Which is the Vitamin that is not Normally Found in any Vegetarian Food? — Vitamin D
June 1, 2020
What would happen if you don’t get enough sun?
Which is the vitamin that is not normally found in any vegetarian food? Vitamin D.
Scientists have defined vitamins as organic (carbon-containing) chemicals that must be obtained from dietary sources because they are not produced by our bodies. Vitamins play a crucial role in our body’s metabolism, but only tiny amounts are needed to fill that role.
The discovery of Vitamin D was the culmination of a long search for a way to cure rickets in the 1920s, a painful childhood bone disease. Within a decade, the fortification of foods with vitamin D was on the way, and rickets became rare in the United States. However, research results suggest that vitamin D may have a role in other aspects of human health.
Vitamin Dit’s absent from all-natural foods except for fish and egg yolks, and even when it’s obtained from foods, it must be transformed by the body before it can do any good. That’s why the energy of the Sun is so important.
The sun’s energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it into active vitamin D.
The main cause of vitamin D deficiency is a lack of direct sunlight
Humans, day by day, spend less time outdoors. Most people work indoors now, and many of our leisure pursuits occur in an indoor setting as well. What’s more, when we are outside, many people avoid the sun as much as possible. The result is the body not absorbing enough UVB rays to create the amount of vitamin D it requires. Often, symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are quite mild. When noticed, they mainly consist of:
Frequent bone fractures.
Muddled thought processes.
Soft or deformed bones.
Though you may not notice any symptoms, that doesn’t mean that vitamin D deficiency doesn’t present serious health risks. These include:
Children may develop severe asthma.
Immune system problems, raising your risk of infection.
Insulin resistance, impacting your body’s ability to process sugar and increasing your risk of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and glucose intolerance.
Osteoporosis, a condition that includes brittle bones that are more likely to fracture.
Reduced cognitive function.
Rickets, a bone disease that causes soft bones and skeletal deformities.
Other conditions that would happen without enough sunlight
Less chance of having a baby
Without sunlight, there will be more melatonin in a woman’s body. This is a hormone that suppresses fertility, thereby reducing her chances of conceiving a baby. Moreover, women who get less sunlight reach their menopause earlier than those who are exposed to the Sun. Men can also suffer from a lack of sunlight; it directly influences testosterone levels.
It’s believed that if children don’t get enough sunlight, they’ll be more at risk of developing multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system when they become adults.
All those aches and pains
Without sunlight, be prepared to get more pains all over your body. Sunlight helps to warm the body’s muscles and reduce the pain caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
No sunny emotions
Without sunlight, we would be forever stuck with the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly known as the winter blues. It’s a form of depression that is specifically caused by a lack of sunlight. Artificial light cannot fully replace natural sunlight.
Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D may help prevent many disorders, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome, increased blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks, and even cancer. Low serum vitamin D levels are also associated with being overweight, abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, having lower blood vitamin D levels for a long period is associated with increased heart attacks and all-cause mortality.
In Kaiyan medical, we believe in the benefits of light. We believe in healing without chemicals. With our lights, we want you to have the best version of yourself. More at kaiyanmedical.com
Phototherapy, also known as light therapy, is widely known as a safe, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical treatment option for various conditions, including depression, joint and muscle conditions, skin disorders, and insomnia. Today, light therapy is an FDA-approved and MDASAP-approved cosmetic procedure for all skin conditions. It provides anti-inflammatory healing, increases collagen production, and reduces acne scars, giving the skin they always wanted.
The History of Light Therapy
While NASA was using this form of therapy in the 1960s, light therapy has been around for hundreds of years. Solariums existed in China around 6,000 BC. During that time, Chinese architects designed their homes facing the south so that sun would heat the interior of the home, a design practice still being used today. Families gather around the windows, absorbing as much sunlight as possible. It wasn’t long until solar-heated homes became a common practice in Greece and Rome.
But this is just a small opening into the history of light therapy. We’re going to dig a little deeper and show you how light therapy started, from the Chinese to the Greeks to today.
Light therapy originates back to the ancient Greeks. Heliopolis, the city of the sun, was known for its healing temples, which used sunlight spectrums to assist with specific medical issues. This is where heliotherapy, the exposure to light, comes from.
