Sunbathing is good for you

News announcer: ‘We interrupt the series of blogs on ‘what causes heart disease’ to bring you (slightly delayed), breaking news from Sweden… Sunbathing is good for you. Shock horror etc.’

Someone sent me this news story today, and I thought I should share it with you. For many, many, years I have been telling people that lying in the sun, getting a nice tan, is one of the healthiest things you can do. Despite the howls of anguish from all dermatologists telling us that one photon of sunlight is one photon too many. ‘You will cause people to die from skin cancer.’ Ho hum:

Why do sunbathers live longer than those who avoid the sun?

New research looks into the paradox that women who sunbathe are likely to live longer than those who avoid the sun, even though sunbathers are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

An analysis of information on 29,518 Swedish women who were followed for 20 years revealed that longer life expectancy among women with active sun exposure habits was related to a decrease in heart disease and noncancer/non-heart disease deaths, causing the relative contribution of death due to cancer to increase.

Whether the positive effect of sun exposure demonstrated in this observational study is mediated by vitamin D, another mechanism related to UV radiation, or by unmeasured bias cannot be determined. Therefore, additional research is warranted.

“We found smokers in the highest sun exposure group were at a similar risk as non-smokers avoiding sun exposure, indicating avoidance of sun exposure to be a risk factor of the same magnitude as smoking,” said Dr. Pelle Lindqvist, lead author of the Journal of Internal Medicine study. “Guidelines being too restrictive regarding sun exposure may do more harm than good for health.”1

There is a point here I think I should repeat… avoiding the sun is as risky for your overall health and life expectancy, as smoking. Which is pretty damned amazing? It has been estimated that smoking reduces life expectancy by six, on average. Thus, if you sunbathe regularly, it seems you can expect to live six years longer.

If I may indulge myself by quoting from my book ‘Doctoring Data’ on this very topic:

‘How about frightening people to stay out of the sun, or slap on factor 50 cream at the first suspicion that a deadly photon may sneak through 10 layers of protective clothing. Not necessarily a good idea, because without vitamin D synthesis in the skin, from exposure to the sun, there is significant danger that we can become vitamin D deficient, which can lead to all sort of other problems.

Here are just two stand-out facts from a major study in the Annals of Epidemiology entitled ‘Vitamin D for Cancer prevention.’

  • Women with higher solar UVB exposure had only half the incidence of breast cancer as those with lower solar exposure
  • Men with higher residential solar exposure had only half the incidence rate of fatal prostate cancer

To put that in simple English. If you spend longer in the sun, you may be far less likely to die of breast and prostate cancer. But what about the increased risk of dying of skin cancer! I have you cry. Well, what of it. Around 2,000 people a year die of malignant melanoma in the UK each year. It increased sun exposure were to double this figure we would have 2000 more cases.

On the other hand, breast cancer kills around 20,00 a year, as does prostate cancer. If we managed to halve the rate of breast and prostate cancer, we would reduce cancer deaths by 20,000 a year. Which is ten times as great as any potential increase in deaths from malignant melanoma.’

To what I wrote in Doctoring Data, I would further add that sun exposure is the best known way of increasing NO synthesis throughout the body. This protects the endothelium and, as you would expect, lowers blood pressure (the natural way). So, you are far less likely to die from CVD.

What this study highlights, once again (as with all advice on diet), what we are told to do by mainstream medical research, turns out to be actively damaging to health. Will advice on sun exposure now change? There is not the slightest, tiniest, possibility of this happening. Evidence has no impact on the pronouncements of the medical profession (at least not over the average human lifespan).

The only possible change I can see is that, whilst we will continue be hectored to stay out of the sun, at all possible costs, we will be advised to take vitamin D supplementation to make up for lack of sun exposure (even though there is little or no evidence that it actually does any good).

My advice is, and has always been. Sunshine is good for you. I have been saying this for twenty years. Ten years ago, whilst writing for Pulse Magazine in the UK I wrote an article called ‘Sunshine is good for you.’ I finished with the following:

Ponder this

I shall leave you to ponder the results of a study looking at people diagnosed with malignant melanomas, and then followed for five years.

‘Results: Sunburn, high intermittent sun exposure, skin awareness histories and solar elastosis were statistically significantly inversely associated with death from melanoma’

‘Conclusion: Sun exposure is associated with increased survival from melanoma.2

Did I say that sunshine is good for you? It even prevents malignant melanoma.

 

REFERENCES:

1: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/308202.php

The full study is: Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort, P. G. Lindqvist, E. Epstein, K. Nielsen, M. Landin-Olsson, C. Ingvar and H. Olsson, Journal of Internal Medicine, doi: 10.1111/joim.12496, published online 16 March 2016.

2: Berwick M et al: Sun exposure and mortality from melanoma. J Natl Cancer Inst: 2005 Feb 2, 973(3):195-9

262 thoughts on “Sunbathing is good for you

    1. Patrick Snook

      “Oh it’s hard being a cowboy in Rochdale.”
      (Not in Yorkshire–but the song came to mind. Was it Mike Harding? I forget.)
      Good luck with being a cowgirl in Yorkshire. I recommend relocation.

      Patrick
      (formerly of Yorkshire, although still not a cowboy)

      Reply
  1. John Wright

    Malcolm, we have the nonsense here where we have Osteoporosis Australia recommending 15 -30 minutes daily exposure covering 85% of the body ( so a little near nude rotisserie required) and the Cancer Council, who argue (almost) no level is safe.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer

    What a lovely posting in the run-up to Easter.
    May I suggest that we return to the Easter Sunday tradition of getting into the sunshine to roll our healthy paste eggs down the grassy hill, and leave those darned sugar-filled cream eggs on the supermarket shelves.
    The positives of sun, exercise, fat and protein outnumbering the negatives of a sugar granade.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      My comments must have offended someone; unintentionally, I can assure you, as I see nothing offensive in my suggestions.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Dr. K: Love your comment. Folks on your side have a way of going for the jugular which is refreshing. Here in the U.S. everything has to be nice. Pleasant. Rose-colored.

  3. Joanna Lyford

    I have to take issue with your final sentence “Did I say that sunshine is good for you? It even prevents malignant melanoma.” That isn’t what the study you quoted showed at all, as you must know. It might be a great sign-off line but in writing something that is incorrect you are hardly engendering your article with credibility! Can I suggest you amend it?

    Reply
      1. Joanna Lyford

        But that single study doesn’t suggest that sunshine protects against malignant melanoma? Are you able to share any citations to support an inverse association between sunshine exposure and malignant melanoma risk? Thank you in advance.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I will turn this question around. Are you able to share any citations that support a causal relationshiop between sunshine exposure and malignant melanoma. Please, no associations. Actual proven causality is what I am looking for. Please do not conflate BCC, SCC, rodent ulcers and actinic keratotis with malignant melanoma in studies that you find.

      3. Joanna Lyford

        Shutting down a legitimate query also raises doubts over your credibility. Why are you turning my question around – I didn’t write that sentence, you did. Why aren’t you able/prepared to defend it by providing a reference?

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I am not shtting down a legitamate query – althoug I am not an organisation of some kind. I am turning my quesiton around because I don’t have the time, currently to answer it. I work full time, write, run a blog, etc. if you think sunshine causes malignant melanoma – prove it. Show me the proof. I have looked at this area many times and seen nothing. And I cannot provide evidence for evidence that does not exist.

      5. Joanna Lyford

        You wrote “The evidence, such as i have seen, would suggest that sunshine may well protect against malignant melanoma. Not juse from that single study.” Based on that, I thought you would be able to point me towards some of the evidence you had seen of a POSITIVE association. Not an absence of association. As for what I believe – that is totally irrelevant in relation to my comment on your article. Why don’t you just edit the final sentence of your article as you clearly can’t substantiate it?

      6. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I made a statement that I know to be true – on such evidence as I have seen. I you cannot prove it wrong, it is right. The basis of science is falsifiction, not finding evidence to support your hypothesis. That is how science is done. Disproving the null-hypothesis is the end-point of all interventional studies. You can never prove anything, only disprove it. In short, I am not shutting down debate – I am opening it up.

      7. Joanna Lyford

        I am very simply and respectfully asking if you could provide a reference to support your assertion that “sunshine prevents malignant melanoma”. I’m not sure why it is proving so difficult? I am your other readers would I’m sure appreciate a reference, as an addition to the 2 you already provided to support other claims. You say you have seen this evidence, so please can you share it with your audience? Thank you in advance.

      8. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Joanna. Many people ask me many things. They send me their cholesterol levels and family history, and medical history and suchlike, and ask me what they should do. I do not answer them – for various reasons, mainly to do with losing my job. I am not a medical journal editor, I am paid not one penny for doing this, I endorse nothing and no-one. If you believe that I have written something that is untrue/incorect, than I would respectfully ask you to disprove it. If you cannot, the comment stands. If you can, the comment will removed, with a retraction statement. You have asked me to remove a statement – so you obviously believe it is untrue. But you appear to have no evidence to support what you say.

        These were your words: I have to take issue with your final sentence “Did I say that sunshine is good for you? It even prevents malignant melanoma.” That isn’t what the study you quoted showed at all, as you must know. It might be a great sign-off line but in writing something that is incorrect you are hardly engendering your article with credibility! Can I suggest you amend it?

        I would respectfully ask. Have you read the study I quoted?

      9. Joanna Lyford

        Yes of course I read the study you quoted (and others)! Why would I comment on something without researching it first. The study you quoted didn’t show that sunshine prevents malignant melanoma, it showed that sunshine prevents mortality from malignant melanoma – not the same thing at all. Hence my comment suggesting that you had overstepped the mark with your sign-off, presumably in the pursuit of a good line – but at the potential expense of being misleading and/or inaccurate.

      10. Emma

        That’s my understanding too, that there is an inverse relationship between lifetime sun exposure and malignant melanoma. Regular sun exposure, gradually building up over summer, (and conferring healthy vitamin D levels that reduce cancer risk) is very different from spending your days trapped in an office (probably under beastly fluorescent lights) and then jetting off for a week of frying your pasty, unprepared vitamin D-deficient self on a beach. (Not meaning to sound pompous here, I have been sunburned many times, ouch!) As a family we have very rarely used sunscreen on the kids, and I for one am proud of the tan lines that they have by the end of the summer, (much to the horror of other parents).
        I also agree it will probably be a very long time before such tan lines don’t cause horror. It was 1905 I think that the connection between sun exposure and Multiple Sclerosis was noticed? And here we are, still scratching our heads and saying it’s all very mysterious and sad and nothing can be done.
        And then there is Autism. Years and years ago there was a news story about research from Canada, looking for the X-factor that differentiated areas of very high autism rates from the rest of Canada, with its normal high rates. The researchers were very thorough – they looked at smoking, drinking, socio-economic status etc etc. There was only one difference. They had no idea what it meant, but they were very confident in their findings. The only difference was that the very high rate areas had significantly higher rainfall. ‘Vitamin D, you idiots!’ I screeched at the radio. I don’t think they heard me.
        Ps There was also a CVD study done years ago, comparing Scotland and England, looking at smoking, drinking, deep-fried mars bars etc etc. The researchers concluded that there was an X-factor, an unidentified, but very real factor that made people living in Scotland more at risk than those in England. Perhaps that X factor is UVB / vitamin D. If you look at maps of seasonal vitamin D / UVB levels, you will see that Scotland has an even bigger problem than England, with the south faring the best.

      11. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        With my current interest in the theory/logic of science I just love and endorse how you state these basic facts. The establishment loves to se science as consensus which in essence is a religious /dogmatic attitude.

        ” The basis of science is falsifiction, not finding evidence to support your hypothesis. That is how science is done. Disproving the null-hypothesis is the end-point of all interventional studies. “

      12. David Bailey

        Joanna,

        Given that we have all been exhorted for years to either stay out of the sun, or apply a high factor sun cream, isn’t it appropriate for the supporters of this advice to point to actual evidence? Us laymen used to assume that every piece of medical advice was justified by solid epidemiological evidence – then we learned about saturated fat, and cholesterol, and salt, and maybe we should add sunlight to that list.

        In any case, given Malcolm’s figures, the question seems pretty academic because if sunlight reduces the danger of a far more common disease – CVD – what does it matter if it increases melanoma somewhat?

      13. JDPatten

        As a matter of moderate interest, a fair proportion of melanoma lesions are discovered on parts of the body where the sun don’t ever, never shine.
        Suggestive, at least.

      14. Neil

        Mortality from malignant melanoma is stable but prevalence has rocketed. what does the diagnosis tell us

      15. Christopher Palmer

        “Regular sun exposure, gradually building up over summer, (and conferring healthy vitamin D levels that reduce cancer risk) is very different from spending your days trapped in an office (probably under beastly fluorescent lights) and then jetting off for a week of frying your pasty, unprepared vitamin D-deficient self on a beach.”

        Very well said Emma. The effects of radiation can be both a blessing and a curse. Any such distinctions in outcome as may be the case may well owe more to ‘context’ than to the UV itself. Whilst the factors that may account for ‘context’ may be several I think you have lighted upon one possible factor and explained it very well.

        Melanin is another factor, I would say, and melanin status is clearly important, Melanin is the principle pigment that gives rise to a tan – the tanned person has more – and it is also natures own sunblock. The effect of sunbathing produces melanin which it turn colours the skin and offers some protection, but the paradox for pale persons wanting to gain a tan is that their skin is short on melanin (and protection) when they strip off. I have this nagging (if unconfirmed) suspicion that low vitamin D status in a person may inhibit the rate at which melanin can be synthesised – so the person with low vitamin D status burns easily and tans slowly. It isn’t really a paradox, but seems like one, that the supposed harm the sun and UV might do could actually arise because people do get enough (habitual) exposure but carry on like mad dogs and Englishmen for two weeks of the year.

      16. Gary Ogden

        Interesting. I sun here in sunny California nearly every day I can, and am slow to tan, but it comes eventually, by mid-summer or so. But it isn’t real dark, as it was in childhood. Perhaps because I’m concerned about excess exposure, but perhaps. . . .

