Vitamin S for Sunshine: The Sun’s Power on Our Health

Interview: Dr. Michael Evangel

Dr. Michael S. Evangel, Chiropractic Physician, is the owner of the Chiropractic Wellness Center in Ramsey, NJ. For over 30 years, his mission is to provide state of the art, high-quality care to people of all ages. 

What Dr. Micheal Evangel Can Say in an Interview
on
the Benefits of Sun Exposure:

  • Life of Earth is only possible because of the light from the sun.
  • There are many additional benefits of sunshine besides producing vitamin D.
  • Sunlight is important for the regulation of your daily biorhythms. Light therapy has been shown to be effective against seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and non-seasonal major depression.
  • Vitamin D is important for injury repair and boosts immunity. Recent studies have correlated low levels of vitamin D levels with a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Contrary to popular belief, the most beneficial time to get sun exposure is midday. This is because that is when the beneficial UV-B rays are the strongest. These rays produce vitamin D, but also cause sunburn. UV-A rays are fairly consistent throughout the day. These are the rays that don’t burn your skin but can cause skin cancer.  When the skin turns the slightest pink, vitamin D production plummets and skin damage can occur.
  • We feel great when we are in sunshine, but why? The answer can be found at the two ends of the visible spectrum. The lower end of the visible spectrum contains red and infrared light. Those frequencies of light positively impact our health. That light is absorbed by pigmented chemicals called chromophores. These molecules transfer that energy to the mitochondria. The mitochondria are nicknamed the “powerhouse” of the cell because they burn fuel to produce energy that is stored in the chemical bonds of ATP molecules. ATP molecules also have a nickname, which is the “battery of life.” All biological processes need ATP to work.
  • Cells prioritize energy. The 1st priority is to stay alive. The 2nd priority is to do the job that the cell was meant to do. The 3rd priority is to heal, but that can only happen when there is enough ATP. The result of red and infrared light exposure is accelerated cell repair and healing.
  • Above the high end of the visible spectrum is ultraviolet light. This light helps to produce vitamin D in the skin. 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 is the major circulating form of vitamin D in the bloodstream. This is the form that a blood test measures to determine your vitamin D status. About 25% of Americans have inadequate vitamin D levels. I consider that a low estimate. I feel that below 60 ng/ml, not 30 ng/ml is a more accurate level to call a deficiency. I like to see levels in my patients around 80 ng/ml.
  • Vitamin D works locally at the cellular level. There are about 20,000 to 25,000 human genes and vitamin D impacts nearly 3,000 of them in some way. Vitamin D can directly activate and deactivate 291 genes.
  • Vitamin D also plays a major role in neurotransmission. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a number of neurological and brain disorders, including cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, epilepsy, and depression.
  • Many Americans are vitamin D deficient, especially during the winter.
  • Sunlight also produces beta-endorphins, which make you feel better and elevates your mood. Nitric oxide is produced in the skin by sunshine, which can help lower your blood pressure. A whole host of other chemicals are also produced. I am sure that some of those chemicals have not even been identified yet.
  • Sun exposure also has a number of cardiovascular benefits, causing vasodilation of blood vessels and reducing risk for peripheral vascular disease and heart attacks.
  • Another interesting fact about ultraviolet light is that UV-B doesn’t penetrate glass well, but UV-A does. You won’t tan through glass, but you can increase your risk of skin cancer. It may therefore be a good idea to wear a non-toxic sunscreen in that situation. A great source for information about safe sunscreens can be found at EWG.org.
  • UV-C is another ultraviolet frequency that is known for its disinfectant properties, killing bacteria, and viruses.
  • Sunshine is very good for us, but only in moderation.

 

Available for Interviews: Dr. Michael Evangel

Dr. Michael S. Evangel owner of Chiropractic Wellness Center. His practice specializes in treating a variety of conditions, from clinical nutrition to chronic low back and neck pain, to rehabilitation following an accident or injury. Other focuses include improving your diet, what supplements to take, avoiding toxins, creating a healthier workplace, and increasing the overall quality of your health. Dr. Evangel is a former science teacher with master’s degree in environmental health.

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