Obscene FDA “advice” about sun exposure, misleading the American public
(NaturalHealth365) The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certainly seems to worry a lot about the spread of health “misinformation” online – despite the fact that much of that so-called “misinformation” appears to be nothing else than scientific evidence that simply does not support mainstream public health messaging. A perfect example of this could be the FDA’s ongoing effort to encourage people to avoid sun exposure – nearly, it would seem, at virtually all costs.
On a webpage called “Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun: From Sunscreen to Sunglasses,” the FDA outlines several strategies believed to be necessary “to reduce risks from sun exposure.” But given what we know about the benefits of sunlight, are these strategies truly well-informed?
FDA is “obscene:” Biologists call out U.S. agency about its over-the-top warnings about sun exposure
Evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying recently recorded an interview on the DarkHorse Podcast in which they discuss the FDA and its questionable “advice” to people regarding sun exposure.
Saying that the agency advocates a “monolithic approach to sun exposure,” the pair warn that, if followed, the agency’s advice (such as “limiting your time in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.” and applying sunscreen “liberally to all uncovered skin” and reapplying as often as every two hours) would actually make people more unhealthy. Why? Because not getting enough sun exposure would drastically increase people’s risk of health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Of course, there are plenty of other benefits of sun exposure that don’t directly relate to vitamin D production, including improved sleep and improved mood. But as it stands, about 35% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, according to Cleveland Clinic, and at least HALF of the global population is considered vitamin D “insufficient.” And readers, beware: being deficient or insufficient in this vitamin does not come without consequences.
According to an older paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives, vitamin D is believed to regulate at least “1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body,” including those involved in immune health, calcium metabolism, and neuromuscular function. No wonder why having low levels of vitamin D has been associated with an increased risk of everything from dementia to bone fractures to depression!
In fact, the risks of being vitamin D deficient are so dire – and the role of sunlight exposure in vitamin D production is SO important – that a more recent 2021 review published in Nutrients advises that “sun protection recommendations should be kept among people at risk or with a personal history of skin cancer.”
Check out the video clip below from the DarkHorse Podcast, in which Weinstein and Heying discuss their concerns over the FDA’s blanket sun “tips” for the American public:
Over a third of Americans are deficient in vitamin D – yet the U.S. government wants you to stay out of the sun and lather yourself in chemicals for your “health”
Of course, even if you do spend time in the sun on most days of the week (despite the FDA’s urging to “limit” your sunlight time), there’s still a possibility that your body is not able to produce enough vitamin D. This is particularly true if you have darker skin or if you’re an older adult. Additionally, if you live somewhere north of 37 degrees latitude (basically anywhere in the United States further north than San Francisco, California, on the West Coast and Richmond, Virginia, on the East Coast), then your body makes little to no vitamin D from sun exposure except in the summer months!
Fortunately, you do have options. First, don’t be sun scared! Yes, most experts agree that you should avoid getting sunburns, and if you have certain risk factors for skin cancer (e.g., fair skin, blue or green eyes, family history, etc.) then you might need to take certain precautions. But for most of us, argue folks like Weinstein and Heying, spending around 10 to 30 minutes in the midday sun on most days of the week with large areas of our skin exposed is extremely beneficial for ramping up our bodies’ vitamin D levels.
Second, remember you can get vitamin D from food sources. While some foods like raw milk and breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D, they are not a great source of vitamin D. You can also find vitamin D naturally in things like eggs, mushrooms, and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Beef liver, ideally from grass-fed sources, is also an excellent option. But, if you’re deficient, food sources (alone) may not be enough to improve your vitamin D levels.
As a final note, you might consider taking a high-quality vitamin D supplement, especially if you live in a northern climate or don’t eat animal products. If you’re especially interested or concerned, ask a trusted healthcare provider about getting your vitamin D levels checked. According to a recent consensus statement from the International Conference on Controversies in Vitamin D, serum vitamin D levels lower than 50 nmol/L appear to be associated with adverse health effects.
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