Summer Is Here! Enjoy The Sun. Part 1.

July 30, 2019



Since the beginning of human race existence we've loved the Sun. Ancient civilizations worshiped sun as the source of life and prosperity. Ancient Greeks used sunlight therapy to treat multiple ailments.


No wonder the data showed that sun exposure extends life. [1]


Other benefits include, but not limited are:


Increase Vitamin D level.  Virtually every cell in the body needs vitamin D, as it can influence the expression of more than 200 genes. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the intestine and maintains calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, protecting against osteoporosis, and bone fracture. It also regulates immune function, cell growth, and neuromuscular function.


Regulates our circadian rhythm: sleep-wake cycle, by getting sunlight in the morning.


Improves relaxation and increases pain tolerance by raising the levels of beta-Endorphins.[2]


Protects against hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, vascular inflammation, oxidative stress and heart disease.[3]


Protects against cancer, including skin cancer.[4]


Makes us happy by stimulating the production of Serotonin and Dopamine.[5]


Improves memory and brain function.[5]


Reduces appetite by promoting production of Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone, that also increases libido and, of course, skin pigmentation, giving us suntan.[6]


Increases the levels of sex hormones and fertility.[7]


Serves as a natural pain killer, by effecting Substance P: a neuropeptide that promotes blood flow and regulates the immune system in response to acute stress and pain.[8]


It has anti-microbial effect against fungi, bacteria, viruses, and can help with acne.


And probably much more...


Enjoy the Sun!


But how much is enough without getting sunburn and other skin damage?


The amount of sun that is optimal or excessive will depend on your skin type, health status and your latitude. For example, in a half-hour of the summer sun, a pale-skinned person can produce 50,000 IU (1.25 mg) vitamin D. In a tanned person, this exposure creates 20,000-30,000 IU, and 8,000-10,000 IU in dark-skinned people. [5]


Spend about 15 to 20 minutes, or about half the time it takes your skin to turn pink, in direct sunlight without any sunblock.


Sunscreens not only block production of most of the vitamin D, but also all of the other beneficial photo-products produced in the skin in response to UVB. 


In fact, a 2019 report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly two-thirds of sunscreens don’t work and/or contain health concerning ingredients that are readily absorbed by the body. And a recent study found that sunscreen chemicals were found in the bloodstream within a day of using them, and at levels high enough to prompt a government investigation on safety.[9] 


 FDA in February 2019 released its final draft sunscreens monograph, noting that for 12 of 16 common sunscreen ingredients, there is “insufficient health and safety data” to allow the agency’s designation of them as “generally recognized as safe and effective,” or GRASE. 

Only 2 products sold in USA were designated as GRASE: Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide.[10]


Sun-protective measures like hats, sunglasses, seeking shade and avoiding peak sunlight for extended periods of time should be used before turning to sunscreen. If you have to stay sun-exposed, then you should use a non-nano non micronized zinc oxide cream with as few ingredients as possible.


For other natural ways to minimize sun damage please read part 2.


If you are interested in more healthy life style recommendations please call the office of

Dr. Val Koganski 215-750-7000 or go online






1. P. G. Lindqvist et al.  Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for all‐cause mortality: results from the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort. 2014 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine. 04 April 2014

2. Gillian L. Fell et al. Skin β-Endorphin Mediates Addiction to UV Light.DOI:

3. Diane E. Wallis et al. The “Sunshine Deficit” and Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2008;118:1476–1485.

4. Marianne Berwick et al. Sun Exposure and Mortality From Melanoma. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 97, Issue 3, 2 February 2005, Pages 195–199, 

5. M. Nathaniel Mead. Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health.  Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Apr; 116(4): A160–A167. doi: 10.1289/ehp.116-a160PMCID: PMC2290997PMID: 18414615

6.Rouzaud F et al. MC1R and the response of melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation. Mutat Res. 2005 Apr 1;571(1-2):133-52. Epub 2005 Jan 26. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2004.09.014

7. Anna-Maria Andersson et al. Variation in Levels of Serum Inhibin B, Testosterone, Estradiol, Luteinizing Hormone, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone, and Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin in Monthly Samples from Healthy Men during a 17-Month Period: Possible Effects of Seasons . The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 88, Issue 2, 1 February 2003, Pages 932–937,

8.Walch, Jeffrey M. et al. The Effect of Sunlight on Postoperative Analgesic Medication Use: A Prospective Study of Patients Undergoing Spinal Surgery. Psychosomatic Medicine: January-February 2005 - Volume 67 - Issue 1 - p 156-163 doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000149258.42508.70

9. Murali K. Matta, PhD et al. Effect of Sunscreen Application Under Maximal Use Conditions on Plasma Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients. A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2019;321(21):2082-2091. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.5586


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