Socrates believed the ideal home should cool in the summer and warm in the winter, a concept we still believe today. However, 2,500 years ago, the Greeks didn’t have the heating systems we have today.
During that time, they would use wood to heat their homes and cook. Wood was also used for fuel, to build homes and ships. But it was destroying the local ecosystem. Plato compared the hills of Attica to the bones of a body. He said,
“ All the richer and softer parts have fallen away…..and the mere skeleton of the land remains.”
With wood damaging the local environment, the Greeks sourced wood further away. This resulted in the cost of fuel prices increasing. Luckily, they had an alternative option for energy which was the sun - and it was free.
Greeks took advantage of the sun and started to build their homes with the sun in mind. The homes faced the south, allowing access to the sun during winter. The citizens were ecstatic as it saved them money and resources.
Greeks fell in love with their solar-friendly homes. Theophrastus, a naturalist, commented that Greeks believed,
the sun provides life-sustaining heat in animals and plants. It also probably supplies the heat of earthly flames. They believed they were catching the sun when making fire.
Exposure to natural sunlight became known as an important element to a healthy life. Oribasius, an ancient medical authority, stated that south-facing homes were healthy places to live in due to their exposure to the sun.
Dr. Niels Finsen, a Danish physician and scientist, received a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1903 for his contributions in treating lupus vulgaris and other illnesses via concentrated light radiation.
His award and recognition opened up endless possibilities for light therapy in the medical industry. Finsen discussed the use of ‘chemical rays of light’ in 1896. When he said ‘chemical light,’ he meant ionizing light, such as ultraviolet rays.
Decades of research proved that light therapy produced therapeutic benefits for living tissue. In the 1960s, in Europe, single wavelengths through photo-stimulation had therapeutic effects on tissue. An example is the practice of light therapy on newborns with jaundice.
1980s - 1990s
Light therapy gained popularity from the 1980s to 1990s, with more clinics and medical facilities seeing the benefits of light therapy to treat conditions and illnesses. The cosmetic benefits of light therapy became recognized during this period of time.
Professional athletes discovered light therapy as an ideal option for sports-related injuries as well. Research showed that an injured person who undergoes light therapy recovers 50 times faster than a person who doesn’t.
The development of red light therapy became unstoppable by the early 2000s. More companies jumped on board to produce light therapy devices for medical and aesthetic purposes. The devices come in varying lights and sizes to help aid specific conditions. Some research also found that red light therapy combined with topical cream can kill specific cancer cells.
We hope this quick background on the roots of light therapy has given you more insight into its effectiveness as a solution for clinical and aesthetic treatment. If you’re considering your own private label, we’re more than happy to explore this journey with you.
Here at Kaiyan Medical, we ensure all our red light therapy devices are FDA-certified and MDASAP-approved, ensuring you the safest products for professional use. To learn more about our light therapy products and devices, contact our team.
Solar energy — History. 2. Architecture and solar radiation — History. I. Perlin, JohnJoint author. II. Title.
A GOLDEN THREAD- 2500 YEARS OF SOLAR ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY by KEN BUTTI, JOHN PERLIN
Biohacking is the practice of changing our chemistry and our physiology through science and self-experimentation to energize and enhance the body. It’s a broad definition, but that’s also because the concept is constantly evolving. It includes implementing lifestyle and dietary changes that improve the functioning of your body, as well as wearable technology to help you monitor and regulate physiological data. It can even run to extremes such as using implant technology and genetic engineering.
The possibilities are endless, but they are all rooted in the idea that we can change our bodies and our brains, and that by doing so we can ultimately become smarter, faster, and better as human beings.
Start biohacking your body by using wearables like the FitBit or the Apple Watch to track the way you operate. You could also start experimenting with the power of music in your everyday life and adopting a sustainable healthy diet. But if you’re ready for something new, and something different, consider one of these non-invasive methods from our biohacking guide:
Biohack Tip 1: Red Light Therapy
Have you ever spent a lot of time indoors and begun to feel… off? Our bodies and brains need light to function at their best. Not only does the sun give us an important dose of vitamin D, but it helps us in a number of other physiological and emotional ways. Let’s look a little closer – specifically at the light wavelengths between 600 and 900 nanometers (nm). How does this range of light waves impact us and how can we use it to biohack the body?
