What if the most important nutrient in the entire world was right in front of you every single day.
And what if you were told to avoid it, or that it could hurt you?
Better yet, what if this nutrient was completely free, for everyone, and available anywhere in the world?
In fact, it’s often been said, truthfully, that this one nutrient is the basis of all life on this planet.
It can prevent disease and even cue your body to produce hormones that it needs for optimal health each day. In fact, it can even regenerate the cells in your eye (r, r). It can give your skin a healthy glow, and increase dopamine (r), the feel good hormone.
All life on this planet captures this nutrient in one form or another and uses it to produce energy, heal, produce hormones and communicate.
In fact, exposure to this nutrient at the right time (nutrient timing) can actually protect you against exposure to that same nutrient if, at a later time, you get too much.
Lack of this nutrient causes disease, depression and ill health. Knowing this, most doctors and “experts” recommend avoiding it.
Here’s what a recent journal article has to say about the standard advice to avoid exposing your body to this critical nutrient:
A recent clinical review published in the The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that 1 billion people worldwide may have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D due to chronic disease and inadequate exposure to this nutrient. In fact, people who do get exposed are taking measures to ensure this critical nutrient isn’t absorbed into the body. This is just crazy.
So, 1 billion people are deficient in Vitamin D, a hormone that is responsible for keeping away disease, and the free and easy way to obtain vitamin D isn’t being used! (r)
What’s the most important nutrient to build healthy humans? Vitamin C? Magnesium? Omega 3 fatty acid?
What’s the one nutrient that every lifeform on earth needs to survive? What controls life on this planet and is the basis of all life?
Right now, I’m bathing in this nutrient as I write these words. I’m sitting outside on the back deck, listening to the birds, facing West at 830pm, with no shirt on and I’m soaking up some nutrition.
The number 1 most important nutrient?
Sunlight is a nutrient.
Yes, Sunlight, specifically Ultraviolet-B (UVB) light, Ultraviolet-A (UV-A) and Infrared-A (IR-A) help our body to produce the hormone vitamin D sulfate on the skin, produce melatonin, dopamine and even set the body up to better absorb sunlight later in the day, protecting against too much sun.
The form of vitamin D produced by the sun is water soluble and can be more easily absorbed and used by the body. The vitamin D we get in pills and food does not share these characteristics, it is not sulfated and is not as effective as that from sunlight.
The sun is more than just one type of light! All the colors of the sun from red to blue and even the invisible rays like UVB and infrared effect our bodies. We haven't even studied the effects of much of the spectrum of sunlight on our bodies yet.
A recent study showed that exposure to morning and evening sun, where there is little to no UV light, gets the skin ready to receive UV rays later in the day. This morning or evening sun without the UV light protects the skin from the rays of the sun that could harm us later in the day! This is truly amazing!
I can talk about biohacking all day long.
I love it.
I can tell you biohacks for just about anything, but if there was one biohack to end all others, this would be it.
Get out in the Sunlight!
There’s even a study that shows sunlight can heal you from getting too much sunlight! Vitamin D from sunlight can help heal sunburn! Amazing!
SUN EXPOSURE- THE BEST BIOHACK AND THE MOST IMPORTANT AND MISSING NUTRIENT FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH
When someone thinks of biohacking, they normally think of high tech gadgets, supplements, weird diets and a host of other things. Many people even complain that if they could have known one thing about biohacking it’s how much it would cost. From nootropics to personalized supplements, infrared saunas and special foods the costs run into the thousands of dollars a month for many people.
But we’re telling you about sunlight.
It’s not as sexy as expensive saunas or stem cell injections. When you use sunlight, you don’t get a shiny package waiting at your door. You don’t have to pay for something by credit card, wait for it to show up and then find it gathering dust in the corner of your basement after a few short months.
Sunlight is totally free! You don’t have to be wealthy and you don’t have to know how to use a computer.
We’re here to tell you that the best biohack is totally free, for anyone!
Right? Of course I’m right.
Sun exposure.. Boring..
It’s my goal to change your opinion by the end of this article.
What is the giver of all life on Earth?
