Here’s a big list of studies about some of the health benefits of sun exposure:

Sunbeds with UVB radiation Can Produce Physiological Levels of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Healthy Volunteers (2017)

Conclusion: This Canadian study investigating the health benefits of UVB tanning beds found that *UVB*-emitting low pressure fluorescent lamp sunbeds (particularly 100 watt) are extremely effective for raising vitamin D levels into the optimal range. Higher pressure, higher wattage sunbeds do NOT produce this effect. The higher the UVB percentage of the sunbed, the better the vitamin D increase.


Cell Defenses and the Sunshine Vitamin (2016)

Note: Comprehensive overview of the astounding list of vitamin D’s functions and benefits.


Avoidance of Sun Exposure is a Risk Factor for All-Cause Mortality: Results from the Melanoma in Southern Sweden Cohort (2014)

Conclusion: A 20-year prospective study of 29,518 Southern Swedish women found that the mortality rate for women who reported to actively avoid sun exposure was DOUBLE compared to women who reported enjoying the highest amount of sun exposure. “The results of this study provide observational evidence that avoiding sun exposure is a risk factor for all‐cause mortality. Following sun exposure advice that is very restrictive in countries with low solar intensity might in fact be harmful to women’s health. We conclude that women who avoid sun exposure are at an increased risk of all‐cause death with a twofold increased mortality rate as compared to those with the highest sun exposures.”


Effects of a Single Biodose of Ultraviolet Radiation Upon the Speed of College Women (2013)

Conclusion: This double blind experiment on female sprinters found that exposure to ultraviolet light slightly improved the running speed of the women compared to their performance following exposure to incandescent light.


Is Prevention of Cancer by Sun Exposure More Than Just the Effect of Vitamin D? A Systematic Review of Epidemiological Studies (2013)

Conclusion: “We found that almost all epidemiological studies suggest that chronic (not intermittent) sun exposure is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal-, breast-, prostate cancer and NHL.”


Ultraviolet Radiation in Wound Care: Sterilization and Stimulation (2013)

Note: This is an extensive scholarly article covering the antimicrobial and wound-healing effects of ultraviolet radiation, including as a treatment for antibiotic-resistant pathogens.


Vitamin D for Health: A Global Perspective (2013)

Note: Extremely comprehensive article explaining vitamin D’s role in the human body.


Association Between Ambient Ultraviolet Radiation and Risk of Esophageal Cancer (2012)

Conclusion: 995 esophageal cancer patients in Australia were analyzed along with 1471 population controls. The cancer patients reported having less sun exposure over their lifetimes and tended to live in less sunny areas than the controls.


Ecological Studies of the UVB–Vitamin D–Cancer Hypothesis (2012)

Note: This article covers many studies providing strong evidence that a lack of UVB exposure / vitamin D is strongly associated with colon cancer, rectal cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, renal cancer, vulvar cancer, gallbladder cancer, brain cancer, multiple myeloma, leukemia, prostate cancer, laryngeal cancer, thyroid cancer, melanoma, and pharyngeal cancer.


Association Between Ambient Ultraviolet Radiation and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (2012)

Conclusion: 1,500 ovarian cancer patients and 1,459 healthy female controls in Australia were analyzed. The top third of all the women who reported having the most sun exposure over their lifetimes and who lived in the sunnier areas of Australia had the lowest risk for ovarian cancer. Those in the bottom third for lifetime sun exposure had the highest risk for ovarian cancer. “Women who spent their lives in areas with higher levels of ambient UVR [ultraviolet radiation] had a lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer than those living in areas with lower levels of ambient UVR.”


Vitamin D and Drug-Metabolising Enzymes (2012)

Conclusion: Vitamin D effects the metabolism of drugs, with drug clearance reportedly being higher for people during times of stronger UVB sunlight and higher vitamin D levels.


Increased UVA Exposures and Decreased Cutaneous Vitamin D3 Levels May Be Responsible for the Increasing Incidence of Melanoma (2009)

Conclusion: Low vitamin D levels resulting from a lack of direct, midday sun exposure increase the risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.


In Defense of the Sun: An Estimate of Changes in Mortality Rates in the United States if Mean Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels Were Raised to 45 ng/ml by Solar Ultraviolet-B Irradiance (2009)

Note: Very good scientific article on the benefits of sensible sun exposure.


How Strong is the Evidence that Solar Ultraviolet B and Vitamin D Reduce the Risk of Cancer? (2009)

Note: Comprehensive overview on the evidence of vitamin D and UVB’s anti-cancer benefits.