Studies have shown that your body responds particularly well to red and near-infrared wavelengths, which range from 600 to 900 nm. This particular range of light waves is absorbed by the skin to a depth of about 8 to 10 millimeters, at which point your mitochondrial chromophores absorb the photons. This activates a number of the nervous system and metabolic processes.
In plainer terms, red light therapy has become an increasingly popular form of biohacking used to treat a number of conditions. It has been proven to relieve pain,reduce inflammation, and restore mood. And because it is a non-invasive and non-chemical treatment, it’s not as intimidating as other forms of biohacking.
Biohacking Tip 2: Functional Music
With over 100 billion neurons that are constantly using electricity to talk to each other, your brain is like Grand Central Station. If everyone is chattering loudly at the same time, it can be tough to concentrate on what you need to get done. That’s where music biohacking comes in. Brain activity can be measured in a wave-like pattern and determines if you feel alert, sleepy, relaxed, or stressed. Things that can affect your brainwaves include the activity you are currently performing, how much restorative rest you’ve had, and what you’ve just eaten or drank.
One of the most reliable ways to change your brainwaves is through a consistent sound wave. Audio entrainment, a form of music biohacking, uses binaural beats and tones to synchronize with your brain waves and induce a meditative, relaxed state. You can access programs developed specifically for your own brain and the activities you want to accomplish at Brain.fm. If you’re not ready to go that far, you can still change your mood and mindset by queuing up your favorite playlist and listening while you work out, cook breakfast, or commute to work.
Biohacking Tip 3: Osteostrong
We talk a lot about cardiac health. After all, heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. Everyone needs to be aware of cardiovascular diseases and how to protect themselves as best they can. As a culture, we also talk a lot about skin health – slathering on sunscreen as part of our daily routine and supplementing our diets with collagen-boosting foods. Weight loss, inflammation, memory, GI health, and how an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can prematurely age you – these are all at the forefront of our minds. But how often do we think about the health of our bones?
A decrease in bone health creeps up on you and most people are unaware of how bone density changes over time. Roughly up until the age of 30, men and women actually build more bone than they lose, so we are constantly strengthening our bones and working on bone density. But when we hit our mid-30s, things change. And if you’ve passed that benchmark, you may have felt that shift.
After reaching their mid-30s, women lose about 2% of bone density every year, and that continues for a few years following menopause. This leaves women with a high likelihood of experiencing osteoporosis.
So what do you do? Consider trying OsteoStrong, a non-pharmaceutical way of improving bone density, strength, and balance as one of your biohacking techniques.
According to OsteoStrong’s website, research indicates that the stimulus required to activate the growth of healthy bone tissue is 4.2 multiples of body weight. However, this level of force would be exceptionally difficult to achieve on your own. That’s why OsteoStrong utilizes the Spectrum System, which is part of a new category of devices called the Robotic Musculoskeletal Development System (RDMS).
Biohacking Tip 4: Gratitude
How we view life has a huge effect on our moods, how we treat others, and our general levels of fulfillment. When you have an abundance mindset, you’re consistently grateful for everything that comes your way and is always focused on the positive. Have a hard time adopting this type of perspective? Changing your mindset is really about nothing more than practice. You need to consistently refocus your brain to see the positive in every situation until it becomes second nature. These biohacking techniques and tools can help:
A gratitude journal in which you write three to five things you’re grateful for helps you reframe the day to focus on the positive and reflect on all the good things that happen to you.
Take a gratitude walk where you give thanks and send positive energy to every living thing you see. If you walk to work or take a morning jog, you can easily incorporate this into your normal routine.
Write a weekly letter of gratitude to someone who has helped you or who means a lot to you. It could be a family member, a long-lost friend, or even a coworker who always remembers to stock your favorite coffee.
Begin the day with a ritual, such as meditating, and set an intention to be grateful for all you encounter.
Biohacking Tip 5: Supplements
Exercising, eating right, and developing the right mindset are important steps tounlocking an extraordinary life. Biohacking helps you take this to the next level by incorporating supplements that improve focus, increase energy, and help your body benefit from the most bioavailable forms of nutrients available.
We often don’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need to keep us at peak performance. High-quality supplements in the form of pills, shakes, bars, or drinks can fill the nutritional gap and help boost performance, detoxify our systems, and achieve daily energy.