Within many cultures throughout the ages the Sun has been worshiped as the supreme God or giver of life.
Think about that.
The sun is necessary for all types of life on earth. Without it, life would cease to exist. We’re taught this in elementary school when learning about photosynthesis.
For this reason, sunlight is even more important than the food you eat. As Dr. Jack Kruse often says, light is more important than food. We’ll dive into this, but essentially, if you set up your light environment properly, you can eat less food. If you set up your light environment properly, you can obtain the body composition you want. You can build optimal health with light, far more easily than you can with food.
HUMAN BODY = BATTERY
Think of the human body like a battery. To keep any battery operating at peak efficiency you need to keep it charged. The sun and Earth in combination work as the charger. In fact, the sun can provide us with electrons, or energy, to power our battery. The sun can do this directly through our skin and eyes, or chemically through the food we eat. The sun is a more efficient source of electrons than food.
Your mitochondria use the flow of electrons to keep you energized. This is called the ECT (Electron Transport Chain) in the metabolism lingo of physiologists and biochemists.
We can get electrons to power our mitochondria through food or from the Earth and Sun. Believe it or not, we can get 66% of our electrons directly from the earth and the sun!
Take that, breathatarian non-believers!
That means food only provides 33% of the energy supply we need in a day.
When we live in fear of the sun, we have to eat more food, to produce electrons, and we gain weight and get sick.
Step barefoot on the earth, look bravely up at the Sun and soak in electrons through the soles of your feet to recharge the batteries.
Why do you think vacations “recharge” us so well?
Think about being on vacation and sitting in the sun, with your feet in the water, barefoot. This is the best way to soak up electrons and sunlight.
The glow you get from being on vacation, that feeling of everything being right in the world if your body finally getting the right nutrient! Vitamin S (for Sun).
EYES & SKIN = SOLAR PANELS
To really harness the energy of the sun you need solar panels. It’s a good thing that we born with built in solar panels. This is our skin and eyes. The more skin we can expose to the sun the better. Be reasonable here people. AM sun contains little to no UV, so expose as much skin to the morning sun as you can. Soak in the infrared rays. As the UVA and UVB come out, get "safe” sun exposure by getting enough sun for vitamin D creation but don’t burn.
It’s also important to expose our eyes to the sun. That means going without sunglasses as much as possible.
For someone that is used to wearing sunglasses all the time (me included), this is a little tough to get used to. I (This is Chris) spent 15 years as an ironworker and we were required to wear glasses at all times. Most of the time they were dark glasses so we could see pieces of steel being flown to us by the crane even if we had to look towards the sun. My eyes were so used to the tint of the glasses that any time I went out into the sun I couldn’t see very well without sunglasses.
It took me a few months to really get used to going outside without glasses but now it doesn’t bother me at all.
Sunlight in our eyes in the morning without glasses or contacts has been shown (here, here, here) to set our circadian rhythm for the entire day. This helps us sleep better at night and keeps us optimally healthy.
If your eyes are sun-sensitive, blink them often to cool them. Get as much sun around sunrise and sunset as you can each day and your eyes will adjust to being able to take more and more sun till eventually, you won’t need sunglasses.
SUNLIGHT HELPS US LIVE LONGER
Dr. Jack Kruse and Dr. Alexander Wunsch are the two leading experts and public sources of information on light and its impact on human health. Both have such detailed and scientific explanations of how light works that it takes a while to weed through the details and understand their points.
The bottom line is that spending time in the right LIGHT ENVIRONMENT massively impacts your health and longevity.
In the post below that Dr. Kruse made on LinkedIn, he claims that cell division, cell time, and cell life is based on signals from light and thus impacts our longevity.
From Jack Kruse’s LinkedIn post in 2017:
“In 1964, John Ott along with Dr. Irving Leopold studied the effects of light on rabbit retinal pigment epithelial cells. They documented that that retinal pigment epithelial would not divide unless they were exposed to low levels of ultraviolet light. Roeland van Wijk research has shown that every cell on Earth has to release ELF-UV light from its surface to stimulate mitosis. What this implies is that UV light is necessary for our health because the RPE in the human retina controls our eye clock! The eye clock is what controls our circadian rhythms in our cells and they all link coherently using light water and magnetism to control growth and metabolism. The effect is massive on our lifespan.”
