Is It Sunshine or Vitamin D That Reduces Your Risk To Chronic Diseases? An Interview with Karl J. Neeser, PhD

Kirk’s video overview of his interview with Dr. Neeser (4:50 min)
Kirk's interview/podcast with Dr. Neeser   Listen Here (23:00 min)

Dr. Karl J. Neeser is the co-author of the book, “The Key to Health and Longevity” (with Ratana Somrongthong, PhD). During his research of the book he became aware of the inverse association between vitamin D and many non-communicable (non-transmissible, chronic, lifestyle) diseases. Vitamin D is really a hormone with receptors on virtually every tissue in the body. Since we have evolved as a species being exposed to the sun, the dramatic reduction in sun exposure from fear of sun, in addition to greater amounts of time indoors due to one’s occupation and general living conditions has put us at risk for vitamin D deficiency and deficiency of whatever physiologic benefits come from sun exposure.

Risk factors to these non-transmissible diseases include reduced physical activity, vitamin D insufficiency, reduce quality of sleep and poor diet.

Vitamin D absorption from the diet is reduced as we age. Fifteen to 20 minutes in the mid-day sun is optimal for manufacturing adequate vitamin D levels. This is “non-burn” tanning of the skin. As soon as there is a slight reddening or “pinking” of the skin one should cover up and get out of the sun.

Vitamin D in the blood should be at least 50 ng/ml. Oral doses of vitamin D3 may be needed to get above 50 ng/ml.  Several thousand IU of vitamin D may be needed to achieve this level. It is probably better to get the vitamin D from the sunshine than a pill. There appears to be additional benefits to sunlight exposure that go beyond the increase in vitamin D levels.

Supplementing with high doses of vitamin D may suppress endogenous production of this hormone which may have adverse consequences.

The central nervous system (CNS), eyes and cardiovascular system all have vitamin D receptors. While sun exposure has been associated with certain skin cancers it is protective against “black” melanoma, the most malignant form.

It is noted that some Asians have a preference for light skin and avoid the sun intentionally. Intravenous vitamin C and glutathione have been used to lighten their skin.

There are many diverse dietary beliefs for longevity and optimal health. General recommendations are to not eat sugar; eat good fats; fast for at least fourteen hours daily; eat an early dinner (5-5:30); eat vegetables, fruit and fish.

Reducing EMFs, getting sunlight, exercise and get good sleep are longevity fundamentals. Self-responsibility is a must for a healthful lifestyle and longevity.

Karl J Neeser, PhD is a professor at Chulalongkorn University College of Public Health Sciences in Thailand and has been a Professor for many years at Lausanne University in Switzerland. He has been involved with, and lecturing on Anti-Aging Medicine for more than 20 years.  His areas of expertise are exercise, sport science, physiology and an anti-aging lifestyle.

Be and Stay Well,


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