Tony has created a variety of health supplements, drinks, and bars that help you feel your best every day and make biohacking the body easy.
One study randomly divided participants into two separate groups for an 8-week training program. One group received a red light treatment before every training session, while the other group did the same training without the light treatment. They found that the group receiving the light therapy improved muscle growth 50% greater than those with muscle training alone. Pretty amazing, right?
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using red and infrared light on the biceps demonstrated peak and average performance of more than 12% more than the control group. But while this is all very interesting, I’m sure you’re wondering whether Red Light Therapy is worth it and what it can do for YOU. First of all, I’m sure many of you appreciate the science breakdown, but some of you may not be able to follow, so here’s a simple explanation.
Scientists have discovered that our cells show an incredible response to light, but not just any light. Only in the 660–850 nanometer (nm) range which is the so-called red light range. This type of light energy penetrates deep into the skin, muscle, and joint tissue and stimulates ATP production, which you should think of as your body’s way of transporting energy to where it needs to go. More ATP means more efficient energy transfers in layman's terms, which translates to various benefits at a cellular level.
So, by exposing our body to the therapeutic red light, our cells receive this rejuvenating, anti-aging energy boost that enables them to perform every single function at a heightened level and now that you understand the science behind it, let’s a look at the 5 reasons why it might be a good idea for you to invest in this technology.
Increased Energy & Testosterone
Sometimes we feel lethargic and out of energy, like our body is constantly running on empty. Then you spend some time outside on a nice hot summer day, and you all of a sudden feel amazing? It’s because our bodies rely on light as a source of energy, helping our glands to regulate adrenaline, testosterone, metabolism, and several other functions, and it has been shown that Red Light Therapy can increase testosterone production, which in turn can increase overall energy levels and even improve peak muscle performance.
Reduced Muscle Recovery Time
After a challenging workout, your body works around the clock to repair and strengthen torn muscle fibers. We know this. We also know that nutrition plays a huge role in providing the body with the resources it needs for this process. But what most of you don’t know is that specific wavelengths of light play a role in this process. By enhancing mitochondrial function, red light has been proven to produce measurable gains in peak strength and reduced recovery times.
Faster Healing For Joint & Muscle Injuries
Injuries, repetitive motion, or aging, in general, can lead to severe joint pain and tissue damage. But the body’s natural healing response can be greatly accelerated by red and infrared light. Also, relief from pain, faster recovery times, and reduced arthritis symptoms are just a few more of Red Light Therapy's benefits. For bodybuilders, yes, Red Light is also great for reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. After all, it’s a type of muscle tissue injury as well.
Healthier & Younger-Looking Skin
Red Light Therapy can improve skin clarity, tone, and texture, reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and puffy eyes, help fade scars, acne, and stretch marks, even enhance wound healing and circulation, simply by increasing the production of collagen and elastin.
Remember, collagen is a long-chain amino acid and the most abundant protein in the body. It’s responsible for giving skin its elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place. In fact, the collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in the body and 70% of the protein in the skin!
Now while collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it’s most noticeably beneficial to the skin. This is because as we age, the epidermic (or outer layer of skin) thins and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. As this happens, we tend to show more aging signs and acquire more wrinkles and stretch marks. But by restoring normal cellular function, because red light stimulates collagen production, red light therapy can help keep your skin looking healthier and younger for LONGER.
You can’t argue that our minds and body are under constant stress because of our busy lives. Well, Red Light Therapy has been proven to calm our physical and mental state by reducing oxidative stress. Now, I cannot personally attest to that, simply because my stress is through the roof, and other times, I get my mind right and relax, but it makes sense. Oxidative stress is not just harmful to our physical health but also our mental state as well.
Nothing is more important to us on Earth than the Sun. Without the Sun’s heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth.
We know the Sun through its heat and light, but other, less obvious aspects of the Sun affect Earth and society. Energetic atomic particles and X-rays from solar flares and other disturbances on the Sun often affect radio waves traveling the Earth’s ionosphere, causing interference and even blackouts of long-distance radio communications. Disturbances of the Earth’s magnetic field by solar phenomena sometimes induce huge voltage fluctuations in power lines, threatening to blackout cities. Even such seemingly unrelated activities as the flight of homing pigeons, transatlantic cable traffic, and the control of oil flow in the Alaska pipeline apparently are interfered with by magnetic disturbances caused by events on the Sun. Thus, understanding these changes — and the solar events that cause them — is important for scientific, social, and economic reasons.
