Thursday, May 8, 2008

In Defense of the Sun:
A Look at Benefits for Body and Soul

--Feature: "Heart of Healing w/Dr.Christopher Fischer, ND"--

As a Naturopathic Doctor I have a strong well taught belief that there is an innate healing power in nature. So, it is difficult for me to accept all the constant warnings about sun exposure as gospel. What I do know after living four years in Seattle, WA that when that sun peaked out from behind those clouds in late July-August, I couldn’t help but feel invigorated and better than I had felt in months.

Several research studies have shown various health benefits from sunlight(UV) exposure:

  • Increases in Serotonin and decreases in Melatonin resulting in increased mood.
  • The Increases in the active form of Vitamin D which not only helps protect bone density but is being studied for its anti-cancer benefits.
  • Increased Absorption of Calcium by the intestines
  • Decreases blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Increased metabolism by increasing thyroid activity.
  • Decreases the pain and inflammation from arthritis.
  • Lowering Blood Pressure and improving heart efficiency.
  • Lowering of cholesterol.

Now with all that said I am not advocating sunbathing, tanning machines, or forgetting your sun block. What I am proposing is that as I had believed to be true, limited exposure (10-15min), before or after peak sun hours (10am-4pm) can have its benefits for some people. Like any other disease, those with a personal or family history of skin cancer should be more very diligent at protecting themselves as there is evidence of genetic factors which predispose to skin cancer.

With our depleting ozone layer, and escalating environmental pollutants there may not be much time left to enjoy the health benefits of the sun both physical and emotional.

Do not be one of the statistics who ignore the power of the sun, overexpose and place yourself at risk. Use an UVA and UVB blocking moisturizer daily to protect yourself against peak hour exposure. Above all be responsible, as with most things too much of a good thing…….(you know the rest).

Christopher Fischer is a Naturopathic Physician and is the President of Natural Health Specialist in East Northport New York. He received his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University.

He frequently lectures on Naturopathic Medicine and natural healing, and has been a contributing expert for American Spa Magazine, Creations Magazine, The Northport Observer as well as the Natural Health Show on METRO TV (NY). He is the proud father of two boys and resides in East Northport New York.

For more information see Christopher Fischer's site at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what you suggest the best time for sun exposure is at noon when there is UVB radiation available. UVB is needed for cutaneous production of vitamin D.