsen UVB exposures & vit D is no loner active.

Figure 3. Required UV exposure times around noon for a cloudless sky, and typical conditions with respect to latitude and day of year to obtain approximately the equivalent of 400 IU when the face, neck and hands with type I skin are exposed. The red areas illustrate when this vitamin amount is not achievable from the sun. The required dose can be obtained in minutes in the black area. From Source Figure3 below:   Holick, M.F. Environmental factors that influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 1995, 638S-645S. Webb, A.R. Who, what, where and when – influences on cutaneous vitamin D synthesis. Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol. 2006, 92, 17-25.

Forms: [ Wikopedia ] Several forms (vitamers) of vitamin D have been discovered.  The two major forms are vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. These are known collectively as calciferol. We generally refer to various forms of the vitamin as vitamin D.

Fitzpatrick Scale

Gaby Alan R., M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, "The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health."  Book by Gaby The Natural Pharmacy: Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions is no loner active

Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED, et al., "The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention."  Am J Public Health. 2006;96:252.  Studies advocating prevention

Gilchrest Barbara A., "Sun exposure and vitamin D sufficiency," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 2, 570S-577S, August 2008. Article by Gilchrest: VitD sufficiency is no longer active.

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Rimm EB, et al., "Prospective Study of Predictors of Vitamin D and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Men," J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:451. [ Harvard School of Medicine ].  Giovannucci Vit D and cancer

Glerup H, Mikkelsen K, Poulsen L et al., "Commonly recommended daily intake of vitamin D is not sufficient if sunlight exposure is limited,"J.Intern.Med. 2000;247:260-8. in references:  The-Miracle-of-Vitamin-D

Goetz Phil, "Even if you have a nail, not all hammers are the same," Less Wrong, March 29, 2010.  Goetz: wrong analysis

Grant William B., "Reducing the Burden of Disease Through Adequate Intake of Vitamin D3. Sunarc UCSD presentation, April 9, 2008.  Article by Grant Vit D reduces diseases is no longer active.

Grant William B., "Vitamin D, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk," he Lancet Oncology - Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2008).  Article by Grant Peridontal disease and Vit D is no longer active.

Grassroots Health Scientists, "Grassroots Health Launches Worldwide Call to Action on Vitamin D,"   Article by Grassroots Health Scientists is no longer active.

Hall Laura,   Article by Hall UC Davis study is no longer active.   A UC Davis research team led by assistant professor Laura M. Hall, Ph.D., made two findings. Both are sobering in terms of average vitamin D intakes in America … and somewhat unsurprising to folks who follow vitamin D research: Light-skinned people need at least 1300 International Units (IU) per day during the winter. Dark-skinned people need 2100 to 3100 IU per day during the winter and throughout the rest of the year.

Heaney RP, Armas LA, Shary JR, Bell NH, Binkley N, Hollis BW. "25-Hydroxylation of vitamin D3: relation to circulating vitamin D3 under various input conditions." Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1738-42.  Article by Heaney Adeq nut vitD is no longer active.

Higdon Jane, Ph.D., “Vitamin D,” Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, March 2004. Web: Oregon State info center

Holick MF, Diabetes and Vitamin D," Vitamin D, November 27, 2008. Article by Holick: diabetes-vit D is no longer active.

Holick M (1995). "Environmental factors that influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D". Am J Clin Nutr>61 (3 Suppl): 638S–645S.  PMID 7879731.

Holick, MF. "Vitamin D Deficiency," New England Journal of Medicine, July 2007.   Holick vit D Def

Holick MF., "Vitamin D Deficiency: What a Pain It Is," Mayo Clinic Procedings, December 2003, Volume 78 Number 12  Mayo clinic proceedings

Holick MF, "VITAMIN D AND HEALTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY: BONE AND BEYOND," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 6, 1678S-1688S, December 2004.  Article by Holick Vit D future abstract is no longer active