There is so much to light that most people do not understand. Sunlight can heal and indoor light can be toxic. But you have to dig deeper to fully understand the nuances. Ultimately, you are best by spemding most of your time in a naturally lit environment, with as little between you and the outdoors as possible.
At night, this is even more critical. Bathing yourself in artificial light at night is carcinogenic. That's why shiftwork is actually a classified carcinogen. (r)
BUT DOESN’T SUNLIGHT CAUSE CANCER? WTF!!
Hang on. All this talk about sunlight, and we’re forgetting that sun exposure causes cancer!
My opinion, no!
We were born on this world and are of this world. We were born to be under the sun. Nature did not make a mistake with us! All animals and plants on this earth are born under the sun and meant to live an outdoor life.
We are the only animals born on earth that construct artificial suns and live indoors, protected from nature and hiding from the sun! Do you think that artificial light that replaces sunlight for most of us could possibly be harming us?
Our birthright is to be outdoors exposed to the sun. Any move away from this, like thinking we’re smarter than nature and our artificial lights are no different from the sun, leads us down a path of disease.
Now, I can say for certain that it's probably not a good idea to get a sunburn every day and you shouldn’t go from zero to hours of sun a day while naked. Be smart about this.
Being smart about sun exposure means knowing more about light and sunlight than others. If you want to allow your skin and body to soak up more sun without getting burned, then make sure to get sun on your body at sunrise. At sunrise, there are just the right rays set your body up to be able to absorb more during the middle part of the day.
The evidence is clear in many scientists minds that the sun is dangerous. Is that a crazy statement or what? It’s like saying water is dangerous and so we better avoid it at all costs.
The sun is the sun and we need it as much as water. In fact, most researchers have no idea what the sun’s rays do for the human body and every year we’re discovering more and more that the sun does that’s necessary.
In the past, we didn’t know the science as well as we do today.
Now, we see that it’s the wrong type of sun exposure that’s an issue, like exposure through windows, and also exposure to artificial light!
Jack Kruse said it well in this LinkedIn post from May 2017:
"Never let your education limit you from learning new things. The authors (of a recent paper on Melanoma) appear to be shocked that they globally found UV FROM the sun shows no causative effect in melanoma cases. Let me say that again.........ZERO ties to sunlight. Does that statement marry to what you've heard from skin and eye doctors? Does it marry to your beliefs about the sun? The meme that the sun is so bad for us now has government officials in Australia mandating sunscreen and sunglasses for children as part of the law. This meme that the sun is bad for us is going to hurt many people.
Researchers still do not realize UV light within the sun has other frequencies contained with it naturally that make it a different kind of stimulus for our cells for healing than UV light frequencies separated from other frequencies and that come from an artificial light source. Nowhere on Earth does man's light equal sun light."
ARE SOME MELANOMAS ACTUALLY CAUSED BY ARTIFICIAL LIGHT? (R)
The article referenced in the title explains that indoor artificial light is likely the bigger cancer concern and not sunlight.
This is a hard truth to swallow. Many people with skin cancer have an aversion to sunlight. They cover up, they wear sunscreen, and they avoid the outdoors. And yet they continue to develop skin growths that must be treated. Often they are told it's from the damage that already occured and there's nothing they can do about it.
I'm not sure if that's true or not. But perhaps avoiding the sun and bathing themselves in artificial, processed lighting could be making things worse and not better.
“The incidence rate of cutaneous melanoma has been increasing faster than that of any other cancer in white-skinned populations over the past decades. The main risk factors for melanoma (i.e. exposure to sunlight, naevus count, phototype, and family history of melanoma) may not wholly explain the epidemiological trends observed for this cancer. The light-at-night theory postulates that increasing use of artificial light-at-night may contribute to the increasing breast cancer incidence through suppressed secretion of melatonin (a hormone produced in the dark and inhibited by light, which regulates circadian rhythms). Here, we postulate that this theory may also apply to melanoma and that it may explain a part of this cancer burden.”
