Dr. Marc Sorenson the author of the book Solar
Power that I have referred to before in previous newsletters
was recently published on the subject of, can UVB from sunlight
and tanning beds reverse osteoporosis?
Sorenson says in our aging society, fractures
due to osteoporosis are pandemic. Most elderly people suffer
from the disease, which results when the bones lose their calcium,
becoming porous and weak. Because the disease manifests itself
so frequently in the elderly, osteoporosis is not only evitable,
but it is also reversible.
Can sunlight exposure reverse osteoporosis? The answer is an
unequivocal yes! I had long known that osteoporosis was at
least partly reversible in patients who were given a program
of weight-bearing exercise. But it was surprising to learn
that even without exercise, an impressive increase in bone
density could be achieved. In a profoundly important piece
of research, the effects of sunlight on bone were determined.
The subjects were elderly women-stroke victims-who had low
blood levels of vitamin D. In a 12 month study, 129 of these
women were exposed to regular sunlight and another 129 remained
indoors. The results were startling: the sunlight group increased
bone mass by an average 3.1 percent; in the non-sunlight-exposed
group, bone mass decreased by 3.3 percent. That is a difference
in bone mass of 6.4 percent between the two groups. Is this
important: the risk of fracture increases two to three times
for every 10 percent drop in bone density!
Could tanning bed exposure work as well as sunlight exposure
in reducing osteoporosis and its subsequent fractures? Research
has shown that those who use tanning beds have levels of vitamin
D that are 90 percent higher than those who do not use tanning
beds; tannin-bed users also have significantly higher bone
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