We have long recognized the importance of the Sun and watched it closely. Primitive people worshiped the Sun and were afraid when it would disappear during an eclipse. Since the early seventeenth century, scientists have studied it with telescopes, analyzing the light and heat that manage to penetrate our absorbing, turbulent atmosphere. Finally, we have launched solar instruments and ourselves-into space to view the Sun and its awesome eruptions in every aspect.
Once we looked at the Sun by the visible light that reached the ground, it seemed an average, rather stable star. It was not exactly constant, but it seemed to vary in a fairly regular fashion, with a cycle of sunspots that comes and goes in about eleven years. Now the Space Age has given us an entirely different picture of the Sun. We have seen the Sun in other forms of light-ultra violet, X-rays, and gamma rays that never reach the ground from space. This radiation turns out to be far more responsive to flare eruptions and other so-called solar activity.
We now see the Sun as a place of violent disturbances, with wild and sudden movements above and below its visible surface. Besides, solar activity's influence seems to extend to much greater distances than we had believed possible. New studies of long series of historical records reveal that the Sun has varied in the past in strange and unexplained ways. Scientists wonder how such variations might affect the future climate on Earth.
We have obtained a clearer picture of the scope of the Sun’s effects. Its magnetic field stretches through interplanetary space to the outer limits of the solar system. Steady streams and intense storms of atomic particles blow outward from the Sun, often encountering our Earth's atmospheres and the other planets. The spectacular photos of the Earth from space show only part of the picture. Instruments carried on satellites reveal a wide variety of invisible phenomena — lines of magnetic force, atomic particles, electric currents, and a huge geocorona of hydrogen atoms — surrounding the Earth. Each is as complex and changing as the visible face of the globe. The Earth’s magnetic field extends tens of thousands of miles into space, and many different streams of electrons and protons circulate within it. Huge electric currents flow around the Earth, affecting their high-altitude surroundings as well as our environment at ground level.
Space observations have greatly expanded our ability to look at the Sun, interplanetary space, and the Earth's immediate surroundings. We can now “see” many phenomena that are completely undetectable from the Earth’s surface, and we now have a much better, more complete, and more coherent picture of how events in one part of our solar system relate to activity in another.
The Sun as a Star
We sometimes forget that there is one star that is easily visible in the day time: our Sun. The Sun is the only star close enough to be studied in detail, but we are confident that all the processes in the Sun must also occur in billions of distant stars throughout the universe. To understand the nature and behavior of other stars, we must first understand our own. At the same time, observations of other kinds of stars help put the Sun in perspective.
The Sun is a relatively typical star among the approximately 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The masses of most other stars that we see range from approximately one-tenth of the mass of the Sun to about 30 solar masses. The surface temperatures of most stars range from about 2000° C to 40,000° C. Although the Sun is somewhat on the cool side at about 6000° C, hot stars are rare, and most normal stars are cooler than the Sun. Compared to some of the explosive stars — novae, and supernovae — which sometimes appear in the sky, the Sun is stable and ordinary.
This long-term stability of our Sun probably was crucial for the development of life on Earth. Biologists believe that a relatively stable average temperature had to prevail on Earth during the past 3 billion years for life to evolve to its present state. The relative stability of the Sun is also important to astronomers trying to understand the basic nature of it and other stars. Violent activity in the Sun could mask the more subtle and long-enduring processes, which are the basic energy transport mechanisms of our star. Fortunately, they are not hidden, and we have been able to map the trend in solar properties with height above the visible surface.
Above the minimum temperature region in the photosphere, we have measured how the gas gets hotter as it thins out with height. The chromosphere and corona, each hotter than the layer below, are warmed by the transfer of energy from below through processes that are still not well understood.
Until space observations became possible, we knew nothing about coronae in any other stars and had only marginal information about stellar chromospheres' properties. Now, space observations have shown us that a large fraction of the stars in the sky have chromospheres and coronae.