OK, go back and read that again!
Light at night and suppressed melatonin (from living an indoor life) may be the cause of melanoma, breast cancer and more.
Artificial light at night, especially that from LEDs and CFLs have too much blue light. This was NOT the case with firelight, candles, or incandescent light. Our leaders have decided to do away with incandescent light and now we're left with toxic LEDs and CFLs. This type of light is damaging to our eyes, our bodies and our brains. These lights are dangerous to LIFE!
If that isn’t enough to convince you to pick up a pair of these GLASSES that block the harmful blue light at night, I don’t know what is.
SUN TAN SUPPRESSES CANCER GENE! (R)
Oh my, there’s the sun helping us again!
“A tan is more than a sign of sun damage. It's also a natural shield against skin cancer, particularly the deadliest sort: melanoma. Now scientists have found another surprising link between tanning and cancer: p53--a gene long implicated as a cancer suppressor--appears to be key to helping us tan.” (r)
Tanning helps suppress cancer!! Wow, doesn’t it feel great having permission to get tan? Do you feel guilty sun bathing? Or do you feel wonderful soaking up those healing rays?
How you feel about things has a lot to do with the outcome. There’s a reason the Romans and others constructed Solariums. More workplaces should take note and do the same.
Can you imagine a secure place at work where it’s safe to take off your shirt, put your bare feet on the ground and do a little work, or just relax at lunch?
We have just such a place at our corporate headquarters. It's not allowable yet to bare our skin in the corporate courtyard though. It's just not quite accepted yet. At least we have it and we can work outdoors in the courtyard. And the city park is only 2 blocks away. So taking off your shirt and walking, sprinting or just lying about while grounded to the earth is easy to do in just a
And the city park is only 2 blocks away. So I often take a walk at lunch to the park and take off my shirt and walk or sprint about while grounded barefoot to the earth. It's easy to do in just a 4 minute walk from the front door.
How can you get sunlight while at work?
When I'm home I literally just set a cardboard box up on my driveway or front lawn in the morning and do my work from there.
INDOOR WORKERS HAVE HIGHER CANCER RATES THAN OUTDOOR WORKERS
Maybe it’s just because outdoor workers are happier and like their jobs more. Oh, wait, the sun helps produce dopamine, the feel good hormone. No wonder outdoor workers are happier. OK, back to cancer.
The following is an excerpt from a political fact check website checking the statement someone made about indoor workers having higher rates of cancer than outdoor workers. Our own FDA agrees that indoor workers have higher rates of cancer. (r) I can’t even make this stuff up.
“… a 2011 research article by Dianne E. Godar, a chemist with the Food and Drug Administration. In the introduction, she writes that "although outdoor workers get three to 10 times the annual UV dose that indoor workers get, they have similar or lower incidences of cutaneous malignant melanoma." CMM, as it’s called, is a dangerous form of melanoma that can spread if not treated.
The author gives three reasons for why this might be: One, people who work indoors are exposed to high concentrations of sunlight on holiday or on weekends, resulting in sunburns that may lay the groundwork for skin cancer. Two, these people work inside offices where they receive sunlight filtered through windows. The windows allow in gene-mutating UVA wavelengths, which promote cancer development but block out Vitamin D-making UVB, which ward off tumor development. Who knew?
The World Health Organization shares that line of reasoning: "Tumour development may be linked to occasional exposure to short periods of intense sunlight, such as at weekends or on holiday. The higher incidence of malignant melanoma in indoor workers compared to outdoor workers supports that notion."
So, it’s not that indoor workers are avoiding the sun; it’s that they’re getting the wrong kind of sun in the worst possible way. We reached out to Godar but were not able to communicate with her directly. An FDA spokeswoman provided a statement, which reads in part: "Melanoma incidence has consistently been associated with intense, intermittent sun exposure as opposed to chronic sun exposure such as that received by some outdoor workers."
My opinion? I don’t think the intermittent sun exposure is what’s causing cancer in indoor workers.