Vitamin D Receptor, UVR, and Skin Cancer: A Potential Protective Mechanism (2008)

Conclusion: Although UVB exposure can cause non-melanoma skin cancer, it’s also the same UV spectrum necessary for the epidermal vitamin D synthesis that prevents other cancers.


Sun Exposure Prior to Diagnosis is Associated with Improved Survival in Melanoma Patients: Results from a Long-Term Follow-Up Study of Italian Patients (2008)

Conclusion: Melanoma skin cancer patients who enjoy more sun exposure over their lifetimes also enjoy higher survival rates.


The Association Between Ultraviolet B Irradiance, Vitamin D Status and Incidence Rates of Type 1 Diabetes in 51 regions Worldwide (2008)

Conclusion: Incidence rates of Type-1 diabetes are generally higher at latitudes farther away from the equator where there is less UVB radiation necessary for vitamin D production in humans. Type-1 diabetes incidences decrease in regions closer to the equator.


Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health (2008)

Note: Great article providing a comprehensive overview of sensible sun exposure being vital for optimum health.


Vitamin D and Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study (2007)

Conclusion: Increasing sun exposure reduces breast cancer risk.


Vitamin D and Prevention of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis (2007)

Conclusion: Individuals who achieve adequate vitamin D levels through supplementation and moderate sun exposure are 50% less likely to develop breast cancer compared to individuals who test as being deficient in vitamin D.


Vitamin D and Prevention of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis (2007)

Conclusion: Individuals who achieve adequate vitamin D levels through supplementation and moderate sun exposure are 50% less likely to develop breast cancer compared to individuals who test as being deficient in vitamin D.


Photoprotection by 1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Is Associated with an Increase in p53 and a Decrease in Nitric Oxide Products (2007)

Conclusion: Vitamin D and UV exposure “induce high levels” of the anti-cancer, tumor-suppressing, DNA-repairing p53 protein.


Does Sunlight Prevent Cancer? A Systematic Review (2006)

Conclusion: “From our review, it becomes clear that there is an increasing evidence of sunlight having a preventive effect on the initiation and/or progression of different kinds of cancer.”


The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention (2006)

Conclusion: Sun exposure and vitamin D prevent colon, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer.


The Association of Solar Ultraviolet B (UVB) with Reducing Risk of Cancer: Multifactorial Ecologic Analysis of Geographic Variation in Age-Adjusted Cancer Mortality Rates (2006)

Conclusion: A study of American cancer mortality rates from 1950-1969 and 1970-1994 found that cancer mortality rates have been higher in areas of American with weaker UVB solar radiation (i.e. northern latitudes).


Solar Ultraviolet-B Exposure and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the United States, 1993–2002 (2006)

Conclusion: “The evidence is clear that exposure to solar UV-B affords protection against numerous cancers.”


Induction of Withdrawal-Like Symptoms in a Small Randomized, Controlled Trial of Opioid Blockade in Frequent Tanners (2006)

Conclusion: UV exposure produces feel-good endorphins that can apparently become addictive and produce physical withdrawal symptoms similar to opiods. This study portrays tanning as a dangers, unhealthy disorder behavior, but maybe those addictive endorphins from UV exposure are a reward mechanism to make you get your ass in the sunshine and get some vital vitamin D.


Ultraviolet Radiation, Dietary Vitamin D, and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (2006)

Conclusion: Study examined 551 people with non-hodgkin lymphoma and 462 controls and found that those who received more UV exposure through sunlight and tanning lamps had a slightly reduced risk for NHL.


Sun Exposure and Mortality from Melanoma (2005)

Conclusion: “Sun exposure is associated with increased survival from melanoma.”


Is there more than one road to melanoma? (2004)

Conclusion: Outdoor workers are at a lower risk of developing melanoma skin cancer compared to indoor workers.


Tanning is Associated with Optimal Vitamin D Status (Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration) and Higher Bone Mineral Density (2004)

Conclusion: A study of 50 people who use tanning beds at least once a week were found to have vitamin D levels almost twice as high, significantly higher bone density, and lower parathyroid hormone levels compared to 106 control subjects.


Sunlight and Vitamin D for Bone Health and Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases, Cancers, and Cardiovascular Disease (2004)

Note: Article from top vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick on our relationship with sunlight and vitamin D and what it means for our overall health.


Vitamin D3 from Sunlight May Improve the Prognosis of Breast-, Colon- and Prostate Cancer (2004)

Conclusion: 115,096 cases of breast, colon, and prostate cancer diagnosed over a 28-year period were observed. Researchers found that patients diagnosed in the summer and fall, when population vitamin D levels are highest, had the lowest cancer fatality rate. “The results suggest that a high level of vitamin D3 at the time of diagnosis, and thus, during cancer treatment, may improve prognosis of the three cancer types studied.” The study also found that men and women who received medium to high levels of occupational sun exposure had an extraordinarily lower cancer fatality rate compared to people with low occupational sun exposure.