ABSTRACT:  "Most humans depend on sun exposure to satisfy their requirements for vitamin D. Solar ultraviolet B photons are absorbed by 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, leading to its transformation to previtamin D3, which is rapidly converted to vitamin D3. Season, latitude, time of day, skin pigmentation, aging, sunscreen use, and glass all influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D3. Once formed, vitamin D3 is metabolized in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and then in the kidney to its biologically active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic among both children and adults in the United States. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes rickets among children but also precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis among adults and causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risks of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Maintaining blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D above 80 nmol/L (30 ng/mL) not only is important for maximizing intestinal calcium absorption but also may be important for providing the extrarenal 1{alpha}-hydroxylase that is present in most tissues to produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Although chronic excessive exposure to sunlight increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, the avoidance of all direct sun exposure increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can have serious consequences. Monitoring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations yearly should help reveal vitamin D deficiencies. Sensible sun exposure (usually 5–10 min of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) and increased dietary and supplemental vitamin D intakes are reasonable approaches to guarantee vitamin D sufficiency."

Hollis BW., "Editorial: the determination of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D: no easy task," J. Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:3149-3151.

Hollis BW, Wagner CL, Drezner MK, Binkley NC. Circulating vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in humans: An important tool to define adequate nutritional vitamin D status. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):631-4. Article by Hollis Adeq nut vit D is no longer active.

Hughes Ellen," Nutrition in a bottle," First Aired: 9/21/2009  88 minutes Map by Hughes Map 2: cancer incidence is no longer active.

Hunt Curtis, "The Biochemical Effects of Physiologic Amounts of Dietary Boron in Animal Nutrition Models," Environmental Health Perspectives, 102, Supplement 7, November 1994. Article by Hunt Boron ad Vit D is no longer active.

IANS, "Large dose of vitamin D in pregnancy cuts premature births," Health News, May 1st, 2010. Article by Ians: lower premature births is no longer active.

Immunity & vit D, Wikipedia.  Wikipedia Immunity & Vit D

"Immune system:   VDR ligands have been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells, and enhance the phagocytic activity of macrophages.[20] Active vitamin D hormone also increases the production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide that is produced in macrophages triggered by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.[85][86][87] Suggestions of a link between Vitamin D and the onset of multiple sclerosis posited that this is due to the immune-response suppression properties of Vitamin D[88] and that vitamin D is required to activate a histocompatibility gene (HLA-DRB1*1501) necessary for differentiating between self and foreign proteins in a subgroup of individuals genetically predisposed to MS.[89] Whether vitamin D supplements during pregnancy can lessen the likelihood of the child developing MS later in life is not known;[90][91] however, vitamin D fortification has been suggested to have caused a pandemic of allergic disease[92] and an association between vitamin D supplementation in infancy and an increased risk of atopy and allergic rhinitis later in life has been found .[93] Veteran vitamin D researcher Hector DeLuca has cast doubt on whether vitamin D affects MS.[94]"

Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.

Institute of Medicine, "Report: Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D," Washington, D.C., National Academies Press, Released: November 30, 2010.  Article by IOM: Report is no longer active.

Jablonski, Nina G. and George Chaplin, "The evolution of human skin coloration," Journal of Human Evolution, February 18, 2000.    Article by Jablonski skin evolution is no longer active.

Jajoo Ramina, MD, Lingyi Song, MS, Helen, Rasmussen, RD, MS, Susan S. Harris, DSc and Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD.,  "Dietary Acid-Base Balance, Bone Resorption, and Calcium Excretion," Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 25, No. 3, 224-230 (2006)  Article by Jajoo Body acidity & vit D is no longer active.

Johnston Laurance, “Sunlight, vitamin D and Health,"  healing therapies and Sunlight

"Improving calcium and vitamin D nutritional status substantially reduces all-cancer risk in postmenopausal women. 
This trial was registered at as NCT00352170."  content/abstract/85/6/1586
Kimlin Michael G., William J. Olds, Michael R. Moore, "Location and Vitamin D synthesis: Is the hypothesis validated by geophysical data?" Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 86 (2007) 234–239.  Article by Kimlin Vit D synthesis validation is no longer active.