That’s like saying meat is dangerous but only if you eat tiny amounts of it. Those people that eat lots of meat would be healthier than those that don’t eat a lot of meat. If vegetarians sometimes eat meat on a few select holidays or drunken indulgences they would be more prone to cancer than the Paleo meat eaters. Therefore, if we believe what the medical community wants us to believe, those tiny amounts of meat decadence are laying the foundations for cancer. Does that sound insane to you?
Ok, that wasn't the best example because high protein consumption is not correlated with longevity. Eating less daily protein, but not necessarily being vegetarian is probably best for most people.
How can tiny amounts of sunlight cause cancer but people out in the sun all day for work seem to be fine? This makes no logical sense.
Could it just be that those indoor workers may not get ENOUGH sunlight AND they are exposed to the wrong type of light all day long and that’s what’s causing cancer? Let’s not blame the sun, the thing we’ve been living under since humans emerged in history as dangerous.
Light at night and too much blue light during the day is almost certainly the main issue here.
Oh, I can't wait for you to read the next headline!
THE SURPRISING CAUSE OF MELANOMA AND IT’S NOT TOO MUCH SUN (R)
Read the articled linked in the headline above for the details on the cause of melanoma. Sunlight is actually protective against melanoma due to the synthesis of vitamin D sulfate.
While the wrong type of indoor lighting may be causing cancer, obesity, heart disease and more.(r)
Here''s what Dr. Jack Kruse had to say recenty on LinkedIn about sunlight and health:
"Remember what I said above? "Never let your education limit you from learning new things." They authors appear to be shocked that they globally found UV FROM the sun shows no causative effect in melanoma cases. Let me say that again.........ZERO ties to sunlight. Does that statement marry to what you've heard from skin and eye doctors? Does it marry to your beliefs about the sun? The meme that the sun is so bad for us now has government officials in Australia mandating sunscreen and sunglasses for children as part of the law. This meme that the sun is bad for us is going to hurt many people.
Researchers still do not realize UV light within the sun has other frequencies contained with it naturally that make it a different kind of stimulus for our cells for healing than UV light frequencies separated from other frequencies and that come from an artificial light source. No where on Earth does man's light equal sun light."
HERE’S WHERE MOST PEOPLE ARE GOING WRONG
Spending 90% of our time indoors. HELLO!!! We’re an outdoor mammal. We are not designed to live underground or inside a tree or at the bottom of the ocean. Therefore, we are outdoor creatures and thus creatures of the LIGHT.
In North in the winter, the South in the Summer, we go from our homes to our cars to work to the gym to the store and back home. Rarely do we get outside in these months at all.
Do we get outside for more than a few minutes?
We’re doing this all wrong.
We Cover up. – Outdoors we layer on sunscreen, hats, and clothing. Our body was made to absorb sunlight as a nutrient for optimal human functioning. As Dr. Jack Kruse says, if you put a tarp over a tree you can’t expect it to live very long. That’s exactly the same thing you are doing when you smear on sunscreen and layer on clothes and hats to “keep off the sun”. Ouch.
We make our kids wear sunglasses and sunscreen. This is causing an entire generation to miss out on sunlight. Let them get a safe amount of sunlight. Sunlight in the morning and just enough in the afternoon.
We Wear Glasses – do you wear sunglasses outdoors? What about contacts or glasses? All of these prevent the healing rays of the sun from entering your eyes! I’m not saying to stare into the sun at mid day and go blind. Ok, I’ll admit to staring directly at the sun at sunrise and sunset. Don’t do this at home little Jimmy. Wink wink. There are many cultures who used sun gazing as a practice for health and spirit. I will not suggest to you to copy me. But Sunlight in your eyes in the morning has been shown to set circadian rhythm for the day and help you sleep better at night. In fact, someone told me there is no UV in early morning sunlight? I checked to see if this was true. Here’s one of the references (r).
You can’t obtain the benefits of the sun by shielding your eyes. Be reasonable and cautious, but do allow natural sunlight into your eye for a brief time.
We tell people sunlight is Dangerous – yet outdoor workers having less skin cancer than other people. SO obviously this isn’t exactly true.
