This common deficiency could kill half the world’s population

Last week, I told you about a new study linking sun exposure to lower cancer rates. And, as I’ve always said, avoiding the sun causes far more harm than good.

In fact, according to a recent assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO), getting too much sun accounts for just 0.1 percent of the “total global disease burden.” And most of those cases of disease are benign.

The exception is malignant melanoma. But just 0.001 percent of the global population gets that deadly skin cancer each year.

By comparison, a much larger disease burden results from not getting enough sun

Lack of sun exposure poses serious global health threat

Of course, the main reason you should aim to get more sun exposure is because it triggers the production of the all-important vitamin D. As I’ve reported many times before, research links optimal vitamin D blood levels to decreases in risk for developing just about every chronic disease on the planet — including cancer, depression, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and Type II diabetes.

To illustrate the profound importance sun exposure has on our health, WHO researchers recently estimated what would happen in its complete absence…

Hypothetically speaking, the researchers estimated that if humans were to endure a total lack of sun exposure, their vitamin D levels would plummet to such a severe deficiency, that approximately 3.3 billion people would die within one year’s time.

That’s almost half of the world’s entire human population!

Of course, during prehistoric times, we saw a similar situation unfold as human populations trekked north to colder climates. Granted, it was on a much smaller scale…

But over many centuries, as people migrated north to what is now Europe, they began to get less and less sun exposure. And they also began to wear more clothing in these colder, wetter climates, which limited the absorption of sun even further. In fact, by the 1600s, during what was known as the “Little Ice Age” in Europe, people wore clothing covering their entire bodies, even during summer.

At the same time, they also began to develop more diseases.

By the 1800s, about 80 percent of children in Europe and North America suffered from rickets — a vitamin D deficiency of the bones.

Of course, since that time, mainstream medicine has failed to acknowledge the importance of vitamin D for anything beyond supporting bone health.

And somehow, modern dermatologists and the sunscreen industry has taken this incredibly vital and healthy habit and flipped it on its head…

Well, don’t buy it.

Especially since both history — and science — overwhelmingly support the notion that humans need regular sun exposure to support good health.

Low vitamin D linked to TB pandemic

For example, during the late 1800s, Europe and North America were hit with a tuberculosis (TB) pandemic. But half the people diagnosed with TB were completely cured simply by adhering to the “Nature Cure” — meaning they got plenty of exposure to clean air, water, and, of course, sunshine!

Modern researchers now believe increasing sun exposure was probably the biggest factor in this massive recovery — as higher vitamin D levels reduce the risk of active TB by 32 percent.

But, of course, after the advent of antibiotic drugs in the 1940s, this highly effective “Nature Cure” was conveniently all but forgotten for the treatment of TB — and countless other ailments.

Yet modern research continues to show that people who live further away from the equator, with less natural sun exposure, have much higher disease risk. For instance, researchers have found that people suffer increased risks of developing (and dying from) breast, colon, lymphoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and other cancers. They also have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis and various neurologic conditions.

Even when it comes to malignant melanoma, modern research links more sun exposure with less aggressive tumors and better survival rates.

With examples like these (and countless more), I find the constant attacks on sun exposure completely baffling.

Your fail-proof plan for optimal vitamin D

So what should you do to keep your vitamin D levels up and boost your protection against disease?

As we begin to make our way into spring, it’s especially important to make sure you spend 15 minutes per day in the sun without sunscreen. (And if you have fair skin, you can start out with just five minutes of exposure and gradually increase it.)

This healthy habit will go a long way in boosting your vitamin D to the optimal therapeutic levels. In fact, light-skinned people who spend just half an hour in the summer sun can generate 50,000 IU of vitamin D. And dark-skinned people can generate 10,000 IU.

You should also ask your doctor to measure your vitamin D levels with a 25(OH)D blood test, as this is the time of year when levels most often hit their lowest points. Ideally, you want your levels to fall between 50 nmol/L and 75 nmol/L.

And as I’ve been recommending for years in my Daily Dispatch and monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter, you should be supplementing year-round with 10,000 IU of vitamin D3. You can now find it in convenient liquid form together with the potent marine carotenoid astaxanthin. Simply visit for more information.


“Global disease burden from solar ultraviolet radiation.” World Health Organization, 12/11/2009 (