Skin Cancer

The sun has taken a lot of blame for our increased rates of skin cancers (along with the depletion of the ozone layer), but research uncovered by Dr David G Williams [Alternatives, April 1993; 4: 22] shows that the sun might not be the culprit, and hiding from the sun by using sunscreens can not only increase your chances of skin cancer, but it can increase your chances of all sorts of problems by interfering with vitamin D synthesis.

According to Dr Williams: "Despite what you may have been led to believe, there is not adequate scientific data to support the belief that sunscreens prevent skin cancer (melanomas or basal cell cancers)."
Melanin, Dr Williams points out, was thought to be only the pigment responsible for tanning, however, it has other important roles: it absorbs the UVA’s, UVB’s, and UVC’s in ultraviolet light, and neutralized oxygen free radicals during the invasion of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and from exposure to light. When you use a sunscreen, the melanocytes are not stimulated to produce melanin, which actually interferes with the skin’s natural ability to protect against the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Additionally, without melanin, the UVA’s are allowed to penetrate deeper and bombard blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues.

Your primary source of vitamin D comes from the sun. The use of sunscreens interferes with our body’s natural synthesis of this vitamin. The increased use of sunscreens has created such a deficiency of vitamin D that some researchers feel that mother’s milk is nearly devoid of vitamin D and that newborns need extra supplementation to avoid rickets.

In addition to a rise in rickets in America, Dr Williams describes a number of problems associated with vitamin D deficiencies: hearing loss at high frequencies, increased dental cavities, increased hip fractures, increase in colorectal cancer, breast cancer.

From the a few practitioners in the Wellness Directory of Minnesota™, we have discovered another contributor to our rise in skin cancer rates: trans fatty oils or as they are commonly referred to: Partially Hydrogenated Oils. It’s hard to believe that our hospitals are still serving margarine as a safe alternative to butter. The trans fatty oils in margarine (the industry is escalating their use as we write this: frozen foods, cocoas, breads and pastries, canned processed foods, cream soups, and the list goes on; obviously we all must learn to read labels) are responsible for a host of cancers. They stiffen your body’s cells not allowing nutrition to pass in or toxins to pass out. Dr Johanna Budwig’s research has demonstrated that certain wavelengths of sunlight vibrate at the same frequency as the chemical bonds in unsaturated fatty acids (trans fatty oils are unsaturated). This, she feels, leads to early mutations that can become skin cancers. Additionally, Dr Budwig feels that for a free flow of nutrients to your cells and elimination of toxins, your body needs the supersaturated fatty acids (Omega-3 oils) bound to protein (especially bound to protein if your liver is weak). See the section on Dr Budwig and Omega-3s in the article Alternative Cancer Therapies.

Budwig's theories from the fifties have been proven in the nineties. The World Health Organization has published statistics on skin cancer rates of various nations. Take a good look at Mexico. Skin cancer was once virtually unknown there. Today their rates of melanoma are approaching those of the US. We are told to stay out of the sun. The only sun bathers in Mexico, except for the extreme rich (less than 1% of the population) are vacationers. Yet how did their incidence of skin cancer quadruple over night? Ozone layer effect?

The answer is actually quite simple. For centuries Mexicans have cooked in lard. America's advertising is far reaching and the Mexicans, especially along the US border, to be in vogue and tasteful, have bought into our lies and picked up on many of our habits. Lard usage has dropped, margarine usage has risen, and you can graph its rise right along with the rise of skin cancer. The proof lies in the low incidence of skin cancer among the poor in low population density areas away from modern supermarkets. Their skin cancer rates have not increased. They still use lard.

Then how do you protect against the damaging effects of sunlight? Beta carotene and vitamin C seem to give us some protection. Hats and extra (light) clothing will help. And from Dr Williams’s research, you can make a sunscreen from vitamin C. Using vitamin C crystals (the buffered types don’t seem to work), make a 10% solution and spray it on 10 to 15 minutes before going into the sun, and continue to apply it liberally. You can use a liquid solution in a spray bottle, or add the vitamin C it to your favorite Aloe Vera gel (from Simply Natural Products; after six years, our research shows SMP to manufacture the best aloe products, bar none). It seems that this simple 10% solution of Vitamin C in water (or in aloe gel) also helps acne, eczema, and psoriasis. [Alternatives, March 1993; 4:21]

We found another skin cancer remedy in Dr Williams's September issue of Alternatives: the Devil’s Apple (Solanum sodomaeum) which contains the glycoalkaloid, solasodine. A medical researcher and biochemist Dr Bill Cham has been rigorously testing a glycoalkaloid cream he developed, and Dr Willimas points out:Not only was the cream totally free from an biochemical or clinical side effects, it also proved to be virtually 100 percent effective in the prevention and treatment of solar keratoses, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.


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