Getting a sun burn and getting too much sun is bad, according to most. There are some who disagree with this and claim it’s safer than too much artificial light. However, vitamin D from the sun can help repair this damage. Some people are not convinced that sunburns are anything to worry about, but do your own research on this one.
Drinking too much water is bad too, but no one’s telling you to avoid water because too much could harm you! And some water is far better than none.
WE GET HAPPIER FROM SUN EXPOSURE
Sun exposure increases dopamine receptor sites (r).
Dr. Kruse recently wrote an article stating: “UV-A has a big surprise function that is buried in this picture below: It increases a protein made in the brain called POMC. From this protein, many other proteins are cleaved by solar light to stimulate many important pathways, like dopamine and melatonin creation in the eye and skin. Another important one is β-endorphin release. Sunlight releases an opiate when we are exposed to the sun. Guess why nature did that? Could it be that she wanted us going in the sunlight often for its healing powers? I think so.”
“The fact that UV-A light induces a small opiate response tells us nature is trying to get us to come out into the solar light. The fact that UV-A and IR-A light in AM sunlight work in unison to create this circumstance says something very deep about sunlight importance. In fact, IR- A light looks to be a way to improve your solar callus and offset the risks of extended UV light on the skin. IR-A is a way to induce hybrid tanning for more UV-A assimilation. If UV-A light increases B-endorphin it would explain why we feel good and have mood elevation in AM sunlight.”
Kruse claims that nature has a way of making us addicted to sunlight by giving us a dopamine hit every time we’re out in the sun, especially AM sunlight. He also claims that people who sleep all day and work at night, under artificial lights may have higher rates of suicide, addiction, and depression because they aren’t exposed to the dopamine hit of morning sunlight. They either supplement a dopamine hit from drugs and alcohol or turn to anti-depressants.
ARE CHEMTRAILS KEEPING US DEPRESSED AND MORE EASILY CONTROLLED?
I don’t like to get too far down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole.
There are claims that it’s a conspiracy to keep us out of the sunlight. In fact, spraying chemicals in the sky, chemtrails, is geoengineering to keep adequate sunlight from our skin. This keeps us more depressed and wanting to buy more stuff and allows us to be more easily controlled.
Whether the chemtrail conspiracy is real, we do know that there is more haze in the sky than ever before and this haze makes it harder to get vitamin D from the sun.
While I’ve fallen into the conspiracy theory black hole before, this one may or may not be true, but what is true is sunlight increases dopamine. And dopamine makes us happy.
SUN EXPOSURE CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Sunlight exposure makes us happier, protects us from cancer and can even help us lose weight (r). When we get the right type of sunlight exposure we can produce more energy in the body. This means we need less food energy to create the electrons our body needs to run. If we need less energy from food, we can eat less!
MORNING SUNLIGHT MAY BE PROTECTIVE AGAINST UV IN THE AFTERNOON
Morning sunlight can “pre treat” our skin to protect it from UV rays later in the day.
“This is why a lack of sunlight is linked to obesity because of a lack UV-A and IR-A normally present in morning sunlight. The anti-inflammatory effects of α-MSH and ACTH may help relieve irritation and local inflammation in UV-exposed skin acting as a calming influence. This situation in the morning increases histidine in the skin. Histidine is an aromatic amino acid that absorbs massive amounts of UV-A light. This lowers erythema production in the skin. So AM sunlight can pretreat your skin to protect it when stronger UVB light becomes present.” (r)
PLANTS MAKE ENERGY DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN. SO DO HUMANS!!
MORNING SUNLIGHT HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT
MELATONIN CREATED IN MORNING SUNLIGHT!
That’s right, melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep at night and get the benefits of sleep is also produced in our eye in the morning upon exposure to morning sunlight. It’s thought that this melatonin helps our eye stay healthy and also regulated the circadian cycle of our eye.
Upon exposure to the morning light, melatonin in the body is decreased and dopamine is increased.
Jack Kruse explains the scientific details here. This is a really great talk he gave in 2017.