Kricker A., and Armstrong B.,    School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Edward Ford Building A27, NSW 2006, Australia.  Armstrong B

Laino Charlene, "Vitamin D May Lower Heart Disease Risk,"WebMD Health News, March 15, 2010.  [ Studies Suggest That Correcting Vitamin D Deficiency Improves Heart Health   Article by Laino Vit D improves heart is no longer active.

Lambert Craig, "Too Much sunscreen?" Harvard magazine, September-October, 2005.  Associate professor of medicine Edward Giovannucci research

Lappe Joan M, Dianne Travers-Gustafson, K Michael Davies, Robert R Recker and Robert P Heaney, “Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 6, 1586-1591, June 2007.   Vit D reduces cancers  Vitamin D can decrease your risk of cancer by up to 77%.

Leavett Stewart B. Vitamin D – A Neglected ‘Analgesic’ for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain, Pain Treatment Topics, June 2008, Article by Leavitt is no longer active.

"Since full exposure to sunlight can provide the vitamin D3 equivalent of up to 20,000 IU/day, the human body can obviously tolerate and safely manage relatively large daily doses. Toxicity has not been reported from repetitive exposure to sunlight [Hollis 2005]. Concentrations of 25(OH)D observed in persons with extensive daily sun exposure – eg, lifeguards, farmers – range up to 94 ng/mL, and this has not been demonstrated as causing hypercalcemia or being otherwise toxic [Vieth 2005]".

Leavett Stewart, "Vitamin D – A Neglected 'Analgesic' for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: An Evidence-Based Review & Clinical Practice Guidance," [  Chronic Pain ] PAIN MANAGEMENT, [ Pain Treatment Topics ] June/July/August 2008.   Clinical concepts about pain |  Chronic pain treatment

Lensmeyer GL, Wiebe DA, Binkley N, Drezner MK. HPLC method for 25-hydroxyvitamin D measurement: comparison with contemporary assays. Clin Chem 2006;52:1120-26.  Lensmeyer Vit D lab test

Lusky Karen, "Vitamin intrigues, not not a done deal," Cap Today, American College of American pathologists, June, 2009.   Article by Lusky, Vit D testing is no longer active.

Major GC, Alarie F, Dore J, Phouttama S, Tremblay A, "Supplementation with calcium + vitamin D enhances the beneficial effect of weight loss on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations," Am J Clin Nutr., 2007 Jan;85(1):54-9.  Article by Major Vit D and weight loss is no longer active.

Medication side-effects," Life Extension Magazine, March 2003.   Article by LE Mag: Drug side effects is no longer active.

"Individual variation with medications isn't the exception; it's the rule. The basis of individual variation is well known. People differ greatly in how they absorb, metabolize and eliminate drugs. The new science of pharmacogenetics has revealed wide variations in the efficiency of people's liver enzymes in processing drugs. People also differ in the sensitivity of their tissues to medication effects. These factors change with age, and many people become more sensitive as they get older."

Mercola   Mercola vitamin-d-spray   "Tip: cut your risk to cancer by 50% with vitamin D.  Technical ability to measure vit D in body has only been available for 10 years.  Consequently, many MD may not be up to date on the latest vitamin D research and information.  85 % of US population is deficient in vitamin D and about 95 % of world population.  Two individuals taking same dose  could have a variability difference of 600 % on a vit D test.  This is related to person's body weight [ 50 % ] and genetic differences. Key: Need to have a reliable vit D test [ Lab Lab is best. ]"

Scientists say vitamin D from ultraviolet rays may fight cancer,” MSNBC, May 23, 2005.   msnbc

Matsuoka LY, Wortsman J, Haddad JG, Kolm P, Hollis BW. Racial pigmentation and the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D [see  comments]. Arch.Dermatol. 1991;127:536-8.

Mead Nathan, "Benefits of sunshine," Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 116, No 4, April, 2008.  Article by Mead Benefits of sunshine is no longer active.

Merlino LA, Curtis J, Mikuls TR, Cerhan JR, Criswell LA, Saag KG, "Vitamin D intake is inversely associated with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Iowa Women's Health Study," Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Jan;50(1):72-7. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Office of Dietary Supplements, Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D, Website Article US Vit D info is no longer active.

