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

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.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Books

The UV Advantage by Dr. Michael Holick

 

The Healing Sun by Richard Hobday

 

 

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