“Light builds hormones like Vitamin D3 in many ways. Light builds our pituitary hormones by first creating dopamine using aromatic amino acids that absorb UV light. It does this to cortisol too. The suns light is used to power up and excite electrons. That excitation changes the local geometry of amino acids in proteins. Incident light at surfaces are unpolarized and becomes assigned an order by K+ ions and water. So incident light from the sun really acts as the currency of the compound pharmacy in our pituitary every day to make things we need from light to live our life in our local environment. This makes your hormone panel a “shadow cast” of your local light environment. This is why your “local zip code” for light is incredibly important.”
Get outside in the morning and get sunlight as early in the morning as possible.
WHY DOES A CHLOROPHYLL LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HEMOGLOBIN
Some people call this “quirky science”. Seriously, do you think this is just a coincidence? Nature has a purpose.
It’s really interesting how similar these two essential life molecules look. Heme contains an iron atom which is able to absorb more light energy, while chlorophyll based on a central magnesium does not absorb as much sunlight. WHY>>>>> (r)
- Mitochondria break down fuel molecules and capture energy in cellular respiration.
- Chloroplasts are found in plants and algae and capture light energy to make sugars via photosynthesis.
Mitochondria are involved in cellular respiration whereas chloroplasts are involved in photosynthesis. The overall chemical reactions for the processes occurring in them are different and reverse. (WOW!!!!! Exactly the SAME reaction, but backward!!!!!!) HOLY SHIT
- Cellular Respiration: C6H12O6+6O2 ---> 6CO2+6H2O+ATP
- Plant Photosynthesis: 6CO2+6H2O --->C6H12O6+6O2
Notice how these two pathways are exactly reversed. How plants make sugars from the sun and how we break down sugars for energy. This is really amazing to see.
I mean it makes sense, but seeing the equation and the molecules is pretty spooky don’t you think?
Did you know that our mitochondria also use light? Light energy can stimulate mitochondria to make energy. Specifically, red light can stimulate cytochrome C oxidase to make cellular energy. (r)
UVB IS IMPORTANT AND ONLY AVAILABLE AT CERTAIN TIMES OF YEAR
UVB is one of the most important nutrients you get from the sun and also the ONLY place you can obtain UVB (other than a specific way to biohack this, detailed in a future post).
UVB creates vitamin D sulfate in the skin. Vitamin D is so important for our health, and it’s available for free, right from the sun.
Supplementing with vitamin D is not nearly as effective as supplementing with the Sun. Often people have a hard time increasing vitamin D levels in their body with pills, and too high a dose could be dangerous as it builds up in the body. Best to get this directly from nature. Chemical vitamin D, even the "good" version called vitamin D3, is just not the same as what you get from the sun. You can actually manufacture about 30,000 IUs of Vitamin D from the sun in just 30 minutes! Most vitamin D supplements contain anywhere from 400 - 5,000 IUs of vitamin D.
You can only make vitamin D from the sun when the angle of the sun is c lose to and above 50 degrees from the horizon (r). This means that in summer in most of the US, you cannot make vitamin D until around noon. In the winter, in the northern parts of the US, you cannot make vitamin D at all as the sun never gets high enough in the sky to allow UVB rays to penetrate our atmosphere in quantity enough to create vitamin D in our skin.
Download and use the D minder app to help understand when you can get vitamin D in your latitude. You might want to consider trips down south in the winter to restock that vitamin D!
RED LIGHT AND ANTI-AGING
Red light in sunlight can reduce photo-aging, reduce wrinkles and stretch marks and cure cancer. I’m just kidding about that last one. Or am I?
Red light has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, increase weight loss and improve athletic performance. Psoriasis and acne also benefit from red light. (r)
As the body absorbs red light, the mitochondria in our cells produce more energy, allowing the cells to do their jobs. This can have an anti-aging effect on our bodies.\
The cells in our body can and do absorb light. This absorbed light is used for energy production, collagen production and more.
SUN SALUTATIONS CONSTITUTE SAFE SUN EXPOSURE (INFRARED LIGHT)
You can’t see this light, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Put on a pair of infrared goggles and it’s apparent that infrared is very real.