      17. celia

        Maybe it was the way you or the authors worded it, but I was also confused. There seemed to be a suggestion that a few malignant melanoma deaths were weighed against the many lives saved through breast and prostate cancer reduction.

      18. Socratic Dog

        Oh dear, Malcolm, you said something that I find a bit disconcerting. To wit “If you cannot prove it wrong, it is right. The basis of science is falsifiction, not finding evidence to support your hypothesis. That is how science is done. Disproving the null-hypothesis is the end-point of all interventional studies. You can never prove anything, only disprove it.”

        Unfortunately this implies that if, for example, someone says “God exists, and you can’t disprove it”, then we have to accept that God exists, because we know we can’t disprove it. Same for Bertrand Russel’s teapot in orbit around the sun. It would also imply that, if accused of a crime, you are guilty unless you can prove your innocence. Clearly this is nonsense. Not just any nonsense, dangerous nonsense.

        I understand how the null hypothesis is used in science, but to state this so categorically is treading on dangerous ground. The null hypothesis must be a reasonable one, based on observation and anecdote (same thing, essentially), and chosen as the opposite of what the observation/anecdote seems to imply. A null hypothesis plucked out of thin air is worthless, and is not science.

      19. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I think I stand by my statement. The purpose of experimentation is to falsify. If you cannot falsify something (no matter how hard you try), it is right. The example of God is, I feel, not a useful one in science. As Karl Popper stated, if you cannot provide any method by which your statement can be falsified then it is not science. He used the example of gravity fairies. Minute and invisible and undetectable, thet push all matter towards all other matter. The fact that I cannot disprove their existence that does not prove they exist. Science lives or dies by falsification, I agree. The logical conclusion of this, however, is that if you cannot falsify something, it does exist.

    1. Wizard

      Joanna,

      Please take a look at greenmedinfo.com where you will find a bewildering number of studies on UV exposure from sunshine.

      Reply
    2. Eric

      Well, I understood the statement that sunshine prevents malignant melanoma to be based on the Berwick paper. However, its authors only looked at patients who already had been diagnosed with melanoma, so not having looked also at melanoma-free people, they had no way of concluding that sun exposure prevents malignant melanoma. In fact they only concluded that melanoma in people with more sun exposure are more survivable. They wonder whether this is due to increased vitamin D production or due to better protection and repair mechanisms (last but one paragraph).

      They also excluded certain conditions (paragraph with the caption Patients), and I am not knowledgeable enough to say whether this might constitute a selection bias.

      Back to Malcolm’s statement: is there a metastudy that looks at sun exposure vs. occurence of melanomas?

      I am aware of these studies for the con part:
      – skin cancer is more prevalant on the arm and facial half of the side that faces the driver window (which will depend on which side of the road is considered the right one in each country)
      – skin cancer is more prevalent in long distance, marathon, ironman runners

      pro:
      – statements in the comment section that skin cancer in the US was almost unheard of until the 1950s (did they use the same diagnostic criteria as today?)
      – statements in the comment section that melanoma grow where the sun never shines (any link to back this up? bathing costumes don’t necessarily have a high SPF, and then in some countries nude sunbathing was and is not unheard of)

      On a side note:
      – where and when would one get sufficient UVB exposure in Sweden?
      – what is residential sun exposure?

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        There has never been, and never will be, a controlled study looking at sun exposure, and skin cancer. It would be impossible and unethical. What I can tell you is that malignant melanomas can develop in places that are never, ever, exposed to the sun. The vagina, the oesophagus, the inner lining of the nose. In the UK, those with the lowest malignant melanoma rates are farmers and construction workers. My statement that sunshine protects you from malignant melanoma comes from a number of different studies. None of which stated that, as fact, but all of which when looked at in a different manner, strongly suggest that greater sun exposure is protective.

        IN reply to one of your side notes. ‘Where and when would one get sufficient UVB exposure in Sweden?’ ON holiday in Greece I would imagine.

      2. Maureen H

        Eric, sun exposure necessary for Vit D production at the same latitude as Stockholm: Oct to March no Vit D produced. April to May, 30-50 mins from 8am to 11am and 4 to 6 pm, 20 to 30 mins from 11am to 3pm. June to Aug, 25 to 40 mins.from 8am to 11am and 4-6 pm, 15 to 20 mins from 11 to 3pm. This is taken from Dr. Micheal Hollick’s tables, in his book “The Vitamin D Solution”. there is much more information such as percentage of body exposed, skin type which affects length of exposure and so on.

      3. Eric

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987708005999

        Diane Godar of the FDA hypothesized that office- and car-dwellers get an extra dose of UVA (which is transmitted to an astonishing degree through most building and car glass) sans the UVB needed to offset the damage done by the UVA.

        If this is true, the sunscreen we used in the 70s and 80s did more harm than good, because it filtered mostly UVB.

        Now, where does one buy UV-B transparent foil or glass? Fused silica comes to mind but is probably a tad expensive…

      4. Gary Ogden

        Eric: I think she may very well be correct. This would explain the seven or eight skin cancers I’ve gotten on my face and arms. For many years I drove more than two hours a day when the sun was low.

      5. Socratic Dog

        Be careful lumping together stats about “skin cancer” with those on melanoma. Malignant melanoma is one of three types of skin cancer, and the most fearful. One of them, basal cell carcinoma, seems clearly related to sun exposure, it commonly occurs on the tip of the nose, the cheek bones, the tips of ears, the back of the hands, places that do get more sun, and particularly in outdoor workers. That doesn’t mean the same applies to melanoma. Which seems to have escaped the “protect or perish” boys.

      6. Socratic Dog

        I wasn’t thinking of you there Malcolm, it was one or two of the posters.
        And thanks for your responsiveness, to someone posting several months after the article went up. I admire your work, I learned a lot from the two books of yours I read. Doctoring Data, in particular, has swollen my arsenal when it comes to arguing with my colleagues in the medical field. My father, a retired general surgeon well into his 80’s, also enjoyed it immensely. Keep it up.
        Incidently, my father had a sub-specialty in skin cancers, and dealt with a lot of melanoma. He told me perhaps 40 years ago to throw away the sunblock and get a good healthy tan. He often remarked on the number of melanomas he’d taken off old ladies bottoms, places where the sun don’t shine.

  4. Kevin O'Connell

    Very timely – I can probably now get natural D3 here. Sun zenith ca.50 degrees is standard requirement but reduces with altitude. You can check whether you can make any D3 where you are by entering your location here: http://www.solartopo.com/solar-orbit.htm.

    I’m now tailing off my UVB lamp & supplements down to zero for the spring-summer-autumn (except continuing supplements when visiting less sunny climes).

    Reply
  5. Ann Walker

    Forwarded to the daughters who slather the grandchildren with Factor 100 every time they venture outdoors…. many thanks as ever. Everyone is interested in health. We need a serious TV programme called ‘Dr Kendrick will see you now’ asking a few awkward questions.

    Reply
  6. Jerome Burne

    Good to see more evidence for sanity around sunbathing. Dermatologist need to be rounded up together with dietitians, cardiologist and neo-liberal economists and forced into serious penance for promoting damaging ideas about health and unregulated markets.

    More relevant to the sun and heart disease is some research I wrote about last year on the role of nitric oxide and heart disease.There is an alternative to the suggestion that it is vitamin D that is providing the cardiovascular benefit from sunbathing. A researcher in Scotland recently suggested that nitric oxide is the key to what is going on. The interesting point is that it involves the different effects of UVA and UVB.

    I wrote about it in the D Mail here:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3176488/The-recipe-long-healthy-life-Celery-beetroot-rich-nitrates-help-lower-blood-pressure.html

    Here is the relevant passage:

    “A team headed by Professor Richard Weller, a senior lecturer in dermatology at Edinburgh University, made the completely unexpected discovery that our skin contains large stores of nitric oxide which are released into the blood when exposed to the UVA rays in sunlight. To get vitamin D you need UVB, the burning rays linked to cancer.

    Professor Weller believes vitamin D’s reputation for heart protection has been piggy-backing on the benefits of UVA. ‘The result is that a fairly short sun exposure can lower your blood pressure,’ he says.

    Professor Weller’s research, which has so far been carried out on animals, has put him on a collision course with conventional wisdom — and colleagues.”

    I have references in my files if anyone is interested.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Please lets see them because it is my belief that Vitamin D is a vital supplement particularly for those of us elderly folk. I already have many including some that claim no benefit, which, when examined, are found to be using trivial, but recommended, doses. I use 5,000 IU daily and my blood level is well into the optimal level – not the level based on a semi-deficient population as in the UK

      Patently the sun is the best source for those who still can still make their own but those whose capability is limited, supplementation is a good practice. What surprises me is that while the CMO promotes Vit D, the NHS is reluctant to provide the necessary testing. Indeed in my local NHS Trust Hospital, none of the notice boards in the dermatology mention nothing about Vit D; only frightening warnings about cancer from sun exposure. More astroturfing!

      A useful website on this topic is http://www.vitamindcouncil.org . Also Dr Michael Holick is a lead researcher on this subject but as a warning he lost his job with the ADA (d=dematology) because he wrote a book proposing a short exposure to sun before applying sunscreen which annoyed the sunscreen manufactures who financially sponsor the ADA. Another example of commercial interference in health to enhance profits.

      Reply
      1. Anne

        I’m lucky – my NHS GP gives me a prescription for vitamin D3 (20,000 IU capsules in medium chain triglycerides – I take one a week in winter, one a fortnight in summer which averages at 2,800 IU per day in winer, 1,400 IU per day in summer) and I get my levels of D tested every six months which is done via the local NHS hospital. This is how it has been for me for nearly 8 years ! My current level of D is an optimal 156 nmol/L – been around that level for most of the 8 years. I suppose it depends on your local area whether they are up on vitamin D – mine is Surrey.

        My only concern is, as Ted Hutchinson wrote in an earlier blog of Dr K is that I should be taking the D daily as that has a better effect on the vascualr system. I might buy my own vitamin D at 2,500 IU per day which will be roughly the same as the NHS prescription in total. Vitamin D3 isn’t expensive. And I’ll still get the six monthly test via my GP no problem.

        I still enjoy the sun – when it shines ! And when I have my hols in France I don’t take any supplemental D – don’t need it there 🙂

      2. Mr Chris

        Dear Mike,
        A belated reply to your post, inspired by having installed the Dminder app.
        I too supplement with vitamin D on 5000 IU a day, but am rather ashamed to rell people. I told my doctor when he commented on my high level following a blood test, and he went white faced. Another Doctor had told me to take 25000 IU once a month and that would be slowly released into the blood, whereas following the link given by another poster, I found that that seems to not be the case, and that most of the massive dose ended up as expensive urine.
        The advantage of Dr K’s blog is he obliges me to think and to question. This detour into the sun has certainly done that

  7. Michael Haysom

    It seems that what one says is bad, another says is good.

    Hence my view that it is all just someone’s opinion on the day.

    XXX

    Reply
  8. Agg

    I knew it!! And every year when warmer days approach I am amazed how we (i.e. official advice) managed to get this one wrong.

    Reply
  9. JanB

    Yes, of course it’s good for you and I for one am impatiently waiting for the big warm up so that I can get out in it (without sun block, without clothes). Avert your eyes, neighbours.
    How refreshing it is to read such good sense. Thank you, Dr. K – you did it again.

    Reply
    1. Frederica Huxley

      Yes! I have also found that a low carb, high fat diet, and Astaxanthin, have meant that I do not suffer sun burns as I did when I was younger.

      Reply
      1. Spokey

        Careful it’s not just because you’re suppressing your thyroid & immune system via carb dodging. Cortisol suppresses inflammation and immunity.

    2. BobM

      That’s interesting. I have been on a low carb diet for over two years, and last year got sun burnt. However, I have a difficult time building up sun exposure, as I’m in an office all the time. I’m going to try to get out more during the work week, but where I work, there’s no place to sit outside (or else I would take my computer and work with me).

      Reply
      1. JDPatten

        Skin is very clever. It’s set up to synthesise vitamin D from cholesterol as the raw ingredient. (Necessary stuff,cholesterol.)
        And… your skin is clever enough to shut down D protection when there’s plenty enough.
        So, if you supplement, your skin tans more readily.
        Also, (Little-known-fact to follow) D that’s produced on your skin by the sun takes time to be absorbed. Up to two days. If you come in from sunbathing and shower, you get little D benefit.
        General info source: vitamindcouncil.org

    3. mikecawdery

      Now that is an interesting observation that should be followed up by research but won’t be because research money comes from Big Pharma and Vit D does not earn them any money.

      Reply
      1. Angela Staniford

        Chris Masterjohn works on fat soluable vitamins – Vit D,K2, A. Check out his blog or see him on Youtube

    4. Primal Blueprint Explorer

      I have been on a moderately low carb Primal Blueprint Paleo diet for about 6 years. The only time I have gotten a (slight) sunburn was when I had to take nasty Amiodarone for a couple months. (It increases sun sensitivity as well as doing many many other bad things.)

      Reply
  10. Ed

    As always, a beacon to the truth, and frankly, obvious. May your torch illuminate the dark labrynths of modern medicine. P.s thanks to Glaxo, Novartis etc……

    Reply
    1. jo heeley

      We were invented under the sun, we’d all die if it wasnt there. As long as you dont cook relentlessly and burn yourself, then I’m sorry, I wont believe its bad and I WILL go out in it – a bit of sun makes everyone feel good, why hide ourselves from it

      Reply
  11. Nayan

    Hi Dr Kendrick.

    Great Blog.
    I wanted to get your thoughts on the way unhealthy choices affect life expectancy.

    Do they mean that people tend to die peacefully, but just a few years earlier?
    or do they mean that some people ‘get away with bad choices’ while others crap out, and die nastier deaths in ill health way before their time? so that on balance bad choices bring down your expected longevity – but you need to appreciate you run a bigger chance of a more unpleasant end.

    I suspect the truth is between the two extremes but would appreciate your take on it.

    regards

    Reply
      1. ellifeld

        Should have left a bit more information, it’s a study of the Victorian age before modern medicine that showed people actually lived as long as they do today, without the many degenerative diseases that we have.