Orthomolecular Medicine, "Vitamin D Boosts Health, Cuts Cancer Risk in Half," Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 3, 2007.   Orthomolecular Med and vit D

Pain:   Vitamin D deficiency is a major contributor to chronic low back pain as well as persistent, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain.

Park Alice, "Balancing the Risks: Skin Cancer Patients Are Deficient in Vitamin D," Thme HealthLine, October 19, 2010 .  Park: balancing risks

Parker, J., Hashmi, O., et al. “Levels of vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis.” MATURITAS. 2010 Mar: 65(3):225-236.  People with the highest levels of vitamin D had a 43 percent lower rate of heart disease.

Premenstral Pain:  Studies show a significant association between low 25(OH) D levels and higher incidence of premenstrual syndrome [PMS]. Treatment with calcium plus vitamin D decreases symptom severity in women with PMS.

Pick Marcelle NP, "Is vitamin D deficiency casting a cloud over your health?" Women to Women, June 27, 2005. 

"Calcitriol is biologically active form of vitamin D, also known as vitamin D3 (or 1,25[OH]2D; or simply cholecalciferol). This is the form that goes to work by attaching itself to vitamin D receptors present throughout the body. Today we know there are vitamin D receptors in some three dozen different target organs in the body! Researchers have also recently found that in addition to being converted in the kidneys to this active form, calcidiol is converted into calcitriol in about ten other organs in the body — the lymph glands and skin tissue, too, for example. These discoveries are exciting because they lead us to understand how important vitamin D is for whole-body wellness, not the least of which include prevention — and treatment — of certain types of cancer."

Practitioner Briefing, " Vitamin D – A Neglected ‘Analgesic’ for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain," vitamin D-briefing.pdf

Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;92(1):132-9. Epub February 28, 2006.

Radiation, "UV Index: Nature of UV Radiation," National Weather Service.   Radiation & vit D best time This graph shows how the UV dose rate varies throughout the day. The amount of UV radiation reaching the surface at larger solar zenith angles is much less than at smaller solar zenith angles.

Rao, Anuradha, Ralph D. Woodruff, Wendy N. Wade, Timothy E. Kute and Scott D. Cramer, "Genistein and Vitamin D Synergistically Inhibit Human Prostatic Epithelial Cell Growth," J. Nutr. 132:3191-3194, October 2002.  Cofactor genistein and vit D

Rao Jammi N and L J Sant Cassia, "Ethics of undisclosed payments to doctors recruiting patients in clinical trials," British Medical Journal, July 6, 2002.   Rao: Clinical trials lack ethics

Research Vitamin D:  Article about vit D affect on body diseases and disorders is no longer active.

Requirements:  Research indicates that well adults and adolescents should receive at least 5,000 IU vitamin D3 per day (either from sunlight or supplementation) to achieve blood levels in the desired range of 50–80 ng/mL.  Article about vit D Requirements is no longer active.

Rode von Essen Marina, Martin Kongsbak, Peter Schjerling, Klaus Olgaard, Niels Ødum & Carsten Geisler, "Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells," Nature Immunology 11, 344 - 349 (2010) Published online: 7 March 2010.  Vit D and receptor cells

Roan Shari, "Vitamin D linked to lower heart disease risk "By raising low levels of the vitamin to normal levels, patients reduce their risk of heart disease by about 30%, an observational study finds." Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2010.  Article by Roan Vit D and heart diease is no longer active.

Rollins Gina, "Vitamin D testing -- What's the right answer," Clinical Lab news, American Association for Clinical Chemistry.  July, 2009 Volume 35 Number 7.   Article by Rollins Vit D testing is no longer active.

Saunders Terri, "The Modern Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency," Sunrise Herb Shoppe.  Article by Saunders Vitamin D Deficiency is no longer active.