The Influence of Painful Sunburns and Lifetime Sun Exposure on the Risk of Actinic Keratoses, Seborrheic Warts, Melanocytic Nevi, Atypical Nevi, and Skin Cancer (2003)

Conclusion: While chronic lifetime sun exposure is associated with an increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancer, lifetime sun exposure is also associated with a decreased risk for deadly melanoma skin cancer.


An Estimate of Premature Cancer Mortality in the U.S. Due to Inadequate Doses of Solar Ultraviolet-B Radiation (2002)

Conclusion: Lack of midday sun exposure increases one’s risk for developing and dying from breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, bladder, esophageal, kidney, lung, pancreatic, rectal, stomach, and uterine cancer.


Sunlight and Mortality From Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Prostate, and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: A Composite Death Certificate Based Case-Control Study (2002)

Conclusion: Sun exposure lowers your risk of developing breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer.


Impact of UVA Exposure on Psychological Parameters and Circulating Serotonin and Melatonin (2002)

Conclusion: This study found that subjects who underwent a UVA irradiation session twice a week for three weeks tested as having higher serotonin levels and lower melatonin levels compared to a control group. The UVA-irradiated group also reported feeling “significantly more balanced, less nervous, more strengthened, and more satisfied with their appearance.” So although you can’t get vitamin D from UVA, this study demonstrates that there are still health benefits of UVA exposure and bright light and that it’s not a bad idea to enjoy a balance of full-spectrum sunlight.


Vitamin D Status and Its Adequacy in Healthy Danish Perimenopausal Women: Relationships to Dietary Intake, Sun Exposure and Serum Parathyroid Hormone (2001)

Conclusion: 2.5 year-long study of 2,016 healthy, white menopausal women in Denmark concludes that menopausal women who avoid summer sun exposure and do not supplement with vitamin D are prone to vitamin D insufficiency. Those who intentionally exposed themselves to regular sun exposure had the highest levels, those who reported occasional sun exposure had lower levels, and those reported actively avoiding sun exposure had the lowest levels. Active sunbathing was correlated more highly with vitamin D status than supplementation.The study also found that their vitamin D levels spiked significantly in the summer.


Prostate Cancer Risk: Associations With Ultraviolet Radiation, Tyrosinase and Melanocortin-1 Receptor Genotypes (2001)

Conclusion: “Exposure to ultraviolet radiation may reduce prostate cancer risk.”


Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency Due to Crohn’s Disease with Tanning Bed Ultraviolet B Radiation (2001)

Case Study: This crohn’s disease patient suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency was prescribed to use a UVB tanning bed for 10 minutes three times per week. After only one month her vitamin D levels “increased by 357% from 7 to 32 ng/mL” and after six months of this she was cured of the musculoskeletal pains she was suffering.


Geographic Variation of MS Incidence in Two Prospective Studies of US Women (1999)

Conclusion: There are more incidences of multiple sclerosis in the northern regions of the United States that the southern regions, which are closer to the equator and enjoy more vitamin D-creating UVB solar radiation.


Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk: The NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (1999)

Conclusion: “Sunlight exposure and dietary vitamin D reduce the risk of breast cancer.”


Suberythemal UV-Irradiation Increases Immunological Capacity in Children With Frequent Cold (1998)

Conclusion: Regular sun exposure increases immunity in children.


A Controlled Study of Light Therapy in Women with Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder (1998)

Conclusion: In a 6-month randomized control trial comparing the effects of 10,000 lx bright light with 500 lx placebo light on women with late luteal phase dysphoric disorder, it was found that bright light therapy (you know, like SUNLIGHT) was effective for significantly reducing PMS symptoms and improving mood.


Light Treatment for Nonseasonal Depression: Speed, Efficacy, and Combined Treatment (1998)

Conclusion: Bright light treatment was found to alleviate depression faster than medication.


Bright Light Treatment of Winter Depression: A Placebo-Controlled Trial (1998)

Conclusion: In a randomized control trial experiment involving 96 seasonal affective disorder patients, three weeks of bright light therapy proved to have an antidepressant effect on winter depression sufferers.