  12. Marian Callender

    I’m a redhead and always careful in the sun as being burnt is very unpleasant. It has puzzled me for years why being out in the sun is so pleasurable when it’s supposed to be so bad for us. I use suncream as necessary to stop burning but really enjoy soaking up the rays. Thank you Dr Kendrick for taking the guilt away. In recent years the more I’ve read has changed my thoughts about heart disease and (separately) the dangers of the sun. It’s great to have more research overturning the current “group think” on both these topics. As a former nurse I look forward to more evidence backing up my thoughts on these topics. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  13. Jeff

    I personally believe sun exposure is good for overall health.
    But I would have thought that the women in this study who have low sun exposure, might also tend to do less exercise and be more likely to suffer from chronic illness (non related).
    So to some extent sun exposure and an outdoor lifestyle is an effect of good health, not necessarily a cause.
    The authors may say they took this into account, but how could they know the amount of compensation to make ?
    There is just too many variables.

    Reply
  14. vjadams2014

    Not science, I know, but if I sit in the warm sun I can feel it doing me good!

    More scientifically, a veterinarian friend who is an expert on Vitamin D deficiency in reptiles (!) recommended this to me last year as a good overview of the state of research with regard to human Vitamin D deficiency. http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=PMC3761874&blobtype=pdfI

    It states, inter alia, that ” Serum 25(OH)D levels less than 30 ng/mL were associated with
    highly significant increases in the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and
    peripheral vascular disease. Serum 25(OH)D levels were also highly associated with
    coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke and with incident
    death, heart failure, coronary artery disease/myocardial infarction, stroke, and their
    composite.”

    Reply
  15. Barry

    Dr Kendrick,
    I agree 100%. The anti-sun crowd never appear to remotely understand the fundamental relationship between the sun and life. Nor do they seem to consider why skin colour varies according to the relationship of your ancestral position on Earth to the equator. Variation in disease types and patterns caused by moving away from your ancestral birthplace – glossed over. Carcinogenic chemicals in sunscreen (may start off relatively benign but UV causes unwelcome reactions). Skin cells that far more prone to damage because of the excessive inclusion of easily damaged vegetable based oils in the diet ilo healthy saturated fats.

    Inconvenient truths are many when it comes to skin cancer. Studies by Drs. Cedric and Frank Garland and Dr. Ed Gorham show that people who work outside have a lower incidence of melanoma than those that work inside. In the days that America was a rural agriculture based nation melanoma was so rare that separate statistics were not kept until the 1950s. Plus skin cancers appear on areas of the body not exposed to the sun.

    The only rule to remember for most people is to not burn. Having said that people need to be aware that just because you apply sunscreen and do not appear to be suffering skin damage doesn’t mean that you are not. It is essential to ensure that any sunscreen used protects against UVA and UVB. All modern sunscreen should, but until the late 1990s UVB only protection was the norm so you didn’t burn but meanwhile UVA caused damage deep in the skin. It is highly likely that this is one of the reasons for the increased incidence of skin cancer – thanks again Big Pharma.

    For those that want a comprehensive overview I recommend The Vitamin D Solution by Michael Holick. Also take a look at https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/ and the articles on cholesterol sulphate and sunshine. In her section Essays on Health there is this http://stephanie-on-health.blogspot.be/2008/11/sunscreen-and-low-fat-diet-recipe-for.html (item 11).

    Reply
  16. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Good to know today when the sun is shining from a blue sky and I am enjoying my life long vacation in the garden. Now helping my wife to erect her yurt we can live close to ‘nature’ during the summer and with a stove inside we can also cook some grass fed beef or wild catch fish to further add to our D-vitamin stock.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      I so envy your way of life….you and your wife must enjoy every moment of your natural existence…..it sounds ideal, and well done to you both!
      Me and mine are getting there….it is such a good feeling, and many thanks to the great contributors here.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Jennifer,

        Thank you for your encouragement.

        My wife asked me today:

        “Isn’t it weird to build a yurt i Sweden?”

        since these houses actually belongs to the Mongolian culture. (Google on that!)

        We are just now reading aloud as often an interesting book, and discussing, “The Origins of the Irish” by the archeologist J.P. Mallory. Here we find that the circular house (as the yurt) was the norm during the bronze ages as it also was among the lapps ( the Sami people) in northern Sweden until about a hundred years ago. My wife has her roots here.

        And good luck with your common ‘trip’ back to ‘nature’ 🙂

    2. Mr Chris

      Dear Goran,
      Surprised you can sleep in a yurt in summer . My son lives in Vallda, you presumably are also near Goteborg, we sleep in a little summerhouse in the garden when we are there.

      Reply
    1. Barry

      Vanwin,
      Try a cream such as Aveeno (often recommended by doctors) with approx. 10 to 20% by weight MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) added. Aveeno daily moisturising lotion or body lotion shea butter will probably be suitable but add to whatever you like. You can also take MSM orally (very safe) but note that some people find it upsets their stomach a little at first so start low and build up. If it doesn’t upset your stomach suggest aiming for 5 to 10 gms per day (go for lowest effective dose) added to any drink or yogurt. Doesn’t taste nice but a minor inconvenience if it helps you.
      Here’s a link to a patent application containing MSM (scroll down) which suggests it is of value https://www.google.com/patents/WO2013159140A1?cl=en .
      Magnesium oil is also very good for the skin but I suspect that you would find it far too painful to apply (like salt in a cut).

      Reply
      1. vanwin

        Thank you Barry for an early reply. My problem is that my normal doctor and my skin specialist have both told me to never go in the sun again, not a bit. But Doc Kendrick whom I admire, says I should. It seems to me that if the sun caused this problem I would be a fool to ask for more. So far nobody has called it cancer but the last treatment was very strong and I am now covered in what were giant blisters, now become dark red great burnt red areas. I cannot believe that going back into the sun would be a good idea, as much as I admire our host.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Sun exposure increases likelihood of survival after malignant melanoma has been diagnosed and ‘treated.’ Other forms of skin cancer e.g. BCC, SCC, rodent ulcers are ’caused’ by sun exposure. However, they are treatable and very unlikely to ever to kill you. You can also, most certainly, die of other things. Sun exposure reduces the risk of far more common cancers e.g. CRC, prostate and breast. And these are far, far, far, more likely to kill you.

      3. Anne

        Barry – Are there different types of Aveeno ? I just looked on Amazon and can’t find one with methyl sulfonyl methane added. I would be interested as I have sun damage on face and areas of skin normally exposed to sun (I’m very fair skinned though I don’t burn easily, I just get damage !).
        Anne

    2. Barry

      Vanwin,
      If I had your skin condition my approach would be to try and get the obvious manifestations of the illness under control (which I hope MSM will do – give it time to work) – and then slowly expose my skin to the sun and go from there. If you can get your skin back to normal I’d add magnesium oil into the equation (saturated solution of magnesium chloride in mineral water) is a good skin tonic and provides magnesium to your body. Apply and leave for approx. 20 to 30 mins then rinse off. I would also eliminate all industrial processed food from my diet as although not listed as a cause of your condition it does not provide anything of value to your body and, overall, increases the risk of illness.
      If you find you cannot tolerate the sun then take vitamin D to compensate – not forgetting vitamins A and K2 to balance.
      Wishing you success!

      Reply
    3. mr Chris

      vanwin
      and me, I alsohave Actinic Keratosis, and the dermatology guy told me always a hat, put sunblock F50 on when you get up, and Diclofenac cream on the forehead every night
      So now what?

      Reply
  17. Frederica Huxley

    I have always wondered why there are cases of melanoma in areas of the body where the sun doesn’t shine, often on people who have assiduously avoided sun exposure. Unfortunately, as you say, it will take a great deal more than the Swedish study, and common sense, to alter the prevailing dogma.

    Reply
  18. Sylvia

    So precious, free, relaxing, uplifting. You can practically feel your BP go down as that lovely inward sigh expresses itself. Can take the dogs out without applying all the layers needed. In between hospital shifts used to get out as much as possible to fortify myself for an A/E stint. Get cabin fever in the winter though still walk a lot. I am looking out at a dull still day and like mole in Wind in the Willows, feel a stirring.

    Reply
  19. Lor

    Methinks the manufactures of Sun Factor 30-100+ creams have been scaremongering us into believing that we have to pay a small fortune to protect ourselves and our loved one from the sun’s rays. In the olden days I plastered on some local olive oil and fried myself for hours on end in the sunshine on a golden beach in Greece. I knew to avoid the midday sun as it was too intense for my peely-wally fair skin. Perhaps this was not the healthiest way of overdosing on sunshine for two weeks per year but I am a diehard. I don’t believe everything the food and drugs industry would have me believe. I do slap a bit of cream nowadays hoping that it will smooth out the wrinkles. However I absolutely refuse to believe that drinking eight glasses circa 2 litres of water per day will hydrate my skin and make those damn wrinkles disappear. Who invented bottled water? Those who voted to chlorinate our tap water beyond palatable?

    Reply
  20. Maureen H

    Wonderful, thanks Dr. K!
    Here at Latitude 44 in southern Canada, I start my sunning in March, the sun is just high enough that UVB can make Vit D. On sunny days at noon, I go out on my sheltered and private back deck, protected from the wind by a wooden clothes dryer draped with sheets. Even at 0 degrees it is comfortable. 10 minutes each side for now, will be increased gradually to 20 to 30 mins a side.
    Back in the fifties my sister had TB, she was in a TB hospital in Wales. The wards were mostly “open air”, one wall was a curtain that was drawn back during the day, and the children’s beds were rolled outside in good weather. Fresh air and sunshine were a major treatment strategy. Compare that with today’s hospitals, sealed up, no fresh air, artificial lighting. When I was a young student nurse in the early sixties, bed sores were common. One of our ward sisters would have patients wheeled outside and the area was exposed to sunshine. It was more effective than all the creams and stuff we’d apply.

    Reply
    1. Hugh Mannity

      I trained as a radiographer in Norwich in the early 1970s. The male orthopedic ward was full of young men in traction (mostly from motorcycle accidents). The ward was actually a pavilion with huge french doors, so on sunny days they’d wheel the guys outside to get fresh air and sunshine.

      As a child, I got cod liver oil capsules in the winter and sent outside to play in the summer. Until i went to boarding school. Then I spent the winters sick as a dog but was fine all summer.

      For a while I lived in Bahrain, spent a lot of time outdoors all year round, never used sunscreen, never burned, but being a red-head, didn’t really tan either.

      These days I live in Massachusetts, and supplement with D3 in the winter and get as much outside time as I can in summer.

      Reply
  21. Sally Wagstaff

    I bloody knew it ­ and I¹ve always given the advice a stiff ignoring to. Thanks again Dr M, you¹re a star.

    From: “Dr. Malcolm Kendrick” Reply-To: “Dr. Malcolm Kendrick” Date: Wednesday, 23 March 2016 09:01 To: Sally Wagstaff Subject: [New post] Sunbathing is good for you

    WordPress.com Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “News announcer: ŒWe interrupt the series of blogs on Œwhat causes heart disease¹ to bring you (slightly delayed), breaking news from SwedenŠ Sunbathing is good for you. Shock horror etc.¹ Someone sent me this news story today, and I thought I should sh”

    Reply
  22. Gary Ogden

    Avoiding the sun carries the same risk as smoking should be shouted from the treetops. Hell’s bells! I personally am out in the garden in shorts and sans shirt at midday all sunny days between early March and late September, vitamin D time here at latitude 37 degrees north, and out in the garden every day year-round, NO time everywhere. And I feel like a spring chicken.

    Reply
  23. Rob Evans

    Dear Sir
    Interesting associations.
    What about individuals like myself.
    Fair and 65 who used to try and get a tan when younger.I tried and tried only to get sunburn .
    Now I have had one BCC removed and numerous solar keratoses for which I have to apply a topical “chemotherapy”.
    Confused as to best way foreward.
    Kindest Regards
    Dr R Evans
    NB Not medical doctor.

    Reply
  24. Colin MacDonald

    The government health advice has always been: wear factor 50, wear a hat, and stay in the shade between 11 and 3. They then blithely state that the body can generate all its daily requirement of vitamin D from a mere 15 minutes sun exposure to the face and hands. 2 things to consider here. One, how many working people in sunny Scotland can actually get that exposure? We tend not to spend our lunch hours outside and the sun tends not to shine. Two, how can you get your 15 minutes sun if you’re following the same advice telling you to stay in the shade.
    There has been so hectoring nannying advice from the government that has turned out to be either directly harmful (sun starvation, limit oily fish) or lead to unhealthy outcomes (remove saturated fat from our diet and kill ourselves with sugar instead). I think it’s safer just to ignore government advice on health until hard evidence shows otherwise.

    Reply
    1. gollum

      I am gonna add some hearsay here which is probably true, but I did not do the research or studied the facts myself.

      Hearsay 1 – Body makes much less Vitamin D than thought. Optimal exposure for 2×15..20 min (2x because you need to turn around duh) in full unadulterated summer sun. That’s saturation, more than that won’t help. IIRC this FULL exposure was said to generate 5000..20000 IU equivalent. Sun in late autumn and winter (even at noon) has POOR TO NO EFFECT in Northern Europe. My source for this is Mr. Nicolai Worm who has studied this in detail and dispelled some myths.

      Hearsay 2 – Skin cancer is a racket. Sun can cause damage to skin, burns, basalioma and other nasty problems. But the evil, almost-uncurable black melanoma don’t seem to appear where the sun burnt you. My source for this is dissident magazine from 1999 iirc, and they have been known to complain about not enough statination, so I would advise to check the data yourself.

      Reply
      1. JDPatten

        Hearsay 1:
        How many of us go in and shower after a nice sweaty sunbath? Nice and refreshing.

        And it washes the D away.
        It’s synthesised on the skin’s surface and takes a while to be absorbed.

        I wonder how much research is messed up because of our Western hyper-concern over hygiene.
        I wonder how much health is messed up.