Sayre, R. M., Dowdy, J. C., Shepherd, J., Sadig, Bager, A., and Kollias, N. "Vitamin D Production by Natural and Artificial Sources," 1998. Orlando, Florida, Photo Medical Society Meeting. 3-1-1998. Ref Type: Conference Proceeding

Saul Andrew W., “VITAMIN D: Deficiency, Diversity and Dosage, ”Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2003; Vol. 18, Numbers 3 and 4, p. 194-204.  Doctor yourself vitamin D

Schreiber, H. Anderson, T. “Statin-Induced rhabdomyolysis.” Ophthalmology. 2006 Aug; 31(2):177-180.   Rhabdomyolysis is when your muscle cells begin to break down. You become sore and weak. But you may have other symptoms, like nausea or an abnormal heart rate. It can develop into kidney failure.

Sears Al, "The Truth About "Vitamin Sunshine," Nutrition,  March 1st, 2010. Vitamin sunshine

Schwartz Gary G., William J. Blot, "Vitamin D Status and Cancer Incidence and Mortality Something New Under the Sun," Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2006 98(7):428-430.   Vit D and cancer status

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition in UK. "Update on Vitamin D. Position Statement by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition." London: The Stationery Office, Limited, 2007.  Article by Advisory Com on Update Vit D is no longer active.

Shephard RM, DeLuca HF. Plasma concentrations of vitamin D3 and its metabolites in the rat as influenced by vitamin D3 or 245-hydroxyvitamin D3 intakes. Arch Biochem Biophys 1980;202:43-53. Shephard Vit D intake

Skin Cancer Foundation   Article about vitamin-d-and-sun-exposure-the-pendulum-swings-back is no longer active.

Sirus Mark, "Magnesium the Lamp of Life," International Medical Veritas Association, November 18, 2008.  magnesium insulin_medicine

Skin phototype:  DermNet, New Zealand,  Skin phototype  "The classification of skin type known as the Fitzpatrick skin type (or phototype) depends on the amount of melanin pigment in the skin. This is determined by constitutional colour (white, brown or black skin) and the result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation (tanning). Pale or white skin burns easily and tans slowly and poorly: it needs more protection against sun exposure. Darker skin burns less and tans more easily. It is also more prone to develop postinflammatory pigmentation after injury (brown marks).

Skin type Typical Features Tanning ability
I Pale white skin, blue/hazel eyes, blond/red hair Always burns, does not tan
II Fair skin, blue eyes Burns easily, tans poorly
III Darker white skin Tans after initial burn
IV Light brown skin Burns minimally, tans easily
V Brown skin Rarely burns, tans darkly easily
VI Dark brown or black skin Never burns, always tans darkly
Fair skin
Type 1

Type 3
Dark skin
Type 4

Solarmeter:  Article by Solarmeter predicts vit D potential is no longer active.   Author Sorochan does not vouch for this new instrument. Use at your own risk!

"This instrument is designed for both outdoor solar measurement and indoor UVR appliance measurement. The sensor/detector response follows the Diffey Erythemal Action Spectrum (EAS) effective irradiance (Eeff), and thus remains accurate for various spectral power distributions. Eeff is used here as a proxy for Vitamin D action spectrum weighted irradiance (Deff), which is very similar but cuts off at 330 nm. Spectral radiometer tests have shown Eeff and Deff to be virtually linearly proportional outdoors ± ~4 hours from solar noon, and indoors for most commonly used UVR lamps."

recordings from anywhere on the planet, to add to our database.

Fig.4: Typical solar UVB Recording on a clear day

Graph Source: Instructions on using solarmeter

Sorenson Mark, "Vitamin D and Depression: How Sad,"  January 12, 2009. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Staropoli John F., "Funding and Practice of Biomedical Research," JAMA. 2003;290:112.  Staropoli: Pharma approves most medication research  "Since the 1980s the industry now provides about 70% of all funding for clinical drug trials in the United States."

Sullivan Krispin, "Caution- Living Systems are Complex Systems,"  Sullivan Living complex systems

Sullivan Krispin, CN, is a Clinical Nutritionist, “The Miracle of Vitamin D,” The Weston A. Price Foundation, December 30, 2000. Sullivan The-Miracle-of-Vitamin-D  |   Recommendations for D test

Sullivan Krispin,  "Naked at Noon, Understanding Sunlight and Vitamin D' Excerpts with references," 2003.  Excepts

suntanSunscreens:  Instead of smearing smelly lotions and sunscreens, you can take supplements that protect you against the sun from the inside while allowing your skin to make vitamin D.  All safely and no side-effects.




