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Prevent Alzheimer’s by Sunning & Skipping Sunscreens


Alzheimer's is largely a disease of the modern world & a big part of the problem is the atrocious advice given by doctors. Their decades-long battle to keep us out of the sun is one of the epidemic's causes.

Originally published on Gaia Health

Elderly couple, happy in the sun

The thought of growing old and losing your golden years to Alzheimer's is frightening, but most of us can avoid that fate. A new study has found a clear connection between Alzheimer's and Vitamin D levels in the blood. You can lower your risk of developing dementia by simply getting out in the sun and throwing the sunscreens away.

The advice you've gotten over the last decades from modern medicine—to stay out of the sun and if you must go out, then slather yourself with sunblockers—is among the worst things they've done to us. It's likely one of the primary reasons that Alzheimer's has become almost the norm for people as they age.

Studies Supporting the Lack of Vitamin D-Alzheimer's Connection

Titled Vitamin D, cognition, and dementia, A systematic review and meta-analysis, this study published May 2012 in Neurology compared the results of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores and blood levels of Vitamin D in people.  They found that lower levels of Vitamin D were associated with lower cognitive ability.

Another recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology in March 2012, Higher Vitamin D Dietary Intake Is Associated With Lower Risk of Alzheimer's Disease: A 7-Year Follow-up, followed 498 women for 7 years. They found that women with lower intakes of Vitamin D at the beginning of the study were more likely to develop Alzheimer's.

Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in March 2012, Genomic and Nongenomic Signaling Induced by 1α,25(OH)2-Vitamin D3 Promotes the Recovery of Amyloid-β Phagocytosis by Alzheimer's Disease Macrophages, demonstrated that Vitamin D helps clear amyloid-β plaques that develop in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. This may mean that Vitamin D can help reverse Alzheimer's, but that isn't clear at this point, as the brain damage itself may not be reversible. It does, though, strongly indicate that Vitamin D can prevent that damage./

In the journal Neurobiology of Aging, published in August 2012, Vitamin D receptor and Alzheimer's disease: a genetic and functional study documented the connection between inadequate systemic Vitamin D and the development of Alzheimer's.

Sources of Vitamin D

You have a couple of realistic choices in obtaining adequate Vitamin D to help avoid Alzheimer's. One is to take pills. That, of course, is not the natural way to do it. It also may become next-to-impossible soon as regulating agencies start to crack down on vitamin potencies. Since 400 IUs a day is officially considered adequate Vitamin D intake, in the face of research that clearly shows our needs are better measured in thousands of units, relying on pills could become a dangerous tactic.

However, the sun is still available—and it's free! You can obtain doses many times the inadequate official recommendations by getting out and exposing some skin for just a few minutes a day. Better yet, combine that time with some sort of exercise. Walking in the sun accomplishes two health benefits at one time. Why not do it?

What About Cancer?

In fact, there's no connection between sun exposure and melanoma,* other than for people who get serious sunburns. This article won't focus on studies that document it, but Gaia Health has covered the topic in Suntans Have Nothing to Do with Cancer, But Most Sunscreens Do and Sunlight—Required Nutrient, Not a Health Risk, among others.

*[Note: a recent meta-analysis found that sunlight exposure reduced melanoma risk]

So get outside and get some rays! Just don't get burned.

But that's not the only bad advice that's gone along with the idea of staying out of the sun. The other part of that advice, to slather your skin in sunblocking lotions, could very well have something to do with the massively increased rate of cancer over the last decades—including melanoma. Aside from blocking the benefits of the sun, most sunscreens contains cancer-causing ingredients, which your skin soaks up and spreads around your body.

Unless you must be in the sun in a manner that will cause you to get burned, then you are better off simply skipping the sunblock lotions. You'll increase your chances of having good health in mind and body if you get out and catch some rays.

If you can't readily get out into the sun, then read How to Get Vitamin D Without the Sun for information on supplementation, food sources of Vitamin D, and sunbooths.

Benzodiazepines and Alzheimer's

While you're at it, stay away from anxiety drugs. Onn 27 September 2012 the BMJ published Benzodiazepine use and risk of dementia: prospective population based study,  which found that people who take benzodiazepines, such as Valium, can be more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's.

Benzodiazepines have now been shown to increase the chance of Alzheimer's disease. Considering the fact that these drugs are effective for only a short time, then become so addictive they can be pure torture to get off, do you really want to risk developing Alzheimer's in exchange for a short period of time anxiety-free? Besides, if you're suffering from anxiety, what could be a better way of dealing with it than getting out in the sun and getting some exercise?


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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Probably a little simplistic

As caregiver for both parents with Alzheimer's,  I speak from experience and years of study of AD.   Both my parents always were out sun.  My mother was too cheap to buy sunscreen so that was never an issue.  No anxiety drugs.  But that being said,  I know there is a huge value in vit D as preventive.  But the trouble is when us alternative healers, simplify a treatment for a disease into one or two substances then we run the risk appearing allopathic. "just take this and you will be well"   There are dozens of herbs including cannabis,  many essential oils, exercise, densely nutritious organic food that have studies supporting prevention of Alzheimer's .  It is big package.  Lets not minimize it. 

Probably a little simplistic

You say, "There are dozens of herbs including cannabis,  many essential oils, exercise, densely nutritious organic food that have studies supporting prevention of Alzheimer's".

Would you mind mentioning the herbs, essential oils, and possibly particular organic food that you are are aware of?

I appreciate your comment.  I am at

Thank you.



I agree with you that this is not a simple one-size-fits-all topic and your point that alternative medicine is taking an allopathic approach when it takes on such an oversimplified view. Nonetheless, a single article cannot cover the entire topic, and this one focused on a recent study that debunks one of the most significant causes of Alzheimer's. I am sorry that it gave you the impression of treating the condition in a single-dimension manner.

Your parents are very fortunate to have you, both for your caring and your willingness to investigate a variety of options. Their lives are certainly richer for having such a caring and inventive daughter like you.

Excellent points

Alzheimers is a complex condition and requires a multi-level and patient by patient approach.


Still - I am grateful that my experience with benzodiazepines pushed me towards alternative medicine and for all the years I didn't have a car so the only way to get around was walking in the sun.

Many, many reasons to believe that low vitamin D increases


- FACT: Cognitive decline is associated with low vitamin D levels. 19X more likely if < 10 ng of vitamin D
- FACT: Dementia is associated with low vitamin D levels.
- FACT: Alzheimer's Disease is associated with low vitamin D levels. 4X less likely if less likely if high vitamin D
- FACT: Every single risk factor listed for Alzheimer's Disease is also a risk factor for low vitamin D levels
- FACT: Elderly have very low levels of vitamin D (at least 4 reasons)
- FACT: Elderly cognition gets worse as the elderly vitamin D levels get even lower (while in senior homes)
- OBSERVATION: Elderly who get more vitamin D increase their vitamin D levels
- OBSERVATION: Reports of increased vitamin D levels result in improved cognition
- OBSERVATION: Alzheimer's Disease has been seen to halt when vitamin D was added.
- OBSERVATION: Several vitamin D INTERVENTION clinical trials are underway to prove the above - 12 as of June 2013
- OBSERVATION: Several studies have shown a strong association of Alzheimer's Disease with a gene mutation which reduces vitamin D effectiveness
- OBSERVATION: 2 Meta-analysis in 2012 agree that Alzheimer's Disease. associated with low vitamin D
- FACT: Vitamin D is very low cost and has very very few side effects
- CONCLUSION: Everyone concerned about cognitive decline or Alzheimer's Disease should start taking vitamin D

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