      2. Maureen H

        Re washing Vit D off the skin, according to the first link here, from the Vit D Council, yes some is washed off.
        https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/blog/washing-away-vitamin-d/
        According to Dr Micheal Holick, no it isn’t. The following is from a webinar at GrassrootsHealth:
        “One of the issues and one of the questions that will be coming up will be ‘can you wash Vitamin D off of your skin, immediately after being exposed to sunlight”? The answer is “no”, and the reason is that the Vitamin D is produced in the living cells in your skin, mainly in your epidermis, so you cannot remove it from your skin. When you’re exposed to ultraviolet radiation, not only do you make Vitamin D in your skin, but you also make beta-endorphin. We’d showed many years ago, that when you are exposed to UVB radiation, keratinocytes (the epidermal skin cells), produce beta-endorphin and this may be one of the reasons why people feel better when they’re exposed to sunlight. ”
        The full transcript is here:
        http://www.grassrootshealth.net/holicksuntranscription
        So what to think? My take is that maybe a bit is washed off, maybe not, but probably not enough to worry about.

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I must admit that I placed the ‘you can wash vitamin D off your skin after sunbathing’ in the unlikely part of my brain. Vitamin D will be being produced inside living cells, in the deeper layers of the skin, then released. The concept that it sits on the top of dead cells, ready to be washed off, seems… ahem. Put it this way. I shall still be showering shortly after sunbathing.

      4. JDPatten

        OK. Nevermind.
        ‘Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.’ Ben Franklin.
        It seems that might well be applied to everything I’ve thought I’ve known.
        (sigh!)

  25. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick,

    Another excellent contribution. For some years now, my wife and I have taken Vit D and Vit C supplements and have not had a flu-type infection (with fever) or cold along with the mandatory vaccine. In previous years I have had flu vaccination – the outfit I worked for instituted staff vaccination to reduce days lost due to “flu”. As a research organization they had a excellent statistics department and they found this saved nothing so finally it was cancelled. In my own case vaccination or not ended up each year with 2-3 sessions of flu (with fever)

    I also have a paper sent to me by the UK DoH which showed that the lower 95%CI could be as low as 7% effective. We now take the flu vaccination so that the practice can tick the appropriate box on their QoF forms.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      Mike, I am confused. Do you take the vaccine just so the GP can tick the box, and so get paid?
      I have refused it now for the 4th winter….a bit of a “deal or no deal” scenario….but so far I am on the winning side, I am pleased to say.
      Good food, no toxic meds, and staying away from the surgery seems to be the answer for me….but the texts and letters continue to come asking me to conform, and that in itself causes me consternation….but I am trying to be strong, and have resolved only to seek medical help when obviously needed….prophylaxis is a dirty word in my dictionary.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        Jennifer, I’m with you and I no longer go to my annual check up where I spent most of the time explaining things to the nurse. I’d specifically ask them to stop texting or writing to you. They need your consent.

    2. Anna

      I wish more people would refuse the shot, so that all this mandating and pressure would at least be less successful. I’ve heard those with a yearly flu shot get more Alzheimers. I haven’t yet looked into it though.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Anna: The flu shot is estimated to be 1% effective here in the U. S., and those who get it repeatedly are more likely to get the flu. Never in my adult life have I gotten the flu. A well-primed immune system is the best prevention.

      2. JDPatten

        Gary,
        I’ve gotten my flu shot every year here in the US. (A lotta years!) Never got the flu.
        “…and those who get it repeatedly are more likely to get the flu.”
        I’ve not heard of this.
        Can you show a reference?

      3. Gary Ogden

        JDPatten: I’m searching for it. May take a day or two, but I’ll get back to you. Good information on Dr. David Brownstein’s blog about the flu shot, and this may be where I read it. In any case, don’t believe what newspapers or TV (or the CDC) say about the flu. Very few actually succumb to it.

      4. ellifeld

        I think you’re right about the numbers dying from flu. I think the figure is always 33,000?! somehow? but I read somewhere, maybe Mercola, that number includes pneumonia deaths. They stopped distinguishing between the two.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Yes, the numbers of yearly “flu deaths” published by the CDC are about as reliable as most of their pronouncements. That is, completely unreliable. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is correct when he says that the CDC is a cesspool of corruption. On June 1st, 1984 the FDA published the following in the Federal Register, “. . . any possible doubts, whether or not well-founded, about the safety of the vaccine [polio], cannot be allowed to exist. . . .” Thus ended our first amendment free speech rights, and it is no wonder recent events at the Tribeca Film Festival have played out the way they have. The censored film concerned CDC fraud.

  26. Barry

    Emma,
    Plenty of articles about autism here https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/ plus, hidden away in Essays, http://stephanie-on-health.blogspot.be/2008/11/sunscreen-and-low-fat-diet-recipe-for.html .
    We truly live in a twisted world where we have access to an immense amount of knowledge that should enable us to make the best of our short time here on Earth but at the same time a vast majority of the populace are so woefully ignorant – much to the delight of the pharmaceutical and food industries.

    Reply
  27. Steve Crook

    Have read elsewhere thoughts that it’s not the regular exposure to the sun, but the intermittent exposure of those not used to it. So if you’re out early in the year and get a good slow tan over several weeks, well done. If you rush out on a hot day or get sunburn two or three times a year, on vacation, probably not so good.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Head and neck melanoma was associated with less sun exposure on holidays at low latitudes (OR 0.39, 95% CI (0.23-0.68) for >13 h/year compared to <3.1). Overall the clearest relationship between reported sun exposure and risk was for average weekend sun exposure in warmer months, which was protective (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.50-0.89 for highest versus lowest tertile of exposure). Serum vitamin D levels were strongly associated with increased weekend and holiday sun exposure. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21084183

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        May be this is the source of Steve’s observation.
        Lower Vitamin D Levels Predict Poor Survival Outcomes in Melanoma

        http://www.cancernetwork.com/news/lower-vitamin-d-levels-predict-poor-survival-outcomes-melanoma?GUID=E4C0C7DB-F112-49D8-B5D1-93653B3D8623&rememberme=1&ts=23032016

        On a multivariate analysis that adjusted for age, sex, disease stage, blood draw season, and CRP, vitamin D levels remained significantly associated with survival outcomes

        But thanks Dr Kendrick for the Pubmed link.

  28. David Bailey

    I wonder if this relates to the interesting phenomenon called Hormesis. Things that do you harm at high levels (which actually includes just about everything, including water) can be beneficial at lower levels.

    There is an interesting book by Tony Edwards, which analyses the medical evidence for/against recreational consumption of ethanol (drinking!), “The good news about booze”. It would seem moderate drinkers suffer less disease that teetotallers, provided that they don’t become addicted and start drinking to excess. The optimal amount to drink varies from disease to disease, but is generally more than I drink!

    This turns out to be a general effect for a range of toxins:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis

    Thus extrapolating back from the effect of massive doses – say of UV – to more normal levels, may be completely misleading. Even vital trace elements, such as selenium, or copper are extremely toxic at higher levels.

    Reply
    1. annielaurie98524

      I just located a copy of Edwards’ book for sale, and it’s on its way here. I’ll have to share some tidbits after I read it. BTW, I wonder if there was only a very small printing — the cheapest I could find it, even in a used paperback version, was 36 USD.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        There is a very cheap Kindle version. His book reminds me of Malcolm Kendrick’s books – a relaxed style combined with careful data analysis.

  29. Mo Bass

    Sensible exposure to sunlight is good but I live in Cape Town and I had a 2.4mm deep malignant melanoma with a prognosis of a 5% chance of living 5 years. Fortunately, my immune system was so efficient that the melanoma and the secondaries inverted.
    I regularly have squamous carcinomas frozen on my shoulders, back and face and I have an all over skin examination every three months which has resulted in further suspected melanomas being surgically removed. On the adviice of my dermatologist, I expose my lower arms to the sun for 20 minutes 3-4 times a week to replenish my Vit D.

    Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        This reminds me of a student mate I had who was brought up at the west coast of Sweden and he was among the most vigorous, healthy guys I ever met. He told me that he spent each summer in the coast line with his canoe and that he during these month turned almost black.

        Coming back to ‘civilisation’, having his first indoor bath, didn’t remove this dark colour.

  30. Bob Niland

    re: Sunshine is good for you.

    We need to ponder: in the context of what diet, and at what target titer of 25-hydroxy Vitamin D?

    Personal anecdote: I used to sunburn badly on S.A.D. and later Zone Diet. I no longer do. What changed? Diet is now very low net carb (grain-free), high specific fat, low inflammatory (esp. ω6LA), ample prebiotic fiber, and supplementing a short list of common modern micronutrient deficiencies, including 6000 IU or more D3. Which fixed the sunburn? Beats me, but I’ll take it.

    I’m going to conjecture that increasing sun exposure is unwise on any diet that promotes skin inflammation. Grain eating (esp. wheat) commonly results in chronic skin ailments. I suspect that an unfavorable ω6:ω3 fats ratio, with excess linoleic acid (LA) is also a skin hazard. Modern food-like substances are drowning in industrial ω6LA. Diets that promote edema are similarly suspect.

    re: …there is little or no evidence that it [vitamin D supplementation] actually does any good.

    As with EPA&DHA studies, the devil may be in the dose. At titers down around RDA, D3 supplementation may well have no effect. In the US, both Drs. Davis & Perlmutter recommend a titer of 60 to 70 ng/dL (well above RDA), and have cites to support their positions, but this is also in the context of the grain-free LCHF diets they advocate.

    Getting D3 from the sun is the ideal way to do it, but we can’t all be lifeguards on the Med. Latitude, weather and job/lifestyle factors conspire to prevent sun exposure, and being over age 40 prevents maximum benefit from what we do get.

    I would not encourage anyone to increase sun exposure if they are on either a consensus diet, or any dissident diet that has lingering skin issues. Vitamin D supplementation has another caveat – it’s apparently an inverted U-shaped response curve, with hazards for too little or too much.

    Multi-factorial, it would seem.

    Reply
    1. Angela Staniford

      Not if you take vit A too. D3 and A and K2 are co factors. D3 becomes toxic if there is non of the others to enable it to be processed. According to Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue (Vit K2 and the Calcium Paradox)

      Reply
    2. gollum

      Apart from the toxicity issues, Vitamin D is a hormone. It acts in many ways some of which are not well understood yet. It may have a slight anabolic quality, which is a fancy way of saying it will make you hungrier and bulkier.

      It is good to have enough Vitamin D, but Vitamin D levels may act as signals to your body. As an example, dropping D levels start hibernation in fuzzy little animals. I am guilty of (currently) eating a lot of D in the winter, too, to fill up, but this may not be optimal. Just as with fruits and carbs and generous food all year around, “the summer that never ended” theory, it may be better to end the summer and cycle.

      Vitamin D whether in fish, pill or oil form, also does not release NO under your skin as sun does. Probably doesn’t matter since most of the population lacks the arginine for that anyway. Okay, that was just a joke. I don’t have any data about this.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        According to the Pub Med research I read, the typical American diet includes 5-6 gram per day of arginine.

  31. Colombo

    Ok, now they’ll try to sell creams and lotions that increase UV absorption. In a few years, it will be a crime to fail to rub such ointment to your 18 month old baby.

    Reply
  32. Nigella P

    I have always wondered how a species that originally wore little clothing & emerged from Africa could be so prone to damage from the sun. It sounds as though we are not as prone afterall.

    Recent blood tests showed that I was Vit D deficient. My GP told me to expose my skin for 20 mins per day but not between 11am & 3pm. I asked how this would be possible, given I work indoors 5 days per week with a lunch hour between noon & 2pm! No sensible answer came back.

    I literally crave the sun on my skin & feel amazingly recharged after spending time in the sun. My family ancestry is continental European, rather than northern European and I am olive skinned, rather than fair – so I wonder if this might be the reason for both the craving & the Vit D deficiency.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Nigella,
      Typical response – stay out of the sun at the only time it will provide the UVB you require. It would be funny if not so serious! Having an olive skin means that unless living in southern europe you will always be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Equally it means that you can safety expose yourself to the sun much more than a somebody with fair skin from Scotland or northern Europe. The craving is your body telling you to get out into the sun.

      Reply
      1. Frederica Huxley

        There is an excellent app called D Minder – it tells you daily when the sun is angled such that UVB rays (the only ones that can make vitamin D in the skin) are able to penetrate the atmosphere. If you study the azimuth of the sun, you will find that this is why there is so little UVB penetration away from the equator for most of the year, and why the optimum time to catch UVB rays is over solar noon. Anyone who says to stay out of the noonday sun does not understand that UVA rays will not make vitamin D.

    2. Jennifer

      Oh dear me….Nigella. Another reason to steer clear of GPs?
      Unless I have misunderstood the whole thing about vitamin D, ( and maybe someone may need to put me straight ), my belief is to get 20-30mins sunshine onto your bare skin, i.e. with no sun screen cream, BUT get it at the height of the day’s sun, which will be 10am – 2pm, or 11am – 3 pm, dependent on GMT or BST in the UK. These are the hours at which the angle of the sun’s rays are most effective at vitamin D production. Am I correct, fellow bloggers? I would not like to mislead anyone.
      It seems prudent that we should get sun exposure as best we can in UK, so long as we do not burn the skin. Sunshine is mood enhancing, and god knows, we could all benefit from that side effect.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Jennifer: The sun must be above 50 degrees from the horizon for UVB rays to penetrate the atmosphere (except at high altitude), which depends on latitude, season, and time of day. In the temperate zone, that is from spring to fall, and best when the sun is at the zenith, or highest point in the sky for that day, which is solar noon. One wrinkle is (idiotic) Daylight Savings Time, which shifts solar noon to 1:00 p.m. I use a Naval Observatory web page (http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/AltAz.php) which is happy to disgorge this information for locations worldwide. Type in your location information, click create table, and look to the left side to see at what hours the sun will be above 50 degrees on that day. Curiously, the Naval Observatory is where the U.S. vice president lives (and twiddles his thumbs).

      2. Mr Chris

        Gary
        Great stuff, where I live, south of BrUssels, I am alright from early April, according to the US navy

  33. Tom Welsh

    @Frederica Huxley

    May I suggest that it may also be partly because skin gets thicker as we age, and so may not burn so quickly as tender young skin? Just a thought!