On several dozen stars, we have even detected activity that may be connected with sunspot (or “starspot”) cycles like those of our own Sun. X-ray telescopes carried on satellites have recorded flares in other stars that are far more powerful than the already impressive flares of the Sun. By observing the strength and frequency of these events on stars with masses, ages, and rotation rates which differ from those of the Sun, we search for answers to such basic questions as: “How does the sunspot cycle period depend on the star’s rotation rate?” or “What is the relation between the temperature of a star’s corona and the strength of its magnetic field?” By deciphering the general pattern of stellar properties, we can better understand what makes things happen on the Sun.
The Sun presents us with a bewildering variety of surface features, atmospheric structures, and active phenomena. Sunspots come and go. The entire Sun shakes and oscillates in several different ways at the same time. Great eruptions called prominences hang high above the Sun’s surface for weeks, suspended by magnetic force, and sometimes shoot abruptly into space from the corona. The explosions called solar flares emit vast amounts of radiation and atomic particles in short periods of time, often with little or no warning.
Space observations have discovered many new aspects of solar events hidden from ground-based observatories—the Sunshine's hottest spots primarily in ultraviolet and X-rays, rather than in visible light. Thus, only from space can we map high-temperature solar flares' true structure and determine their physical conditions. Space observatories have shown us the higher, hotter layers of the Sun’s atmosphere that normally are invisible from the ground. Instruments on satellites revealed that in flares and other violent disturbances, the Sun acts like an atomic accelerator, driving electrons and protons to velocities approaching the speed of light. At such high speeds, the particles emit the high-energy X-rays and gamma rays measured by our satellites. Sometimes they even induce nuclear reactions on the surface of the Sun.
Two aspects of our improved knowledge of the Sun deserve special attention. One is the role of magnetic fields in determining virtually all aspects of the Sun’s upper atmosphere's structure and behavior. The other is discovering the solar wind, a stream of atomic particles that constantly evaporate from the Sun’s atmosphere and are accelerated to speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second, escaping into space in all directions.
The Earth-Sun Battle
For any solar particle to reach the Earth, it must first pass through the Earth’s magnetic field. Before the solar wind was discovered, the Earth’s field was thought to be symmetrical, resembling a huge bar magnet, fading off indefinitely into space. However, we now know that the solar wind shapes the Earth’s magnetic field's outer regions and is sharply bounded. Outside the boundary, space is dominated by the solar wind and the interplanetary magnetic field. Inside the boundary is the region or magnetosphere dominated by the Earth’s magnetic field. The measurements from many space missions have been combined to reveal that the solar wind blows out the Earth’s magnetosphere into a teardrop shape. The head of the drop extends only about 10 Earth radii, or about 65,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) “upwind” toward the Sun. The tail of the drop stretches away in the direction opposite the Sun, actually reaching beyond the Moon’s orbit. This long magnetotail extends more than 600,000 kilometers (370,000 miles) from the Earth.
At the boundary of the magnetosphere, there is a constant struggle between the Earth's magnetic field and the forces of the Sun. Buffeted by fluctuations in the solar wind velocity and density, the magnetosphere’s size and shape are continuously changing. When the solar wind strikes the magnetosphere, shock waveforms are analogous to the sonic boom preceding a supersonic airplane. Inside the boundary with the solar wind, the magnetosphere remains an active region. It contains two belts of very energetic charged atomic particles trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field hundreds of miles above the atmosphere. These belts were discovered by Professor James Van Allen of the University of Iowa and his colleagues in 1958, using simple radiation detectors carried by Explorer 1, the first U.S. satellite.
The Northern and Southern Lights: Gifts from the Sun
The structure of the Earth’s magnetosphere also controls aurorae's behavior, seen in our night skies. Pre-Space Age textbooks stated that aurorae are produced by photons emitted from the Sun and reach the Earth’s upper atmosphere through gaps in the Earth’s magnetic field at the north and south magnetic poles. According to the theory, these protons strike oxygen atoms in the atmosphere, and the collisions cause the glow, which we call the Northern Lights.
This view has changed in the Space Age. The data collected by many spacecraft showed that the situation is more complicated. Particles from both the solar wind and from the Earth’s atmosphere apparently are stored in the magnetotail. From there, they periodically are violently ejected into the northern and southern polar regions of the atmosphere along the Earth’s magnetic field. They are accelerated to high speeds by a process not yet fully explained. The magnetotail is, in effect, a reservoir of particles that is periodically refilled. When the Sun is active during maximum sunspot years, this process is especially intense and frequent, and the aurorae are brighter and move closer to the equator.
