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Supplements or Sunlight?

Michael Smith Blog - Know The Cause
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I just had the privilege of getting to read Kyle Drew’s up and coming piece for the July issue of the Know the Cause Newsletter, and I have to say, as always, you guys are in for a treat. 

Kyle is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met when it comes to “alternative” health; I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity at points to get to see him on a daily basis, and it is a wonderful experience to get to share in the wealth of information he has accumulated over the years.

One of the remarkable things about Kyle’s philosophy is this: while you will never meet someone more knowledgeable in the subject of supplements, he always, without question, recommends a lifestyle that, in theory, is sufficient for health without the aid of supplements before he recommends you a supplement regimen. If you ask Kyle a question, he can (from memory) give you a list of vitamins, minerals, herbs or spices pertinent to the problem you may be experiencing. Yet, he will tell you, without the most fundamental components of a healthy lifestyle – diet, exercise, and proper rest – supplements, alone, could not possibly fix any malady that you’ve behaved yourself in to.

One issue that he brings up in his piece is the issue of Vitamin D, and one main source of vitamin D – the sun. Kyle’s piece revolves around the sun, and the importance and/or danger therein. Conventional wisdom tells us that the sun is to be avoided as much as possible, that it prematurely ages skin, causes skin cancer and that if you must be exposed to it, it is best to load up on sun screen. But there are plenty of other health practitioners who would choose to disagree with this paradigm.

Sunlight produces Vitamin D – when it comes in contact with the skin. Vitamin D is responsible for a number of processes in the body, but suffice it to say that it is critical for wellness. Slathering on sunscreen, while perhaps preventing burns in the short term, also prevents the manufacturing of this critical nutrient. Conventional wisdom says that in order to get sufficient Vitamin D, supplementation might be necessary. This is one of only a handful of times that conventional wisdom preaches the value of supplementation, and in many people’s opinion, it might be one of the times that they are wrong.

Kyle’s piece gives plenty of practical advice; I’ll let you read it to glean it. Suffice it to say the best sunblock works from the inside out; what you eat has a profound impact on skin health. Sunlight, like anything, requires common sense; letting yourself bake until you are burned is never, ever advised. But getting your Vitamin D directly from the most natural source in the way your body is designed to receive it and process it sounds like a better philosophy than supplementing and avoiding the sun.

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