    Reply
  34. Illya

    According to the experts to absorb the maximum amount of beneficial sun rays you need to sunbathe in the buff. However, this is rarely practical.

    Reply
  35. DrAM

    Hi, the link below to a YouTube lecture by Ivor Cummins is very good on this topic. His cholesterol lecture is also well worth a look.

    Reply
  36. Gary Ogden

    Joanna Lyford: You can find the information you are looking for, concerning sun exposure and melanoma, in Dr. Mercola’s archives (where I found it), or do a Pub Med search. There is, in fact, good epidemiological evidence for the truth of what he said, and no evidence that I know of that it is false. Dr. Kendrick is giving us a free gift here, and allowing us to educate one another. He has had the graciousness to respond to you twice. Now I suggest you do some research yourself, and report back to us.

    Reply
  37. AlH

    I think it is necessary to give up washing for a couple of days to get the benefit of exposure to sunlight. It’s no problem, only dirty people wash

    Reply
  38. RW

    Another thought provoking article . Following removal of a BCC post op advice for my mother was to stay out of the sun for 2 yrs. A later clinic follow up with a Consultant who had a very noticeable sun tan said not to worry too much about sun exposure ! Maybe time to reduce the factor 50 .

    Reply
  39. Angela Staniford

    Nobody has mentioned something I read (maybe in the New Scientist but not sure). Apparently on exposure to sun melanin moves around in the skin cell to protect the mitochondria. Putting on sunscreen successfully stops UVA but the UVB is stopped also so that melanin can no longer do this leaving the mitrochondria totally vulnerable. Depending on memory here so hopefully this is what I read. The first part is definitely what I read – the second bit I’m not so confident about.

    Reply
    1. Angela Staniford

      Sigh! Woke up in the night realising that I mean cell nucleus – not mitochondria. If I had a memory I’d be dangerous.

      Reply
  40. annielaurie98524

    “Evidence has no impact on the pronouncements of the medical profession (at least not over the average human lifespan).” How true, even for those whose lifespan is above average from sun exposure. Yet, I (a scientist that gets very annoyed at pronouncements unsupported by evidence) constantly argue here is the US with arrogant folk that condemn integrative medicine because it is not “evidence based” medicine. We have an epidemic of irony deficiency here to go along with our vitamin D deficiency.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Evidence, (as in evidence-based medicine) is often suspect due to data selection, statistical manipulation and biased interpretation for various reasons including money, status and grants. Until open access to data is available, particularly to independent institutions like Cochrane, this problem will continue. One of my main criticisms is the use of HR/OR statistics without providing the raw data. This form of statistics is useful but without the raw data can be used to inflate the apparent benefit or the reverse. And then there are the practices that were or are based on no evidence – only “X-spurt” advice. Dr K’s “Doctoring Data” gives examples – book well worth reading!

      Reply
  41. cybernet24

    Malcolm I hope you are aware that you cannot make vit D in your skin unless your shadow is shorter than you are. You can check this out at your location Simple and easy test for your readers. Thus even at 37 south here in NZ we have zero sun vit D for around 4 months. Needless to say the MS rate is way less in Auckland v Invercargill. Another story. Unfortunately we still have our gp’s telling people to get out in the sun instead of taking D supplements. They won’t pay for Vit D level checks as they say you are ok if you don’t have any obvious disease. Check out vitamindcouncil.org or vitamindwiki.com. Maurice tauranga

    Reply
  42. Barry

    Anne (March 24).

    No, you need to buy MSM separately – sorry, I didn’t make that clear. Many sources and prices vary considerably. Personally I purchase from My Protein http://www.myprotein.com/home.dept as they have strict quality control procedures and often do promotions. Look under Bulk Powders http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/msm-powder/10529370.html . It’s also available via Amazon (best to search for My Protein MSM powder to save time).
    I empty the Aveeno into a suitable container, mix in the MSM and then use an icing gun to refill the plastic bottle. My wife finds it very effective as a face and body cream and far more effective than the ridiculously over-priced name cosmetic creams. Good as an after-sun especially if you overdo it a bit. Recommend that you buy both types of the Aveeno I recommended to Vanwin and determine which one you prefer (shea butter version is obviously more ‘creamy’ and better suited to drier skin). If you want to know more about MSM try this book https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Miracle-of-MSM/9780425172650
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
    1. Anne

      Thanks Barry – I’ll be looking into this. The skin on my nose is especially so fragile from sun damage that I’m beginning to get concerned.
      Anne

      Reply
  43. Wizard

    A great post Dr K. I have read much the same on Mercola.com as well as greenmedinfo.com as well as others. It is so frustrating that the medical lemmings keep on spouting the “keep out of the sun” message and even more depressing that the ignorant masses continue to swallow it hook, line and sinker. It seems that many people simply will not even consider the possibility that sunshine may benefit their health. The drones have been utterly brainwashed and are content to continue the journey down low fat freeway, past high carb corner and onto sunscreen strip………arriving just after 3pm of course!!!!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Indeed. The idea that the sun is bad for us would appear to fly in the face of evolutionary theory. It has been up there shining away for four billion years, give or take. Yet, humans are harmed by it? Did we not evolve to be outside in it, most of the time? Anyway, those who wish to accept mainstream medical advice are welcome to it. I ain’t going to change the world, but I hope that those who are willing to listen can end up healtheir and happei for it.

      Reply
      1. Michael W. Perry

        I think evolution is over-rated, but the very fact that those who live in higher latitudes with less sunlight adapted to use sunlight more efficiently suggests that its overall impact is positive. If sunlight were bad, that would not have happened. Swedes would have dark hair and eyes as well as routinely live to be 120.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I don’t know, for sure. However, I am preety certain that sun exposure does far more good things than simply increased vitamin D. For example it increases NO synthesis.

      3. Gary Ogden

        As far as I know, vitamin D supplements are a good thing to take if you can’t get sun exposure, such as in winter many places. Just be aware that vitamin D has no toxicity with good vitamin A status, and likewise vitamin A has no toxicity with good vitamin D status. Vitamins A, D, and K2 work synergistically in the body (The Daily Lipid is a good source of information about this). The ten best sources of vitamin A are (in IU/g) 1. Turkey giblets, 358. 2. Beef liver, 261. 3. Braunschweiger, 141. 4. Chicken liver, 133. 5. Butter, 25. 6. Cream, 14.7. 7. Egg yolk, 14.4. 8. Cream cheese, 13.4. 9. Muenster cheese, 10.1. and 10. Cheddar cheese, 10.0.

      4. gollum

        I have seen quoted insane amounts of Vitamin A in pig liver. A little caution is probably in order (contrary to my engrams, vitamin D seemed rather low unless it’s fish liver).
        Amounts like 500k-1000000 IU per kg in some samples (beefed up with supplementatin in livestock feed). This is on the border to serious. With B12 intrinsic factor, it is better to eat some ounces every 6 hours anyway I think.

        Pollmer just came out with a new scare about Calcium. Claims 1g/d is too much raising cardio risk.
        The mechanism is obviously hypercalcification seen also in vitamin D poisoning and similar diseases. Pollmer often raises interesting issues and he gives his sources, which is laudable, because you can read up on how they don’t support what he is saying 🙂 Yes it happens. So I simply have no time to evaluate these for 2 days. Anyone has a clue about them? Is the effect mitigated by vitamin A and K maybe? Is there much of an effect in otherwise healthy subjects or is it like cholesterol, a co-factor to a natural patchup process? (“Lowering gasoline levels prevented explosions RR=923%, p=0.02”)

      5. Gary Ogden

        According to a source I consider reliable, pork liver contains 216 IU/g vitamin A, compared to beef liver at 261 IU/g. This certainly will vary somewhat with diet, but a claim that it might have vast amounts makes no physiological sense, unless the source mistook a polar bear for a pig.

    2. gollum

      Well that’s factor 5. A lot but possible with sample variation and enriched feed.

      See
      http://www.bfr.bund.de/de/presseinformation/1995/20/schwangere_sollten_weiterhin_auf_den_verzehr_von_leber_verzichten-775.html

      [Wiki has a similar claim, but well Wiki..]

      BFR from 1995 and they describe how they found 18-37 mg/100 g, some samples >100mg! They say limits for Vit.A enrichment in livestock feed have been introduced but pregnant women etc etc

      WP says big one-doses are surprisingly well tolerated but I think if you eat a pound of liver every other day that’s could seriously hurt.

      Reply
  44. Mohammed Abbasi

    I think what I take away from this is that all things should be done in moderation- there’s obviously extremes in either direction for ie I would hardly say that getting sunburned is “okay” we know certain frequencies of UV light are directly associated with increased cell damage in the deeper layers of skin this can be a nidus for cancer-also why are people with less melatonin less prone to getting melanoma? Just saying I wouldn’t completely dismiss the hypothesis of UV rays increasing cancer risk though it may be exaggerated and yes it has led to fear mongering.
    Love your work by the way very interesting and informative.

    Reply
  45. Martin Back

    I used to love baking in the sun at the beach, then splashing about in the waves to cool off. Little did I know that I was washing off all the good vitamin D 😦

    Then I saw the pictures of Brigitte Bardot and what the sun had done to her skin. That was it. I treated the sun with respect after that. Always wear a hat, cover up, be careful not to burn.

    I’ve never used sunblock and I’ve got quite a farmer tan from working outdoors, but here in sunny South Africa you can get too much of a good thing.

    Reply
    1. Joe

      Martin Back:

      In my opinion, the sun didn’t do that. Her veganism did. Even vegetarians are more prone to wrinkles. Plus, she’s 81 years old and claims to have never had any “work” done. I believe her.

      I love BB, but I wish she’d eat some meat.

      Reply
  46. Michael W. Perry

    We should all keep in mind what I discovered when I was diagnosed with level-3 melanoma in 1990. Caught early enough, melanoma is easily excised and harmless. In contrast, the cancers that sunshine helps with are often caught late and are brutal to treat.

    Reply
  47. Sue Richardson

    Whether you accept evolution or not, I think it is pretty safe to say ‘Truly the light is sweet,
    And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun (Ecclesiastes 11:7 NKJV).
    Thank you for re introducing us to it’s benefits Dr K. What a shame we’ve been so frightened of it for all these years.

    Reply
  48. mikecawdery

    Re the News.

    I believe that this is a case of “those who do not want to see, will not see”, Too influenced by KOLs who defend their opinion to the death. It is also a function of the education system; God help those who challenge their teachers, particularly if they are eminent professors (puts qualification at risk – must remember what prof says). As Max Planck is reputed to have said “science progresses funeral by funeral”

    Reply
  49. Helen

    This has cheered me up no end. It’s Good Friday and the sun is shining here, high up at the north end of the Pennines, so I’ll be sitting outside today. Apparently winter is forecast to return for the remainder of Easter.

    Your blog and your exchange of views with Joanna Lyford have reminded me of a journal article from 2015 about the importance of counter-examples in medicine. The discussion concerns a different subject (T3 v. T4 in the treatment of hypothyroidism), but it sums up many of your concerns, I think.

    https://www.csom.ca/wp-content/uploads/A-Survey-Finds-Thousands-of-Patient-Counterexamples-Disputing-the-Enforced-Proscription-of-All-Triiodothyronine-Containing-Therapies-30.1.pdf

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      The major problem I have is that you can find evidence to support any point of view you decide to take about anything (just about). I have almost given up of references for that reason. What is the point of them. You can pick the ones you like and ignore the ones that you do not. If I may quote from Ionnaidis. ‘Risk factor epidemiology has excelled in salami-sliced data-dredged articles with gift authorship and has become adept to dictating policy from spurious evidence. Under market pressure, clinical medicine has been transformed to finance-based medicine. In many places, medicine and health care are wasting societal resources and becoming a threat to human well-being.’ http://www.jclinepi.com/article/S0895-4356(16)00147-5/abstract

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        Yes, this very true. Listen to your body and be sceptical is my personal guideline, those this sun good for you, has surprised me, because, don’t laugh, it had never occured to me to question it.
        On a slightly different tack, the scatter diagrams plotting cholestrol against death from all causes concern me a bit. I would have thought there were many imponderables here, and corelation is not causation.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Better to say that correlation is not necessarily causation. It usually isn’t, but can be. Satisfying all the Bradford Hill criteria can make a strong case. A good example is cigarettes (but not cigars or pipes) and lung cancer.

      3. David Bailey

        I agree with this very strongly!

        Most of the posters here (myself included!) seem to agree with you about the irrelevance of cholesterol to CVD, the dangers of statins (and poly-pharmacy), and that pushing people – particularly those with diabetes – into eating less fat, and thus more carbs is complete madness!

        However, what some of them seem to fail to see, is the larger picture – illustrated by that wonderful piece by Ioannidis – that the whole evidence base has been messed up to the point where in many areas it is essentially useless. Thus I feel frustrated by the number of people who post all kinds of very detailed dietary recommendations (often including supplements), supposedly justified by evidence, when it clearly cannot!

        This is clearly far less an issue for people who are discussing an actual disease. If a special diet can be used to treat some disease (say) then it is clearly going to be much easier to collect evidence for that assertion, than it can ever be to collect evidence that feeding some obscure supplement to well people will help to keep them well. The problems of studying groups of people to discover if this or that diet or supplement makes them live longer, or avoid certain diseases, must be essentially insuperable – but that will not stop those who work in the area, and the data will still accumulate, and be available to quote!

        The fact that saturated fat and blood cholesterol were demonised for so many years by medical science on such shoddy evidence should be telling us something frightening about medical science – and indeed modern science in general.

      4. Mr Chris

        David,
        I too have noticed how a lot who post have attenuated their medical problems withcomplicated diets and way-out supplements. Mytake on this is that like heart disease, the cure/way out is multi-factorial, and that the posters have found that this works for them. I also take this broadly as a nail in the statin coffin.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Well put. Captured by commercial interests is science and medicine. This applies to the media as well, whose major revenue streams come from the medical industry. At least in the U.S., no media outlet will publish anything about vaccine risks or injury, which, unfortunately, are all too real. They are simply swept under the rug.

      6. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Thank you for the nice reference to Ionnaidis.