Ultraviolet Irradiation Corrects Vitamin D Deficiency and Suppresses Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in the Elderly (1998)

Conclusion: 45 elderly, female nursing home patients were enrolled in a 3-month randomized clinical trial where they either received (1) an extremely mild dose of UVB exposure three times per week, (2) 400 IU of oral vitamin D3 per day (very, very small dose), or (3) no treatment at all. At the beginning of the study 95% of patients were clinically deficient in vitamin D (with 60% being severely deficient), after the three months of treatment the UVB and oral vitamin D groups both enjoyed a doubling of their vitamin D levels. Although their vitamin D levels were still insufficient, the level increase is still impressive considering how small the dose of UVB and vitamin D they were being given. The researchers concluded that UVB exposure and oral vitamin D are basically equally effective for raising and maintaining vitamin D levels. The control group receiving no treatment demonstrated zero changes in their vitamin D levels.


Preliminary Trial of Photic Stimulation for Premenstrual Syndrome (1997)

Conclusion: This study tested the effect four months of daily light therapy sessions on 17 women with severe PMS. At the end of the study 12 of the women (71%) reported not even having PMS symptoms at all anymore and PMS symptoms for the entire group decreased by 76% “with clinically and statistically significant reductions for depression, anxiety, affective lability, irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, food cravings, bloating and breast pain.” The results obtained from light therapy in this study are superior to results from experiments with the SSRI antidepressant fluoxetine.


Sunny Rooms Expedite Recovery From Severe and Refractory Depressions (1996)

Conclusion: A psychiatric clinic noticed over a period of time that their depressed patients staying in the brighter, sunnier hospital rooms recovered faster than patients staying in dully lit rooms. They looked over their records and realized that the depressed patients in sunny rooms stayed 16.9 days, whereas the depressed patients staying in the dully lit rooms stayed 19.5 days. The patients in the sunny rooms were inadvertently receiving bright light therapy, which has been proven to be an effective treatment for depression.


Natural Light Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (1996)

Conclusion: This double-blind study compared the effects after 1 week of a daily 1-hour morning walk outdoors versus a daily half-hour placebo light treatment (only 2800 lux) in seasonal affective disorder patients. The morning walk proved to be effective for regulating melatonin secretion and reducing cortisol, whereas the placebo light treatment did neither.


Sunlight, Vitamin D, and Ovarian Cancer Mortality Rates in U.S. Women (1994)

Conclusion:  “Sunlight may be a protective factor for ovarian cancer mortality.”


Morning Bright Light Therapy for Sleep and Behavior Disorders in Elderly Patients with Dementia (1994)

Conclusion: Morning bright light therapy was shown to be effective for improving sleep and behavior disorders in demented elderly patients.


Beneficial Effects of Sun Exposure on Cancer Mortality (1993)

Conclusion: “The research studies presented here suggest that dermal activation of vitamin D from regular, moderate sun exposure has a strong protective effect in the prevention of breast and colon cancer; has a weaker protective effect in melanoma, leukemia, and lymphoma; and acts to lower overall cancer death rates.”


Geographic Patterns of Prostate Cancer Mortality. Evidence for a Protective Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation (1992)

Conclusion: There are lower prostate cancer mortality rates in the southern regions of America compared to the northern regions due to the south receiving stronger sunlight with more vitamin D-producing UVB radiation.


Geographic Variation in Breast Cancer Mortality in the United States: A Hypothesis Involving Exposure to Solar Radiation (1990)

Conclusion: The U.S. breast cancer mortality rate is lower in the South and Southwest regions of America (which are closer to the equator and get more UVB) than it is in the Northeast (farther away from the equator, less UVB).


Malignant Melanoma in U.S. Navy Personnel (1989)

Conclusion: Navy personnel who work indoors have an increased incidence of melanoma skin cancer compared to personnel who work outdoors.


Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Skin Cholesterol (1967)

Note: This is an old, neat study demonstrating how quickly sunlight starts to transform the cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D.


The Relation of Solar Radiation to Cancer Mortality in North America (1940)

Conclusion: Sun exposure increases immunity to cancer.


Mean Annual Hours of Sunshine and the Incidence of Dental Caries (1939)

Conclusion: This study measured the dental cavity incidence among 94,337 white pre-teen boys through the United States. Boys living in the sunniest areas of America had the fewest cases of dental decay and boys living in the least sunny areas of America had the highest rate of dental decay. Boys living in very sunny areas such as San Diego, California had half the dental decay rates of boys living in the least sunny areas like Portland, Oregon.


The Effect of General Irradiation with Ultra-Violet Light upon the Frequency of Colds. (1928)

Conclusion: This study exposed five different groups of people to varying amounts of UV light to see what effect this would have on the number of colds they suffer. The groups which received more UV irradiation suffered “27.9” fewer colds than those who received less or no supplementary UV exposure over the course of the study.




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