For thousands of years, people have used sunlight as a means to aid health and even cure illness. But the concept has gone in and out of favor over the course of time.
Some of the logic related to sunlight began in China around 6,000 BC. At that time, Chinese architects began building homes to face south so that the sun would heat the interior, a practice that continues even today. While windows were likely no more than a gap in the wall at the time, you can still imagine families gathering around to soak up the light and heat. Finally, the trend of solar-heated homes began to catch on in Greece and even Rome. Learn more about solariums.
Then, in the 1900s, research by Augusta Rollier led to the establishment of solaria — buildings designed to optimize exposure to sunlight — throughout Switzerland for the express purpose of sunbathing, which provided impressive results for fighting tuberculosis, smallpox, lupus, and even chronic diseases like arthritis.
But by the middle of the 20th century, the American Cancer Society began demonizing sun exposure as a significant cause of skin cancer.
However, doctors, scientists, and clinical research is demonstrating that consistent exposure to sunlight is actually a critical component of overall health.
Almost all life on earth needs sunlight for many essential functions. It’s hard to ignore its importance for our emotional and physical health as well. We did not evolve in the darkness. The fact that our bodies use UV wavelengths to produce vitamin D has been well established. Read more about vitamin D here.
Is Sunlight Dangerous?
Several recent studies have come to the conclusion that consistent sunlight exposure actually reduces the chances of getting melanoma, and instead increases the survival rate. Also, throughout the ages, regardless of their geographical location, large groups of people have been exposed to nearly continuous sunlight. We evolved having sunlight.
So why did the melanoma epidemic not hit until the 1970s? And if sunscreen is the solution, why have melanoma rates increased over 200% since 1973 — even while the U.S. sunscreen industry has expanded from $18 million in 1972 to around $2 billion today?It’s hard to believe that sunlight was the major problem, nor sunscreen the solution.
A recent review of many such studies published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention concluded that “there is accumulating evidence for sunlight as a protective factor for several types of cancer.” Sadly, many people still live under the incorrect premise that sunlight is damaging and harmful.
The reality is that we have become so disconnected from natural sunlight that our bodies aren’t equipped to handle its under-appreciated benefits. You may be surprised to learn that as your body gets sunlight in the morning, you can actually prepare your cells for the effects of UV light later in the day. And amazingly, the wavelengths in evening sunlight have a natural repairing effect. That’s because red and infrared wavelengths, which are delivered in higher concentrations in the morning and evening, have the unique ability to boost mitochondrial function. This, in turn, enables our cells to both withstand the stresses — and harness the benefits — of UV light. In addition, exposure to sunlight as the seasons change allows our skin to develop a tan, which also forms a natural protection against the stronger UV wavelengths during the summer months.
So the evidence suggests that sunlight might not be the bad guy, after all, we just need to develop a better understanding of how sunlight affects our bodies, and how to harness its potential to improve our health.
The Benefits of Receiving Sunlight
Our retinas are connected directly to the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus gland, which acts as the master circadian pacemaker of the body. Because of this, light received through your eyes plays a critical role in hormonal functions including melatonin production, which regulates our sleep. Quite literally, your body knows to shut off this hormone through exposure to morning sunlight. This type of exposure early in the day also helps produce melatonin later in the evening, when light is absent. Even more amazing, the hypothalamus gland, which is controlled by light, is responsible for controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, and emotional activity — in addition to regulating your hormones and circadian rhythm!
Dopamine is another chemical that is regulated by light and released in the brain. It functions as a neurotransmitter and is closely tied to the emotions of reward and pleasure. In fact, many addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that light exposure is tied to increased dopamine production. So it’s clear that light received through our eyes plays a much more powerful role than most of us realize.
How You Can Benefit from More Light
Getting as much natural sunlight as possible is clearly important. For example, receiving morning sunlight correctly sets your circadian rhythm. However, nowadays, most of us find it challenging to spend hours in the sun — at the right time of day — on a regular basis. Our busy schedules just don’t allow for more time in the sun. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors.