        Having successfully turned my back to all the medical nonsense I have been exposed to during 17 years it is good to see that I am not all alone in my attitude.

      7. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Goran. The problem is that not all of it is nonsense. Some of it is very good. The problem is ‘how can you tell?’ if I say ‘well, I don’t believe that paper because of blah, blah, blah. But I do believe this because of blah, blah, blah.’ I can be accused of hypocrisy. Only choosing to believe what I decree to be believable. Believe everything, believe nothing, believe some… what to believe? We should not be here, but we are. I have my own way of deciding which studies/papers I pay attention to. However, I do not think this is an objectively testable system. It starts with putting everything into one of three categories. Probable, possible, unlikely. Then moving forward.

      8. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        “The problem is that not all of it is nonsense. Some of it is very good.”

        Malcolm, I fully agree!

        When I stated ‘all the medical nonsense’ it was actually the CVD-nonsense I had in mind. I am certainly not refusing antibiotics but here again it is the abuse in agriculture (for profits) which seems so questionable.

      9. JDPatten

        “Probable, possible, unlikely. Then moving forward.”

        Ah, that sounds great – for a title – of a blog post, or perhaps a book, where you can elaborate.
        I’m certain we’d all love to learn how your mind works.

      10. mikecawdery

        I frequently quote Ioannidis because he is right in his analysis and this supports other researchers such as Prof R.L. Smith (Diet, blood cholesterol and coronary heart disease: a critical review of the literature. Vector Enterprises Inc., Vol 1, 1989; Vol 2, 1991. if you can find it) to quote: It is virtually impossible not to recognize that many researchers routinely manipulate and/or interpret their data to fit preconceived hypotheses, rather than manipulate hypotheses to fit their data. Much of the literature, therefore, is nothing less than an affront to the discipline of science. And that was back in 1991! Not much progress then.

        The epidemiological procedure has an important role in disease research but as Bradford-Hill has pointed out, its value depends on relevance and data that supports the findings. Having had the pleasure of listening to him I suspect that he is spinning in his grave at the current misuse of the procedure.

        Another problem is the use of OR/HRs in medical research papers without the actual numbers. I have reviewed four to date and all were at fault. The actual real benefit could not be established though in one case a bit of reverse, trial and error, maths showed that the presented “benefit” was substantially inflated. It is for this reason I strongly support the AllTrials campaign for open access to the raw data, at least to independent organizations such as Cochrane.

        The NHS must have a huge database but if access is sold to Big Pharma (and KOLs) they will pick and choose the data to suit their astroturfing and the data will be denied to independent researchers. This would be a disaster, particularly as the general public is effectively paying for and providing that data.

  50. Sylvia

    It is indeed a concern that we can become almost messianic or a ‘rescuer’. I do have a great enthusiasm for diet and health matters, but sometimes bore people. We preach to the worried well, others may not care a jot. Good nutrition is more expensive than filling cheaper carbs, so poorer families struggle. I carry on regardless about politics or anything. I was a bossy nurse, but nice with it. Happy Easter to you all. Hope you have time to relax Dr Kendrick. I am in the north West UK, lovely today.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      I agree that cheap carbs is poor nutrition and I, for one, avoid them as far as possible. This, for sure, also relates to questions about poverty and poor education as you indicate. Gary Taubes, in his great book “Good Calories & Bad Calories”, is very clear on this point.

      On the other hand the most nutritions food is actually the organ meat which my wife and I eat a lot of. (Today we are actually feasting on an ox heart cooked slowly (3 hrs) in a covered iron pot.) The weird thing is that you can get the organ meat for almost nothing today while the lean muscle meat with the very poor nutrition value will cost you a fortune. And the nutritious fats on the animals, so valued among the indigenous peoples, is today valued for almost nothing. On top, the grain feeding ruins the balance between omega 6 and omega 3 of these fats.

      It is an upside down world we are living in in terms of healthy food.

      Reply
  51. Craig E

    Where I live we get an average 7.6 hours sunshine a day. I am a fan of the sun and its benefits. However, can you believe that it is school policy that in August, where the average maximum in Canberra is 13 degrees, the kids are made to wear hats when outside! That does not make sense to me on any level

    Reply
  52. ellifeld

    There’s an app, dminder, that will tell you when the sun is at a certain degree, letting you know the best hours to get the sun. It’s free.

    Reply
    1. mr Chris

      hi Ellifield
      I got the app and noted that the vitamin D was supposed to kick in at 30°, whereas from the comments on here it was stated to be 50°. I got in touch with the developer and here is what he said.
      quote
      You probably found my app through Dr. Mercola? He said 50º for a while, then after a ton of people asked me that (thinking the app was wrong), he corrected himself and agreed B starts to enter that atmosphere at 30º. That said, you get 1/100th the amount at 30 you would at 90. But still, most people can pass a salmon serving in a few minutes with a decent amount of skin exposed.
      Best,
      Rob
      quote

      Reply
      1. ellifeld

        Thanks for the due diligence! My app reminds me that “the sun has reached 35 degrees”, I thought that was the starting point. I’m looking at it right now and the solar sun will be at 54 degrees, which is the highest point at this time of the year apparently. Interesting that 30 is only 1% of 90 degrees. Thanks again for the information.

      2. Gary Ogden

        mr Chris: This is most interesting. I was using the 50 degree figure from Dr. Mercola, and, though I read his posts every day, don’t recall him correcting it. I assume from your comment that UVB can begin to penetrate the atmosphere at 30 degrees, and that the amount increases as the sun rises higher. It would be very useful to have more information about this. Surely our species in its natal continent avoided sun during the most intense periods, like at mid day. Thus it may make sense for us in the temperate zone to time our exposure to mid day during the relatively cool weather of spring and fall, and during summer, earlier or later in the day. Interested to know what you and others think of this thought.

      3. Maureen H

        Gary, towards the back of Dr. Micheal Holick’s book ” The Vitamin D Solution”, there is a table which shows how much sun exposure is needed for high latitudes, mid latitudes, sub tropics and tropics, according to your skin type. For example here in Southern Ontario at latitude 43, (mid latitude) for a person with type 3 skin (type 1 being very fair, type 6 very dark) it would take 30 to 40 minutes around noon at this time of year in order to get enough D, on a sunny day. In the middle of summer 20 to 30 mins.
        I would recommend this book to anyone, it is full of very good information and well explained.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Maureen: Thank you very much. I think very highly of Dr. Holick, and will purchase his book when funds are available (this is tax month here in the land of the free and home of the brave).

  53. TS

    It must be true that the darker your natural skin colour, if you live a long way from the equator (e.g. in Britain) you need more sunshine. Is the NHS taking this on board with all our ethnic groups I wonder ?

    (I too have had an actinic keratosis removed from my cheek (liquid nitrogen). I suspected that the specialist didn’t take his own advice as he had a lovely suntan. When I pointed this out to him his protective nurse snapped at me saying – “It’s a suntan, not sunburn!”)

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      TS. I had a wonderful teacher for 6 years in the 1960s who taught me basic biology at first, then culminating with 3 years of human biology and public hygiene She told me lots of interesting facts which have stayed with me since, and the one I often quote is how rickets was returning to these isles with the influx of immigrants post WWII. The explanation was not about poor diet, or neglect or modesty …..far from it, but due to the children wearing their traditional longer clothes, such as saris for the girls and women. In the country of their origin they only needed a small area of skin to be exposed over the whole year, to provide enough vitamin D, but in the UK the same degree of exposure over a much reduced time scale, was proving insufficient for their needs.
      I understand that rickets is now rising throughout the UK, from a peak pre WWII, and I would suggest it is due to lack of exposure to the sun’s rays because of sun block, lack of exposed skin during sunny days, as prescribed by NHS (!), and the severe reduction in eating healthy fats, to name but 3 reasons.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        And in conservative Muslim countries, like Saudi Arabia, women are showing the effects of poor vitamin D status, especially those who have no private place to sun.

    2. JoJo

      In NZ we have the highest skin cancer rates in the world, so it’s a hot topic here. School uniforms include a floppy brimmed hat to protect children. As many will know, we have an indigenous population here, Maori, plus we have a substantial pacific island population, most of whom have dark skins. While some Maori are quite fair, most have darker skins that those of Europan descent. Added to this is the fact that NZ’s distance from the equator means that many parts of NZ never see the sun high enough in the sky in winter to be able to get UVB to make vitamin D. My mother was a principal in a school with a floppy hat uniform and her school was 60% Maori and 40% Pacific Island, so low risk of sunburn. They do, however, have high rates of diabetes and a number of other diseases. People here are also very nervous of talking about skin colour for fear of being accused of being racist, so these issues are never talked about (not officially anyway).

      The advice here is to sit out in the sun first thing in the morning or last thing in the afternoon, precisely the times when no UVB hits the ground. It’s also quite hard to find sunbeds here, even though they are not illegal (yet). You do see lots of people sitting in the sun at the beach though, so it’s not all bad news.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        I visited family in NZ back in 1991. They warned me that the sun was particularly fierce because of the hole in the ozone layer. I ignored them, because coming from South Africa the NZ sun seemed rather weak, and I spent the afternoon sunning myself on their deck. Boy, did I get a case of sunburn! Proper radiation burns, red and swelling and very painful. Taught me a lesson — listen to the locals. They know what they are doing.

  54. Anna

    Funnily enough, I got quite sunburned yesterday. But I am experiencing no pain and it is already resolving. I’d like to say I am low carb, and I am probably a lot lower than most people and don’t eat junk…but I have been backsliding on the carb thing. I have begun juicing and eat eggs from our own chickens who are not in a run but roam free and terrorize the place. Don’t eggs have astaxanthin? I’ve also begun diatomacious earth.

    Someone said:
    “Mortality from malignant melanoma is stable but prevalence has rocketed. what does the diagnosis tell us”

    I suppose it tells us that mal mel has increased but that it is so easy to spot and easy to remove that mortality is not increasing.
    However, I do note that if it is skyrocketing, it is doing so in the context of people spending much more time behind glass and indoors and in artificial light, getting up later in the morning and use of sunblock as compared to 3 or more decades ago. Even the use of air conditioning, which is very common in the U.S., causes people to be exposed to less balanced light as you are then behind glass which blocks one of the UVs, instead of opening windows.

    Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Frederica: Zeathanthin-very important nutrient, along with lutein. Astaxanthin, orange fish.

  55. Old fogey

    Thank you everyone for your comments to Dr. Kendrick’s excellent post. I have one thing to add – we know very little about everything, if we stop to think about it for a moment, and so the sunshine we receive undoubtedly confers to us many more benefits than we can currently identify.

    Reply
  56. Anna

    I’m wondering if at some point, especially if things unravel, there might be an unfortunate public backlash against science as people become aware of how they have been misled by it and its authority misused. In full agreement with what Dr. K has just said to Goran about how much of science research is very good. In fact, though, this really points up the problem even more.

    A friend just told me that homogenization might in fact render the milk dangerous for the cardiovascular system/gut and I said yes, I had read that when I was 15. She was incredulous because I am now 58. I knew before going to nursing school over 20 years ago that I would never take a statin as the side effects were too great and I always think via common sense that if something is damaging to your health it is not likely to also be good for it. Dr. Mercola has warned against Vioxx and other meds years before they were pulled from the market.

    So, yeah, there is good research and if there weren’t we would not be here able to at least put some facts together.
    Just for the heck of it, here’s my list of incorrect science topics and I fully realize that some of the things on this list will cause great irritation in some of the readers here:

    Medicine (the biggest one and most ensnared by money interests)
    Diet, sun
    Vaccinations (they’ve become coerced and excessive in number)
    Global warming
    Big bang and other physics/electric universe (I’m no cosmologist but I do read some very interesting dissenting views written for the interested lay public.)
    Darwinian evolution (I do believe that life evolved slowly – but we are beginning to understand biology a wee bit, and random mutations with natural selection is simply no longer a tenable idea as to how life evolved. Since I am some sort of panentheistic monist, the question of whether Mind was or was not involved doesn’t really compute. I apologize in advance for bringing this up!)

    For some, commercialization is the problem, for others it is more a matter of ideology, momentum, hubris and closed-mindedness.
    What irritates me is that we have such good scientific tools now, we could have been much further ahead than we are and we’re frittering away our time due to the cussedness of the human race.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Undoubtedly there is good medical research but I fear that when Big Pharma is involved it is often a case of fitting the data to the perceived clinical need and the drug to the point where a disease (e.g hypercholesterolaemia – not familial) that responds to the drug is created. This is why open access to the raw data is so necessary.

      Reply
    2. David Bailey

      Anna,

      My list of potentially dodgy science includes all of your list except vaccinations (no particular reason – I just haven’t taken an interest in that subject). I’d also include Henry Bauer’s radically alternative views about AIDS – which doesn’t sound so way out when you have seen what medical science has done regarding statins, etc, and one of two other tricky subjects! Whenever I see the phrase “science denier”, my suspicions are aroused!

      The problem – as I am sure you have realised – is that it is very hard to talk about this, because so many people think it is arrogant and ignorant to question areas of science in which one is not an expert – forgetting that being an expert in a particular area also bring with it all the pressures to conform!

      My only slight disagreement would be with your first sentence – I think it would be brilliant if the general public became disillusioned with science and began to remove its funding! I think that is the only way in which science can possibly reform itself so as to become useful and reliable again!

      I would love to discuss some of the points you raise in more detail. My email is david dot bailey at dbailey dot co dot uk.

      Reply
      1. Sylvia

        Love to listen to Jim Al Khalili ‘Life scientific’ on BBC 4 . The people he interviews are fantastic. Of course there is the murky world of funding and, as they say, pressure to publish.

    1. Craig

      If so then more good reasons to give up seed oils:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1525046

      ‘Mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids markedly decreased the affinity of both 25-OHD3 and 1,25-(OH)2D3 for DBP, whereas saturated fatty acids (stearic and arachidic acid), cholesterol, cholesterol esters, retinol, retinoic acid and prostaglandins (A1 and E1) did not ‘

      Reply
  57. Sue Richardson

    Gary, yes I have wondered about conservative Muslim women too – the puzzle is that they have always worn cover up clothing throughout their history, so how can they possibly have ever got enough sun, and consequently enough vitamin D?

