Embrace the Sun, by authors Marc B. Sorenson and William B. Grant, claims that sun avoidance may be nearly as hazardous to your health as cigarette smoking! Will there soon be a Surgeon General’s warning about staying indoors or putting on too much sunscreen? Is this book based on science or pure science fiction?
The book is based on science and research. Together, Sorenson and Granthave worked 62 years studying and practicing health, nutrition, and the proper relationship with sunlight. A mountain of evidence exists showing that sunlight can promote weight loss, reduce depression, and profoundly decrease the risk of today’s common diseases including most cancers, heart disease, autism, diabetes, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, infertility, preterm birth, and psoriasis. Do I have your attention? This book provides solid evidence towards a case for regular, sensible sun.
Some of the studies discussed in the book include:
# A twenty-year study in Sweden found "Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for the death of a similar magnitude as smoking. Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6-2.1 years."
# An investigation from Iran on the association between cancer risk and vitamin D showed that among women who totally covered themselves and thereby had no sun exposure, there was a 10-fold increase in the risk of the disease
# Women in Spain who actively seek the sun have a 91% reduced risk of hip fracture of compared to women who stayed indoors.
According to the book, 75% of all melanomas occur on areas of the body that are seldom or never exposed to sunlight. Additionally, sun exposure has decreased by about 90% in the US population since 1935. During that same period, melanoma incidence has increased exponentially, by approximately 3,000%! This evidence debunks the myth that melanoma is caused primarily by the sun and instead suggests that the disease is at least partially caused by sun deprivation.
“Marc Sorenson and Bill Grant take us on a delightful journey to better understand the health benefits of our magnificent sun at a time when our sun has been demonized by various health organizations, including the dermatology community, which has been essentially unchallenged for the past 50 years,” said Michael F. Holick, Boston University Medical Center, “Embrace the Sun is an easy read that is chock-full of valuable information about the health benefits of sensible sun exposure. It provides a very practical guide on how to take advantage of our Magnificent Sun.”
“This book is a tour de force for health effects of exposure to the sun,” said Cedric F. Garland, University of California at San Diego. “It is written simply enough and in such a light-hearted vein that any intelligent fifth grader can and should read it. It also should be required reading for every upcoming doctor in training and all healthcare professionals.”
Sorenson and Grant prepare the reader to make an informed choice. With summer coming, is it wise to get out regularly at midday, exercise, and soak up some rays? Or better to stay indoors, continuing the current regimen? Could it be that something so central to nature, the sun, which has been part of the human race for thousands of years is now bad for us? In this blip that is the late 20thand beginning 21st century has sun avoidance been helpful or hurtful? Read Embrace the Sun and find out!