Some wavelengths of infrared can be felt as heat. That warmth you feel coming from the campfire at night is infrared. Some infrared wavelengths you cannot feel as heat, but they do have a biological impact.
Indoor lighting used to contain infrared. When we lit our homes with fire, the warmth and heat coming off the fire are the infrared light. Through all of human history, we lit our indoor spaces with infrared containing fire and candlelight.
Then we spent the next 70 years or more using the Edison bulb. This is known as the incandescent light bulb. It too gives off infrared light. You can feel it heat up. Life was good.
Now we have transitioned to LED and CFL lights. No infrared. NO red light either. These give off a blue frequency of light that can be harmful to the body, the eyes, and our hormones. There is no infrared or red to counteract it. We use them at night in our TVs, laptops and overhead lighting. This light at night is carcinogenic and ruins our sleep. Check out our D.A.R.K. article on how to sleep properly.
Infrared light from the sun early in the morning has actually been showing to precondition the skin to be able to absorb UVB during the day and protect against UV-A.
This article (r) from authors from Harvard, MIT, McGill and more discuss the benefits of infrared light:
“suggesting that IR-A may be more beneficial than deleterious when the skin is exposed to the appropriate irradiance/dose of IR-A radiation similar to daily sun exposure received by people in real life.
IR-A might even precondition the skin – a process called photo prevention - from an evolutionary standpoint since exposure to early morning IR-A wavelengths in sunlight may ready the skin for the coming mid-day deleterious UVR.
Consequently IR-A appears to be the solution, not the problem. It does more good than bad for the skin. It is essentially a question of intensity and how we can learn from the sun.
One could therefore assume that early morning “sun salutation” (surya namaskar) and late afternoon procrastination on the beach are actually natural PBM treatments to prevent and repair, respectively. Consequently, if your shadow is taller than you are (in the early morning and late afternoon) you're taking advantage of the beneficial effects of IR-A while avoiding peak (Zenithal) harmful UVR [60, 61]. Ultimately, it is another way of being sun smart.”
SO WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU REALLY JUST CAN’T GET OUT IN THE SUN?
How Do We supplement Sunlight?
Oh, this is a very sad state of affairs. I feel for you, I really do. You work night shift. Perhaps your company locks you inside a factory and you can only leave when a buzzer goes off and must return when the buzzer goes off again. AHHHHHHH.
Ok, so what do you do?
Well, we know indoor lighting is toxic (See this TEDx talk by Thaddeus). Indoor lighting and devices are made up of Blue light, which is damaging to the eyes and stimulating and turns off our melatonin.
You’ll have to read our next article to find out how to supplement sunlight, or if it’s even possible!
SUMMARY – WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
- Wake up and get outside as close to sunrise as possible.
- Get sunlight into your eye without glasses, sunglasses or contacts.
- Do not look directly at the sun, look about 15 degrees below the sun.
- Take off as many clothes as possible. Be naked if possible.
- At least be on the ground barefoot during this morning sunlight session.
- Do this for 15 minutes or so.
- Block Blue light on all your devices during the day using Iris or f.lux for laptops and Twilight or Nightshift for phones.
- Get outside around noon with as few clothes as possible and soak in some UVB rays. Time varies depending on your skin type, latitude and time of year. In northern climates, you will not get any UVB in the Fall. In Minnesota, September 17th is about the last day I can absorb any UVB. Do not wear sunscreen.
- Download Dminder App. There is an APP called “DMinder” that will tell you when you can absorb UVB rays in your location.
- Do your work outdoors if at all possible. I take my laptop outside and work for as long as possible. Sit in the shade when you’ve had enough sun.
- At night, when the sun sets, don a pair of Blue Blocking Sunglasses.
- Change over your indoor lights from LEDs and CLFs to Incandescent and Halogen. That’s right, they use more energy, but are far healthier than LEDs and CFLs.
If possible, use candles or firelight at night. Seriously!
If possible, do not use any light after dark, this is the normal state of affairs our body expects.
Go to bed shortly after dark.