In July, August and early September, when the waters of Lake Michigan - fronting the Chicago skyline - rocks to the beat of a hot, humid day, the interior concrete jungle of the city never seems to mind it. It telegraphs a loud and clear: Thank you, give me your breeze, no matter how hot it maybe. Its sandy beaches offer a haven too to overheated flesh and blood. Even those that simply want to take a sun-blessed stroll by the lakeside know the value of sunshine and clean air. Other people are more squeamish about burned skin. Catching skin cancer at some appointed time is not their beach play.
Dr. Otto Warburg, two-time Nobel prize winner, lecturing before American students, stated that “there was no disease that we know more about the cause or the cure than cancer, but because of the agnostics in the AMA and FDA, millions of Americans would have to die needlessly.” At the time, Dr. Warburg could have easily added in his ominous speech that more millions from other nations were dying needlessly as well.
We could review the history of medicine and find many examples of information - life-saving information - that the public could have used to avoid many illnesses. On several occasions - quite many actually - a doctor or scientist who made the breakthrough discovery would displease the ruling medical hierarchy. Too often the discoverer would be harassed and the poor fellow would experience persecution in his profession; some were forced to give it up. The unluckiest ones have had to spend time in prison. Or leave the country to find freedom to continue his research and successfully apply his unappreciated discoveries with needy and cooperative patients in foreign lands.
This scenario illustrates the life of Dr. Carl Reich who is considered the “Father of Preventive Medicine”. Dr. Reich's revolutionary claim on the importance of calcium and vitamin D in preventing and treating many diseases was so radical that it challenged his peers. As a direct result, he suffered a backlash of oppression and ridicule while his patients where experiencing cures that bordered on the miraculous.
In 1984, Dr. Reich was stripped of his license “ for claiming that calcium supplements cure cancer”, a claim that is now repeated by many highly respected medical researchers of today. Shortly before he died, City Scope magazine in Calgary, published a special article entitled, “Ahead of His Time, “ in which they credited Dr. Reich with the passage of Bill #209, the Province of Alberta Medical profession Amendment Act, which states that “a practitioner shall not be found guilty of unbecoming conduct or found to be incapable or unfit to practice medicine solely on the basis that the practitioner employs a therapy that is nontraditional or departs from the prevailing medical practices, unless it can be demonstrated by medical authorities that the therapy has a safety risk for that patient unreasonably greater than the prevailing treatment.”
In the 1960s he worked with Dr. Warburg on a writing project, but the latter died while the project was nearing completion but was able to issue a prophetic warning before a group of privileged American students.
Since then, over 25 million Americans have died from diseases that could have been avoided.
The story of vitamin D and calcium did not die with Dr. Warburg and Dr. Reich. Many top medical researchers on the cutting edge continue to testify to its great merit. Today it is Dr. Robert Barefoot who leads the crusade and has picked up from where the two scientific giants had left off.
Dr. Barefoot's ongoing research has been going for three decades. He observes that there are several cultures throughout the world that enjoy supreme health and long life span much greater than most of us. Furthermore, he points out that a common constant suggested in this phenomenon is not their sedentary lifestyle and that fact that they eat what most of us do eat: fish, fruits, and vegetables.
What's fascinating about his observations is that other cultures that live nearby are not experiencing the same health benefits. He discovered that the communities that experienced superior health and longevity enjoyed abundant mineral supply in their diet, foremost of which is calcium. He said “ they all receive several hours daily of direct sunshine that produces an abundance of vitamin D for the body to defend itself. As a result, the vitamin D allows for the increased absorption of calcium due to vitamin D lining the VDR receptors of the intestinal wall.”
He cited the super health, well-being, and long life span of residents of Okinawa in Japan. An article in the January 1973 edition of National Geographic entitled”Search for The Oldest People, “ showcased examples of many of these cultures including the Abkhasians from Georgia, the Hunzas of Pakistan, and the Vilcabambans of Ecuador. We can add to that short list the Bamas in China, the Azerbaijans, the Armenians, the Tibetans, and the Titicacas of Peru. All of these cultures, including Okinawa, are cultures that enjoy an outdoor, outgoing life who receive direct sunshine on a daily basis resulting in the production of abundant supply of vitamin D in their skin.
From this list, one can notice that other than the Okinawans, each of these cultures live at high elevations. According to Dr. Barefoot, “Recent clinical research has proven UVB exposure at higher altitudes stimulates not only a greater production of vitamin D but also increases the rate of sunburn compared to sea level UVB exposure.”
Results from a study suggest that an” average complexion burns at six minutes at 11,000 feet at noon compared to 25 minutes at sea level in a temperate climate.” Conclusion: At high solar elevations, the ratio favors vitamin-D formation. At lower solar altitudes, it may be impossible to form vitamin D without sun burning depending on the amount of skin surface exposed.
These findings are very critical in that they resonate the shared fact that in these cultures, “Disease virtually does not exist: almost no cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, arthritis, “ and the long list goes on.
For those of us who live at high altitudes, shall we take advantage of whatever is left of the summer time? Put on your bikinis and hit the beach or encamp in your private backyard while enjoying barbecue at the same time, why not? It will do you a lot of good and perhaps extend your life span by a few more precious minutes. And if you live at sea level or even below it, make up plans to go up higher, and higher, and then higher and enjoy the sun and the majestic views thereby. If force of circumstances keeps you trapped within the friendly confines of Chicago, don't despair, that's okay too. As long as you stay under the sun with most of your skin exposed to it for at least 20 minutes, you are blessed. Moreover, you will contribute marvelously in advancing health science. Your improved health would further solidify the grandiose claims of three great men: Dr. Reich, Dr. Warburg, and Dr. Barefoot. They are God's gift to us - Noah's descendants who, alas, cannot even locate the forever disappeared high-altitude Ark.
Since man was driven out of Paradise – where the temperature, humidity and sunshine and the protective ozone were still in pristine condition and perfect unison – only the sun has remained a constant ally. Perhaps God wanted it that way.