    Also, re the scientists and their falsity, it is very difficult for ordinary people like me to unravel the truth from the false. Many of the folk on this blog have a great deal of knowledge, medical and otherwise, but some of us struggle to understand. When I try hard and still can’t get it, I find myself thinking along the lines of ‘well I trust this person, so I’ll trust what he says’ even when I don’t totally understand it all. It’s the best I can do sometimes. I may not be the brightest but I am a pretty good judge of character, and you don’t always have to have met a person to trust them. I read what he says, and the way he says it, and I trust Dr Kendrick. I also trust what some of my fellow blog followers say. I know that isn’t a very scientific statement, but you have to trust someone.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Sue: I have great reverence for science. Science as a way of evaluating evidence. Too many people seem to misunderstand this, and think of science as a collection of facts, of immutable truths. Although the allure of power, status, and continued employment have certainly played a role in the warping of the scientific endeavor we see today, these things would tend to be self-correcting were it not for the major factor involved: the near-complete capture by commercial interests in the enterprise, the capture of government and its regulatory agencies, of the media, which shapes public perception, and of education (textbook publishers as well as research labs). At least in the U.S., today nearly all scientific research is funded either by the pharmaceutical industry, or by the National Institutes of Health, neither of which can be trusted to have objectivity. Add to that, billionaires such as Bill Gates, who has no background in science or medicine, but whose wealth gives them enormous power to influence the agenda of public policy in science and medicine. Hopeless? No, people are not that stupid. But it could be that our greatest nutritional deficiency is in vitamin S (skepticism) combined with an excess of vitamin C (credulity).

      Reply
    2. David Bailey

      Sue,

      I think a few general rules can help anyone spot dodgy science (after all nobody knows more than a very narrow slice of science in detail):

      1) If scientists in the field use expressions like “science deniers”, or “anti-science”, or whatever, to describe those with which they disagree, it is a very bad sign.

      2) If one side provides detailed evidence – such as Dr Kendrick does – but the other offers vague replies, or even (in the case of medicine) simply refers to current guidelines, you should smell a rat!

      3) When researchers in one camp assert that most other scientists agree with them it is also time to be cautious – science isn’t about counting heads.

      4) When formerly very eminent scientists are in the dissident group, you can be pretty certain that there is something wrong, or at least seriously incomplete in the conventional view.

      Reply
  58. Michael Jones

    I have spent some time over the past few years trying to understand this subject as I have quite a few melanomas (including one on the sole of my foot) but as I am married to a doctor, my views are not much appreciated!

    So this seems like a good forum to check my own understanding.

    As I understand it, if the sun is at an altitude of less than about 50 degrees, then the ozone layer pretty much reflects away all the UVB; so at this time of year in London, forget it.

    Cloud absorbs and scatters UVB so in bad weather the irradiation will drop by maybe 90%*, albeit rather less than it does to visible wavelengths.

    A question: is the key ingredient the total dosage or is there a threshold involved? In other words, does (say) 10 hours sun exposure in cloudy weather equate to 1 hour under clear skies? Or is the intensity just too weak to matter?

    * Some claim clouds can focus UVB but ignore that.

    Reply
    1. Maureen H

      Sue, I remember learning about osteomalacia and rickets in nursing school in the 60s. Women who completely cover their bodies develop osteomalacia, which is a softening and bending of the bones due to lack of sunlight/vit D. It is not the same as osteoporosis. I’m not sure how this process differs from rickets. Maybe it’s rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults? Anyone know?
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteomalacia/basics/definition/con-20029393
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rickets/basics/definition/con-20027091

      Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      I was not aware that any UVB could penetrate clouds. What is the reference for this? If this is the case, 10% is better than nothing at all. Please expand on this.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Michael: Thanks. The article doesn’t appear to directly address the question of the utility of cloudy-day exposure for vitamin D production, and the references are a mouthful. I think I’ll stick with sunny-day exposure, since it appears that clouds and/or haze or smog can intensify UV radiation under some conditions.

    3. Barry

      Michael,

      There is only one way to know if you have an adequate vitamin D level and that is a 25(OH)D test irrespective of exposure time as there are so many factors involved (although it is fair to assume that exposure on a clear day for an hour or two each side of midday is going to be more beneficial than 10 hrs on a cloudy day). There is another, the 1.25(OH)₂D test, but this is not as useful as an indicator of adequate vitamin D in a normal person see this for info: https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/vitamin-d/tab/test/.

      May find these of interest (plenty of links in the OSU article) http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrients-health/skin-health/nutrient-index/vitamin-D#reference15 , http://www.westonaprice.org/our-blogs/cmasterjohn/vitamin-d-problems-with-the-latitude-hypothesis/ and this http://www.elvex.com/UV%20A+B.pdf.

      Reply
  59. Elizabeth Resnick

    Completely agree with this. The sun just feels so good! I find it hard to believe that something that gives life to so many things is so terrible for us. That being said, I am careful to never burn. I do wear sunscreen on my face, because there is some in the mineral makeup that I use. Getting some sun exposure definitely improves my mood as well!

    Reply
  60. Sue Richardson

    I think I’ve probably overdosed on the S vitamin (scepticism) Gary, and I wonder if in the future there will be more of us who will will be less likely to accept whatever the media tell us about ‘the latest guidelines’. David’s guidelines make sense to me. I read the links Solomon and Maureen gave, and it’s obvious there is a problem for covered women. However. When I read some of the forums where these ladies comment on the concern about their lack of vitamin D, it looks as though they are very unwilling to accept it.

    Re the visitor to New Zealand, I have not long returned myself from a visit to my son and his family, and in the few days of sun we had (we apparently picked the worse period of weather of the whole summer), I managed to get burned for the first time in years. Yes, trust the locals – my daughter in law did warn me. I should have known better being a (once) red head!

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Sue: Thank you for your always useful and nuanced commentary. I’m not certain that it is possible to overdose on skepticism, though the line between skepticism and cynicism is a thin one. The older I get the more I realize how little I know, and also how fascinating it is to pursue and gain new learning. My brain seems to be functioning better as I age. I blame it (like Bertie of Jeeves) on all the fish I eat. What’s making me pull my hair out lately (what little I have left) is public health officials who make no qualms about what they think is their God-given right to censor anything they disagree with. Oy vey.

      Reply
      1. Sue Richardson

        Yes Gary, I groan every time I read the words “according to the latest guidelines”, which seem to appear in every article about health, whatsoever it may be. I laughed at your reference to the fish eating Wooster. I wonder if PGW (my very favourite author) ate a lot of it himself. He certainly had a good brain.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Sue: Yes. Gentle belittlement of all pretentiousness appeals to me, too. My favorite character is Uncle Fred (I’m not much of a rule-follower either), and named my cat after him.

    1. Gary Ogden

      Didn’t find that at all amusing; in fact, this is deeply disturbing. Doesn’t take a great deal of research to begin to question everything we’ve ever been told about vaccines or any other medical procedure.

      Reply
      1. JDPatten

        Frankly, I didn’t find it amusing either. It’s a good conversation starter, though.

        Dr Kendrick has taken a rational approach to investigating heart disease here. His findings have turned our understanding of many aspects of this serious medical/cultural/psychological problem upside down. That does not mean EVERYTHING is wrong with medical science.
        Don’t throw your baby out with the bath water.

        Perspective:
        I had a near death experience with measles. I was bedridden for weeks, much of the time delirious – suffering from measles itself and secondary infections. My eardrum ruptured. A visiting doctor gave me daily injections of penicillin. That brand new antibiotic made it possible for me to be here for this conversation. Nothing will fix my hearing.
        I was seven. It was 1952. There was no such thing as measles vaccination. I was lucky enough to get the polio vaccination. My cousin, two years my elder was not so lucky. She wears a leg brace and always will.

        You betcha I saw to it that my children got the MMR and everything else that came along!
        Nothing’s perfect. Some vaccines are more effective than others. The US Navy has dropped the typhus vaccine from their battery as not being effective enough. Enough? Typhus kills between 16% and 60% of its victims depending on virulence of the strain. Did that Navy inoculation I had thirty years before save my life? Can you tell me the answer?

        I’d rather not be susceptible to the many strains of pneumonia out there. I’d rather not be susceptible to shingles. My older sister can tell you how excruciatingly painful that was for her for two years.
        I get vaccinated.

        Can you imagine a world where you fear for your life with every sniffle you get? Is it smallpox? Polio? Death from innocent sounding measles? Hope that most of your babies will survive childhood?
        That’s the 19th century. No vaccine.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Read Dissolving Illusions. It will give you perspective on vaccination, as well as forgotten, but highly effective treatments for measles, such as high-dose intravenous vitamin C, used by physicians. The history of infectious diseases is not at all what we have been taught. In the U.S. today there is no conversation permitted concerning vaccine safety or efficacy. The entire media self-censors that conversation because they are so beholden to pharma for ad revenue. And pharma will stop at nothing to protect its revenue stream-remember Vioxx? “We will destroy them where they live.” Read Callous Disregard to understand how they destroy good people, and read the UK High Court decision from 2012 fully exonerating Professor John Walker Smith. What is scary now is that pharma has long-lain plans to force vaccination on everyone, with only the rarest of medical exemption (in Mississippi bureaucrats, not doctors, make those decisions), and they used a few dozen cases of measles in California last year to introduce bills in nearly all the states to do just that. Their lobbyists were busy. And the Department of Health and Human Services has a plan (Healthy People 2020) to force vaccination on all adults; with the electronic record-keeping mandate of Obamacare, they will know everyone’s vaccination status. We have a terrible human-caused crisis, especially in the U.S. and the UK, but spreading around the world thanks to WHO and Gates called autism (and in India an epidemic of what used to be called “polio,” but is now called acute flaccid paralysis). There simply is no question that the main driver of this is vaccines, most likely from the aluminum adjuvants (there are more than 100 published, peer-reviewed scientific papers linking vaccines and autism). The CDC knows this. They validated the Wakefield hypothesis, then got rid of the study protocol and threw the data in a garbage can, before publishing the laundered data in Pediatrics. This is scientific fraud of the worst sort, because it affects children. I’m not making any of this up. These are the allegations of Dr. William S. Thompson of the CDC, the statistical expert in the study, in his whistleblower lawsuit. He is still, twenty months later, awaiting a subpoena from Congress (they, too, are fully beholden to pharma for campaign funds). Our government simply wants this epidemic to go away. The National Institutes of Health spends not one penny on any useful research of causes or therapies. This “doctor” in the youtube video is using a combination of “eminence-based medicine” (highlighting his credentials), and all the classic astroturf/internet troll devices (ad hominem attack, character assassination, tinfoil hat, etc.). This is not any sort of conversation. He has, frankly, no credibility, and is creepy. The Nuremburg trials gave us informed consent. The Nuremburg Code is not codified in the U.S., but is a basic human right that we must defend. With forced vaccination there is no informed consent.

      3. JDPatten

        Gary,
        Strongly held opinions/beliefs generally derive from sometimes bitter, usually very personal, experience.
        I shared a bit of my story.
        How ’bout you?
        Just askin’.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Be glad to. I was born in 1949, had all the usual childhood infectious diseases, along with likely diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines; the only ones I remember are smallpox and the Salk and Sabin polio (both of which were de-licensed in a few years for causing paralysis). Since childhood I hadn’t really thought about vaccines at all for decades until the beginning of 2015 when there were a few dozen cases of measles here in California, and the media made it sound like it was a terrible plague. Pharmaceutical lobbyists went into high gear, and got their favorite politician, state Senator Richard Pan, to introduce a forced vaccination bill in the legislature. Similar bills were introduced in many states, but in all but California and Vermont (which still retains some exemptions), the bills were defeated. This was clearly a coordinated effort by pharmaceutical industry lobbyists (two of them stood right behind Senator Pan in the Judiciary Committee hearing, assisting him in answering questions). Why did the BS detectors go up with the alarmist headlines? In non-election years, 60% of print and broadcast ad revenue comes from the medical industry. The pharmaceutical industry paid, from 2011-2015, $20 billion in fines for civil and criminal fraud to the U.S. government. Vioxx is just the most recent example of deadly fraud (by the way, the quote in my previous post, “We will destroy them where they live” is a direct quote of an internal Merck email concerning Australian doctors who were raising alarms about Vioxx which came out in the Vioxx trial as a result of that wonderful thing called “discovery”).These are not nice people [opinion]. They are relentless [opinion]. They are not interested in or involved in human health [opinion]. They are marketing companies [widely-held opinion]. Conflicts of interest are rampant in vaccine policy-making [easily-verified fact].
        In 2011 I heard Dr. Wakefield speak at a conference I was attending, and watched the film The Greater Good. This is when my vaccine education began. Thirteen books and hundreds of scientific papers and articles later, I’m still at it. I attended all but one of the legislative hearings in California and met many parents of vaccine-injured children. They are people just like you and I, except they are all tasked with 24-hour care for their children. I plunged into research, and was appalled with what I learned. It is not an opinion to say that there really are more than 100 scientific papers showing either a plausible biological mechanism for linking vaccines to autism, or epidemiological studies. There is much first-rate science showing the risks of the current vaccination schedule, particularly regarding mercury and aluminum toxicity. This is not opinion. But dissenting from orthodoxy can be a career-ender, as Dr. Wakefield, and Dr. David L. Lewis of the EPA, and Dr. Judy Mikovits all learned. At least Professor Walker Smith got justice. I learned long ago to be skeptical of received authority (think I learned that in school, from my teachers). Have you followed the presidential primaries? Americans are angry, largely because they’ve lost trust in our institutions. In any case, had I to do it over again, I would not have allowed my daughter to receive one shot. It is pure hubris to think we can eliminate a microbe. Some, such as smallpox, go away on their own. We are pretty good at exterminating higher animals, but we don’t even begin to understand microbes well enough to make such a wild claim as “polio free,” or the “eradication of measles.”
        Anyway, this is part of where I’m coming from. Another part is the colossal stupidity of the Agriculture Department telling everyone what to eat, which has also compromised our health. I really don’t have any bitter experience that animates me, just clarity in the difference between right and wrong (something of a combination of the ten commandments and the Buddhist maxim, “harm no living thing,” although I have no qualms about murdering snails in the garden or flies in the house).