Because this is the case for most of us, a great way to receive the healthy wavelengths of light is by using a light therapy device. One way to think of red light therapy is as a supplement for your health. Dietary supplements help fill out the vitamins your body needs, and regular red light therapy sessions help fill in the lack of natural light our bodies need.
There are many proven benefits of receiving certain wavelengths of natural sunlight directly through our skin and bodily tissues. One aspect that has received little attention is related to the cellular processes affected by certain wavelengths of light.
Researchers in the field of light therapy, or photobiomodulation (PBM), have discovered some incredibly powerful functions derived from wavelengths of light in the optimal window. Improved mitochondrial function, which impacts virtually all cellular metabolic activity, has been widely demonstrated to improve health in a number of ways — including enhanced muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, increased testosterone, and better overall skin health.
In addition to these clinically-proven benefits, several studies have demonstrated that certain wavelengths of light can increase blood flow and assist in the formation of new capillaries. Dr. Gerald Pollack explores this concept in more detail in his award-winning book, The Fourth Phase of Water.
In conclusion, scientists are really just beginning to understand the crucial role that light plays in our overall health. But recent evidence strongly suggests that exposing our bodies to the right kind of light can lead to some wonderful benefits.
Klepeis NE, Nelson WC, Ott WR, et al. The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2001 May-Jun;11(3):231–52.
When summer rolls around, we all head outside, absorbing as many rays as we can. And the proof is in the numbers, with the top five summertime activities being barbeques, going to the beach, attending festivals, going for a hike, and exploring nature. When the sun comes out, people flock to the outdoors with good reason. We need the sun’s rays to survive.
However, many of us go a little overboard. Some lather on tanning oil or skip sunscreen to make sure we receive as much pigmentation as possible. And yes, we need vitamin D, but overexposure leads to sun damage, including sunspots and wrinkles.
However, it doesn’t end there. Neglectful sun exposure can also lead to skin cancer. While the damage has already been done from years of sunbathing and tanning oils, there are ways we can repair sun-damaged skin, reduce wrinkles and sunspots.
It can help repair the sun damage done to our skin and turn back the clock with red light therapy.
What is Sun Damage?
In the end, skin damage comes from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. When we sunbathe, our skin naturally responds to the sun by protecting itself from UV light. What does our body do? Well, it produces melanin, which darkens the skin to reflect the UV light. So your summer tan is actually a defense mechanism. There are a few different types of sun damage to be aware of:
Melasma: It’s an overproduction of melanin that causes brown or gray patches to form on the skin.
Wrinkles: UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin in the skin, losing its firmness and causing wrinkles.
Sunburn: Sunburns are an inflammatory reaction to UV radiation damage to the skin. The body responds by repairing or removing the damaged cells, which results in redness and peeling.
Sun Spots: Overexposure to UV rays causes an increase of melanin production that builds up in clusters, producing dark spots on the skin.
Actinic Keratosis (AK): Causes a scaly patch of skin on the body from overexposure to UV light. This is particularly dangerous as around 10% of actinic keratosis becomes cancerous.
How Red Light Therapy Reverses Sun Damage
If you’re wondering whether sun damage is reversible or not, the answer is yes. Red light therapy uses infrared and red light to enhance the body’s healing process. Red light therapy increases the body’s collagen, elastin, and immune response; it can remove and repair dead or damaged skin cells.
By increasing collagen production, it’ll help smooth and firm the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Besides, red light therapy also protects existing collagen, which helps keep the skin’s elasticity.
However, red light therapy doesn’t only reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help with more serious skin conditions such as actinic keratosis. It can aid in removing actinic keratosis spots from the skin with photosensitizing medication and red light therapy.
Sun damage is the main cause of aging skin and can lead to serious health issues. Naturally, some sun damage forms cannot be treated, especially for those who work consistently outdoors. However, tackling sunspots, wrinkles, sunburns, and actinic keratosis is achievable through red light therapy treatment.
It’s important to point out that while red light therapy does reverse sun damage, it can prevent future damage — but you should always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors and reapply after swimming or sweating.
Reversing past mistakes are possible with light therapy, but we also want to look at the future. Luna’s red light therapy will tackle previous sun damage and rejuvenate the skin, while sunscreen will prevent future damage.
We hope you continue to enjoy the sun’s incredible rays safely while enjoying the incredible skincare results of Lunas light panels.