Szivos Sandra, "Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defenses," Nature Immunology, March 07, 2010. Vit D and immune defenses

Synthesis: Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when &  7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with UVB ultraviolet light at wavelengths between 270–300 nm, with peak synthesis occurring between 295-297 nm.  These wavelengths are present in sunlight when the UV index is greater than 3. At this solar elevation, which occurs daily within the tropics, daily during the spring and summer seasons in temperate regions, and almost never within the arctic circles, adequate amounts of vitamin D3 can be made in the skin after only ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen. However, season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, skin cover, skin color, smog, and sunscreen affect UV ray absorption and vitamin D synthesis. For example, sunlight exposure from November through February in Boston is insufficient to produce significant vitamin D synthesis in the skin. With longer exposure to UVB rays, an equilibrium is achieved in the skin, and excess vitamin D simply degrades as fast as it is generated. Source: Holick, MF. Vitamin D Deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine, July 2007

Taylor Paul Anthony, "Big Media: Not an Ally in the Campaign for Vitamin Freedom," Dr. Rath Health Foundation  Article by Taylor: campaign to discredit health is no longer active.

Toxicity:  One of the least toxic substances to humans, overdose of vitamin D3 doesn't occur until more than 100 times (approximately one bottle of vitamin D3 tablets) the daily RDA has been taken daily for several months. Acute, one-time overdoses require over 50  mg (10,000 times the RDA).

Toxin and Radiation Exposure Research indicates vitamin D is a significant factor in detoxification and protection against environmental toxins and that vitamin D3 may protect hair follicles from radiation toxicity.

UVB Exposure: Exposure Sunlight has an enormous impact on health via the skin's neuroendocrine system. Exposure toUVB enables the body to build a strong skeletal structure, heart, and muscles as well as optimize the immune system and utilization of sugar. Compared with nontanners, tanners have been found to have robust levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D at winter's end and, as a result, higher bone density."

Vieth R., May 1 1999. "Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety". Am J Clin Nutr: 69(5): 842–56. PMID 10232622.

Vieth R, Bischoff-Ferrari H, Boucher BJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Garland CF, Heaney RP, et al. "The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective," Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:649-50. PubMed abstract

Vitamin D Council, " Depression and Depression,"  Vitamin D Council [ John Cannell ] March 20, 2004.   Vit D Council Depression & Vit D

Vitamin D Council, "Am I vitamin D deficient?" January 10, 2008.  Article by Vit D Council Min dosage is no longer active.

Vit D Deficiency: Vitamin D Deficiency Vitamin D Deficiency is a world-wide epidemic, with over one billion people at risk for its associated diseases.

Vitamin synthesis:

Vitamin D3 
(Vitamin D3)
Vitamin D metabolism
    Vitamin D metabolism

Wasmeier Christina, Alistair N. Hume, Giulia Bolasco and Miguel C. Seabra, "Melanosomes at a glance," Journal of Cell Science 121, 3995-3999 (2008) December 3, 2008.  Wasmeier: Melanosomes  "The production of melanin takes place in modified organelles within the melanocyte called melanosomes."
"Melanocytes are specialized skin cells located in the basal (bottom) layer of the epidermis. After the melanin is produced, the dendrites of the melanocytes transfer the melanosome (with the melanin) to keratinocytes (the pigment storing cells of the skin). The melanosomes are deposited over the nucleus of the keratinocytes to protect the DNA from UV radiation. Differences in skin pigmentation are not due to the activity of the melanocytes, but the keratinocytes. In Caucasians, lysosomes in the keratinocytes actually degrade some of the melanin. Less pigment means lighter skin. The melanosomes in individuals with darker skin are not degraded."

Wikipedia: Vitamin_D

Woollams Chris, with contributions by Dr. Damian Downing, Vitamin D is a natural cancer cure,"  Vitamin D is a natural cancer preventative