Politicized Science: How the Sun Might Save Your Life

It's everywhere. Everywhere. Fake science for political gain. Hate the natural fact that life, health, and happiness require the production of values; and producing values requires work and effort; and some do it better, faster, and more effectively than others?

Then use "science!" to get back at 'em.

Remember the skin-cancer scare? Corporations. Yep. Corporations produce pollutants; the pollutants destroy the ozone; people get skin cancer. Cause and effect. I could go on all day; I believe it's probably without exception that every scare can be traced back to how "bad" corporations are. And that particular hysteria always traces back to the fact that some people get ahead — way ahead — of others in the business of life.

Well guess what?

For decades, researchers have puzzled over why rich northern countries
have cancer rates many times higher than those in developing countries
— and many have laid the blame on dangerous pollutants spewed out by

Of course that's what "researchers" did. Did they ever even consider other factors? Doubt it. Everybody hates the man, so why look further?

But research into vitamin D is suggesting both a plausible answer to
this medical puzzle and a heretical notion: that cancers and other
disorders in rich countries aren't caused mainly by pollutants but by a
vitamin deficiency known to be less acute or even non-existent in poor

Those trying to brand contaminants as the key factor behind cancer
in the West are "looking for a bogeyman that doesn't exist," argues
Reinhold Vieth, professor at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at
the University of Toronto and one of the world's top vitamin D experts.
Instead, he says, the critical factor "is more likely a lack of vitamin

Uh, oh. You mean less ozone protection and more exposure to the sun may be beneficial? Ha! Maybe.

What's more, researchers are linking low vitamin D status to a host of
other serious ailments, including multiple sclerosis, juvenile
diabetes, influenza, osteoporosis and bone fractures among the elderly.

Oh, no! This could spell disaster. Just the above few items represent untold trillions in future "revenue" from class-action corporate liability lawsuits. What will the parasites do? Where will we find our next big scare?

Not everyone is willing to jump on the vitamin D bandwagon just yet.
Smoking and some pollutants, such as benzene and asbestos, irrefutably
cause many cancers.

Oh thank you great gods of my protection. When I was a kid? Hell, you couldn't walk across the horse pasture without tripping over a few benzenes and asbestoses. They were everywhere! The trillions in lost global revenue, productivity and opportunity cost over the last few decades was certainly worth it. …Anything to slow down all those who've managed to pull ahead of me.

But perhaps the biggest bombshell about vitamin D's effects is about
to go off. In June, U.S. researchers will announce the first direct
link between cancer prevention and the sunshine vitamin. Their results
are nothing short of astounding.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking
the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence,
compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large — twice the
impact on cancer attributed to smoking — it almost looks like a
typographical error.

Did you get that? If it pans out, here's what it means: a smoker who doesn't get any sun might be able to reduce his cancer risk to negligible levels just by sunbathing, and if the smoker already gets a lot of sun, he may have a lot less to worry about than he was led to believe.

That's a bombshell of amazing proportions, given the half-century war on smoking, with untold billions and trillions in time and dollars down the drain when a lot more could have been done by everyone just cutting loose and heading to the beach. Ha ha ha. 'Course all the regular folks were just the pawns. None of them (you?) are the ones flying around in private jets from "their cut" of the tobacco ripoff settlement.

And in an era of pricey medical advances, the reduction seems even more
remarkable because it was achieved with an over-the-counter supplement
costing pennies a day.

Who cares? The real concern is that an enormous source of political capital and revenue is melting right out from under us. We simply must find something to implicate corporations while scaring the bejesus out of people at the same time. Hand in hand. And we must do it quickly, before any more of them are onto us.

Authorities are implicated because the main way humans achieve
healthy levels of vitamin D isn't through diet but through sun
exposure. People make vitamin D whenever naked skin is exposed to
bright sunshine. By an unfortunate coincidence, the strong sunshine
able to produce vitamin D is the same ultraviolet B light that can also
causes sunburns and, eventually, skin cancer.

Only brief full-body exposures to bright summer sunshine — of 10 or
15 minutes a day — are needed to make high amounts of the vitamin. But
most authorities, including Health Canada, have urged a total avoidance
of strong sunlight or, alternatively, heavy use of sunscreen. Both
recommendations will block almost all vitamin D synthesis.

Those studying the vitamin say the hide-from-sunlight advice has
amounted to the health equivalent of a foolish poker trade. Anyone
practising sun avoidance has traded the benefit of a reduced risk of
skin cancer — which is easy to detect and treat and seldom fatal — for
an increased risk of the scary, high-body-count cancers, such as
breast, prostate and colon, that appear linked to vitamin D shortages.


The sun advice has been misguided information "of just breathtaking
proportions," said John Cannell, head of the Vitamin D Council, a
non-profit, California-based organization.

"Fifteen hundred Americans die every year from [skin cancers]. Fifteen hundred Americans die every day from the serious cancers."

There's more good information, so go read the rest. And go out and get some sun.

Update: Turns out my friend Kyle Bennett blogged something along these lines almost 18 months ago.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Kyle Bennett on May 1, 2007 at 17:41


    I thought I'd seen this somewhere before…

  2. Richard Nikoley on May 1, 2007 at 17:49

    Wow. And that far back. I guess I'd forgotten about it.

  3. Kyle Bennett on May 1, 2007 at 19:54

    Well, this new study pretty much clinches it.

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