    2. ellifeld

      Honestly I didn’t find him either amusing or even fair, certainly not essential info to base much of anything on. Ok, he is highly educated, a doctor, but does that mean he actually studied or put any time into the vaccine issue? He’s not a researcher, he’s a doctor and not even a pediatrician as far as I know. There’s not one course in school that teaches anything about the possible downsides of vaccines or meds, certainly not designed to actually question vaccines. You know what med students are trying to do? Graduate. After that, residency designed to get you practicing so you can open or join a practice, which is what you would be looking for all those years when you had begun. It’s not about questioning medications, certainly not vaccines. Doctors conform to the practice of medicine, which today is the practice of medications. Stepping outside that is a big risk. Stating your credentials like he did and then comparing those to J. McCarthy or Jim Carry, which is the easiest trick to do, was completely disingenuous. Throwing in Dr. Wakefield’s name only clinches his low class act.

      I had come across KevinMD from one of his previous videos. It was very funny and entertaining. I actually had a small conversation with him where we agreed on some points of medicine. He understands the way of practicing has to change. About the same time I came across this man, James Weiler-Lyons, who had written a book about environmental and genetic causes of autism. I sent info about what J. W-Lyons was up to, to KevinMD, thinking it would be a good fit. Obviously I was wrong. If you want to compare credentials, here’s Weiler-Lyons, “Dr. Lyons-Weiler is a long-time veteran in the areas of genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and evolutionary biology. He earned a PhD in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, and won a US DOE/Sloan Postdoc in Computational Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University under the mentorship of Drs. Webb Miller and Masatoshi Nei. He has served as faculty, Senior Research Scientist, and Scientific Director in support of translational research, systems biology, sequence analysis, and the creation of novel algorithmic solutions for the analysis of complex and challenging data.” I think he could easily match up with KevinMD, you think? On top of this man, there are many other researchers and scientists who don’t agree with KevinMD. Again, he is a doctor not a researcher and it’s not even his specialty.

      I’m not trying to settle the vaccine debate, just giving another perspective on it. Not a video where a doctor plays off the vaccine debate by trying to impress you with his credentials and mentioning J. McCarthy and other easy targets.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I must have a look at this video… seems v. controversial. My own view on vaccination is that it seems to be highly effective in certain diseases e.g. polio, diptherria, smallpox. However, when you come across viruses that mutate, or have many different strains, it is less – to zero – effective. The flu vaccine seems almost completely ineffective (from the research that I have seen). One of the main problems is that discussion on vaccination is virtually impossible, as people become so furious, so quickly. Which is why I have stayed, pretty much, well clear of the area.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Thank you, Dr. Kendrick. Smart move. I have nothing to lose, so I’m right in the thick of it.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Agreed. I wouldn’t post anything that wasn’t evidence-based; I have high standards. I have done an enormous amount of research on all aspects of vaccines and vaccine policy, and I don’t believe what public health officials are telling us. I do trust the findings of physicians and researchers who have both integrity and no ties to the medical industry. There are many of them who are raising the alarm about vaccines.

      4. thelastfurlong

        I am interested to see, that although the topic of vaccinations seems nothing to do with the goodness of sunshine, it has never been brought up in my time of following this blog. The vaccination thing hasn’t gone away simply because some doctors “proved” Dr Wakefield was a charlatan. I have been following new developments carefully. There is a steaming cauldron there about vaccinations and the media and the medical profession are trying to hold down the lid. I believe – though I can’t prove it, that just like other out-dated medical practices are now thought of as barbaric, vaccinating with a blast of – quote – ” 49 doses of 14 vaccines by the time he/she is 6 years of age. And by the age of 18, the CDC recommends that children should have gotten 69 doses of 16 vaccines.” is ABSOLUTE insanity and one day our progeny will wonder how on earth we thought was good!

        The Autism/vaccination issue is not dead. It now appears as a “side effect” listed by the Drug companies in the vaccination pack. But it’s not just Autism, it’s the very bad effects vaccinations have on SOME people, the matter should be openly discussed. Thank you Gary for bringing it up. I hope no one here shuts you up completely – a post about it by Dr Kendrick, would make a good topic of discussion.

        I am not anti vaccinations. All my grandchildren have had separate vaccinations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella, just in case. 🙂 It seems a simple solution that the government could suggest but are too cash-strapped to offer.

        I am anti dumping a load of stuff into people telling them it is good when in fact, it might be bad – and by anecdote it’s judged by ordinary people living at the coal-face, so to speak, that vaccinations are producing suffering and illness. And I don’t trust medical science funded by the Pharmaceutical Industry, to actually DO proper science about it.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Yes, for me it is clear: If there is a risk, there must be a choice. Vaccine mandates are nearly always wrong, and unethical. Mumps, by the way, should have never had a vaccine. There is a whistleblower lawsuit against Merck by two former employees who claim they made up out of whole cloth the figures for efficacy for the mumps component of MMRII presented to the FDA. And it wasn’t doctors, except for the one who is editor of the BMJ, but a Murdoch journalist without any medical or scientific training who destroyed Dr. Wakefield’s career.

      6. Gary Ogden

        Yes, Dr. Lyons-Weiler is very bright, knowledgeable, experienced, and best of all, possesses scientific and personal integrity.

      7. BobM

        I think the biggest problem I have with vaccination is that true double-blind, placebo controlled studies do not exist. Is the current schedule of vaccination having bad effects? It’s quite difficult to tell without controlled studies.

        Additionally, these are the same people that advocate statins. I find it hard to believe that they would become religious once they get into vaccines.

  61. Solomon

    BBC reports, Vitamin D heals damaged hearts. In the trial the 163 patients took 4000 IU daily for a year. Dr Witte told the BBC News website: “It’s quite a big deal, that’s as big as you’d expect from other more expensive treatments that we use, it’s a stunning effect.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35959556

    Reply
    1. Eric

      Yes, but it seems we shouldn’t strive for too much, either, whether its from supplements or the sun:


      or if this link ceases to work, google Chris Masterjohn vitamin D paradox

      http://www.westonaprice.org/our-blogs/cmasterjohn/vitamin-d-problems-with-the-latitude-hypothesis/

      We shall have to forgive his geography, though. If you consider Isreal is only about 300 km long, and virtually nobody lives in the very southern tip, the population centers of gravity for norther and southern Isreal are only about 120 km apart.

      Reply
  62. Barry

    Gary (April 5 postings),

    Agreed, the further you look into vaccinations and links to illnesses the more evidence you find. The pharmaceutical industry is using the fear of illness and the “promise” of preventing it to unload a raft of very questionable vaccines. I wish more people would read “Dissolving Illusions” as they would then have a better understanding of how vaccines work – and don’t – and the real damage that can result in susceptible people (too late once the damage is done). They would also better understand the true history of disease and the influence of vaccines. US policy is beyond ridiculous when people have no choice in what is injected into their bodies. How can anyone look at the CDC schedule for “Birth – 18 years and Catch-up Versions” and think that this is any way even remotely acceptable http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/ ? The developing immune system of babies and toddlers is very sensitive and imposing multiple vaccines on their systems can and does cause damage. Dr Mercola also has an enormous amount of info on vaccines http://vaccines.mercola.com/ as does http://www,vaccinationcouncil.org/ .

    Vaccination will always promote fierce discussion but I think many that support its indiscriminate use have not looked at the facts. It should never be forgotten that the pharmaceutical industry is forever trying to find new ways of making money and your health is a secondary consideration. Their view is that if one of their drugs makes you ill then there’s an opportunity to use another drug – win, win from their perspective.

    Reply
  63. Gary Ogden

    JDPatten: I’ve finally found the answer to your question about the ineffectiveness of repeated flu shots. Sorry, I’ve not yet learned how to post a link, but here it is: statnews.com/2015/11/11/flu-shots-reduce-effectiveness. Sorry about the wait.

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Thanks. Very interesting. ‘Course, the flu vaccine has always been iffy due to the rapid changes in the various strains – some more agile than others. H3N2 is more quick to evolve than others. the vaccine always targets at least four strains. The vaccine has to be cooked up well in advance of outbreaks, of course. this means it must be a guessing game.
      I’ve no idea if that explains the benefit of a five year hiatus or not. It’s clear that “they” don’t understand fully either. I do know I’ve never gotten the flu. I’ve taken advantage of my seniority here in the States and gotten the double strength shot in recent years. That’s mentioned in your link. I went back to the article your link cites. It has a slightly different perspective.
      http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2816%2900129-8/abstract

      Reply
      1. Mr chris

        JDP-
        A colleagues brother aged 44, has just died of ´flu and there are four others in intensive care at the same hospital, from getting it to the coffin was three weeks. At that age, of course no vaccination.

      1. Gary Ogden

        JDPatten: Quite frankly, I wouldn’t trust anything the NIAID, or any other government disease agency, published, particularly in regard to viruses. Even Louis Pasteur, on his deathbed, admitted that he was wrong, that it wasn’t the germ, but the terrain (immune system) that allowed infectious agents to cause illness. What little I know about virology makes me skeptical of everything officially promoted said to be viral in origin. For example, everybody knows that HIV causes AIDS, right? Wrong. HIV has never been isolated or purified, and probably doesn’t exist. Robert Gallo made it all up, and missed being indicted by a whisker (longer explanation in Fear of the Invisible). But the combination of the political clout of AIDS activists, the interests of government in supporting the pharmaceutical industry, and the industry itself, led to the development of extremely toxic retroviral drugs which have killed many formerly healthy people who tested “positive” for a non-existent virus, and who took them out of fear. The AIDS tests (Elisa and Western Blot), are antibody tests. The presence antibodies is normally considered to confer immunity, but not with “HIV”! My advice: don’t get the flu shot, or any other vaccine. Instead, get some sunshine, eat high-quality food, take lots of walks, avoid pharmaceuticals as much as possible, be skeptical of everything the medical industry says, and laugh a lot.

      2. Eric

        Tinfoil hats on, please. I was under the impression that posts are moderated here, but this one may have slipped through.

        Having scanned a few summaries of Janine Robert’s book you refer to, it seems to me that she does not claim that HIV does not cause AIDS.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Eric: Read the book, not a summary. Also read what Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock has to say about cells and the particles they produce. Also read Peter Duesberg’s work. He is a first-rate scientist. Dissidence from orthodoxy is usually punished, but it often leads to revision of what was once considered true or “settled science.” It appears that viruses, including retroviruses, are made by the millions by healthy cells, as a means of communication between them. Are they pathogenic? That is a question worth exploring. As for HIV, the test is an antibody test (antibodies are normally considered to confer immunity), is quite different in different continents, and is highly unreliable (high percentage of false positives and negatives). And it is indeed true that HIV may not even exist, because it has never been isolated and purified, and has never been shown to infect more than a percentage of those diagnosed with AIDS.

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Eric. I do moderate, but only comments that are personally insulting (to someone), are clearly adverts of one sort or another, or are incomprehensible (to me), are stopped. I have studied the HIV AIDS area in some detail. I am not sure what I think, but it is clear that the story is anything but clear cut. AZT was introduced on a wave of hysteria and, it seems clear, wiped people out. How many controlled clinical trials were done on AZT. The most accurate answer is probably none. The initial trial was so corrupted and poorly done that to claim any benefit was ridiculous. A second study showed that AZT, most likely, killed people prematurely. That, when it comes to randomized placebo controlled studies, is that. Not a great base to start comparing the benefit of one drug vs another. However, there are two areas where (currently) I refuse to go. One is vaccinations, the other is HIV/AIDS. The reason why I do not discuss these areas in any detail is because they raise such anger and hysteria and condemnation (of those who do not toe the party line) that I would be dismissed as a nutcase/crank to a point where anything I wrote, on anything else, would be dismissed. One day perhaps.

      5. Mr chris

        Hello Dr K.
        Interesting about debate on vaccination, opinions are very polarised, wonder why?

      6. Gary Ogden

        Mr chris: Great question. I suggest three avenues of fruitful inquiry: 1. Follow the money. 2. The human capacity for fear. 3. The human capacity for credulity. I had no particular opinions on this subject until I began to do research, which led me to question everything.

      7. Eric

        Malcolm, thank you also for explaining your moderation policy. Also, I can see why you don’t want to write about these topics.

        But discussing the point of vaccinating against fast mutating viruses or side effects of adjuvants or pointing out that AZT when used as a monotherapy and at high doses probably did more harm than good are entirely different animals from outright HiV denialism.

        The difference between the areas you regularly write about, challenging conventional wisdom, have substantial evidence behind them and are gaining standing, support and evidence continuously, whereas doubts about HIV probably were reasonable in the 90s, but their hypotheses have all been disproven since, and many former high profile proponents have turned around.

        And as wary as we should be to swing the “you’re killing patients” – bat, this is exactly what the effect the policies of the Mbeki government amounted to.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Indeed. My own version has always been. ‘There is no point in trying to reason with an unreasonable person.’ I hope this blog mainly attracts reasonable people who can challenge their own beliefs. When I meet stones (as per this article) I cannot really be bothered with the discussion as it inevitably gets absolutely nowhere, and I just get annoyed – which is pointless. My other internal judgement is that ‘the angrier the other person gets, the less likely it is that they are right.’

      Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      JDPatten: Thank you for this. Food for thought for all of us. I often think that belief can be a dangerous thing. Of all Steven J. Gould’s marvelous essays, the one I remember most is his defense of evolutionary theory in which he not only describes the enormity of evidence in favor of the main thrust of Darwin’s theory, but that it comes from a wide variety of disparate disciplines. Great evidence is great strength, but contrary evidence is also greatly weakening.

      Reply
  64. Gene Search

    We have a problem… you can no longer get any benefits from the sun due to the chemtrails!
    They are spraying us like bugs 😦 If you live in any NATO country they have agreed to a depopulation plan called Agenda 21. LOOK UP… chemtrails… there everywhere.
    http://byebyebluesky.com/

    Reply

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