Last Updated on August 21, 2020
I recently read a study that demonstrated a relationship between ultraviolet light and an improvement in the gut microbiota.
There’s been a big increase globally in autoimmune disease, inflammatory disease, heart disease, and many other illnesses. These increases have been termed “idiopathic” – meaning no known cause.
But, to me, there is a pretty obvious cause, particularly when you read studies like this one. This is the first study that shows there’s a relationship between ultraviolet light and an improvement in the gut microbiota. This is a fascinating discovery.
This finding correlates with a lot of the information that I’ve been presenting for years. Science is validating that lifestyle, including getting out in the sun, improves your health. There is evidence that getting out in the sun improves your gut microbiota.
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I love going out in the sun, but I’m no fool. I wouldn’t go out in the middle of the day on a hot summer’s day. Do wear a hat and take protection.
It’s ultraviolet A that can be dangerous to your skin. It’s also the type of sunlight that peppers the earth. 95% of the ultraviolet that comes from the sun is UVA. It’s a very powerful light source. It penetrates deep into the skin and can be very harmful to some people.
UVB is a different, narrow band of light. It’s UVB that has a particularly beneficial impact on the body and helps increase vitamin D.
In this study, there were two groups of healthy females. One cohort was given vitamin D leading up to winter, and the other cohort wasn’t. Both group were then exposed to ultraviolet B light three to four times per week. Their vitamin D levels were assessed throughout the study.
Within a week or two, there was a 7.3% increase of vitamin d in the bloodstream of people exposed to ultraviolet B light. But, we already knew that UVB increases vitamin D. So, the more interesting finding was they also found an improvement in gut microbiota after exposure to UVB.
Whether that’s a relationship with vitamin D or a separate issue, remains to be seen. But the point I’m making here is when you go out in the sun, you’re actually improving your gut microbiota. In other words, exposing your skin to the sun modulates the human intestinal microbiome.
The sun should not be shunned. It’s healthy. The best time to go in the sun is before 10 am and then again late afternoon. Don’t go in the sun in the middle of the day lying in a bikini, and then wondering why you look like a lobster.