No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem! (How Sunscreen and Shoes Could Be Wrecking Your Health).

2 Jul

We are taught from an early age that the sun is an evil celestial being hell-bent on destroying us. This orange ball of doom patrols the noon sky bombarding us with radiation and killing us via Melanoma inducing gamma death rays! AHHHH!

“Even if your only in the sun for a few minutes make sure to put on appropriate sun block (SPF 900?)! And wear your shoes out there!  99.9% of the earths surface is covered in broken glass and rusty nails!”

Sound about right? Yeah, pretty intense stuff. And while I’m sure there are some scientific type studies out there that may support this logic, I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective. One steeped not in science but in common sense.

PART 1: Maybe Nudists are on to Something?!?

Our ancestors spent a lot of time in the sun. While I’m sure they made every effort to avoid exposure during the most intense hours of the day, hunting, gathering, fetching water, traveling, playing, pooping…. all of these activities were done outside (and that’s where the sun lives to!). Evolutionists believe that our upright posture is a result of us trying to minimize sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Modern humans have existed outdoors, exposed to the sun, for nearly 2 million years and somehow we’ve managed not to be eradicated by the death orb.

Hmmmm….Maybe a little tan might not be all that bad? Let’s talk about Vitamin D.

“That’s the milk one right?”. Yep, good old Vitamin D. Responsible for maintaining a healthy immune system, digestive regulation, insulin sensitivity (i.e. whether or not that bagel turns to fat or gets burned off), bone growth, muscle growth, thyroid health (i.e your hormone factory), sleep regulation, the list goes on and on. Theres not a system in your body that doesn’t use Vitamin D in some facit.

Vitamin D= This stuff is pretty damn important.

As Americans we get most of our Vitamin D from dairy products ( because it is fortified a.k.a. added to it) and Wonderbread (also fortified… duh, grains suck but you already knew that, right?). The FDA recommends that you get 400IU of Vitamin D per day. That’s 4 servings of dairy or just 2 slices of Wonderbread (Hey! They don’t call it Wonder for nothin!) But what about us Ancestral Diet folks that don’t eat the “Wonder” bread or maybe don’t consume dairy because of lactose intolerance (or fear of all the crap that is injected into dairy cows to increase yield but that’s a tale for another day…)? The truth is, no foods contain sufficient Vitamin D in their natural state. So what’s a caveman to do?

Go outside and embrace that orange ball of joy we call the sun! Just 20 minutes of shirtless sun exposure will net you somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000IU of Vitamin D!

That’s right. Not a typo. 40,000IU. That puts our ancestral levels at 100,000IU+ per day. That’s the equivalent of 1,000 glasses of milk or 500 slices of Wonderbread. Still think 400IU per day is enough? My guess, not bloody likely. Now it begins to make sense why this vitamin would be responsible for so many vital functions. It can be obtained in abundance simply by stepping outside. Dietary sources are completely inadequate.

If your anything like me, your job probably makes you a slave to the indoors. I work a 12 hour rotating shift (days and nights). So there are stretches, sometimes 6-7 days, that I don’t even see the sun. It’s dark when I leave for work and it’s dark when I get off work. Nightshift has me sleeping for much of the daylight hours. Your situation may not be this extreme but probably similar. For the most part, we live, work, play, travel, and poop indoors(thank goodness for that last one). This is where supplementation comes in.

I take 4,000IU of Vitamin D3 per day, that way I’m covered if I don’t get outside much. Sound excessive? Scientists think that the current 400IU minimum needs to be changed to 8000IU minimum (impossible to obtain through dietary means), but don’t take my word for it. If I forget to take my D3 and get caged for the day I can absolutely feel the difference. my thoughts come slower, I’m cranky, low energy levels, and generally feel “off”. It makes itself pretty obvious. This one simple change probably has had the most profound effect on my well-being and how I feel day-to-day. Definitely worth tinkering with!

*Worth mentioning: Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. That means that you need some fat in your gut to absorb it (Wonderbread has very little if, any fat by the way…). So if you supplement, be sure to take it with a meal of protein and fat or you’ll just pass it straight through and get awesome neon yellow colored pee. Cool but it defeats the purpose.

Allright! Enough talk. Find a way to get outside and enjoy that big ball of orange goodness! (Nudity optional)


2 Responses to “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem! (How Sunscreen and Shoes Could Be Wrecking Your Health).”

  1. Jess July 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Hm. I’ve been taking a vitamin D supplement for a while now and not really noticing any significant effects (though I do also try to spend a lot of time in the sun when it’s not a million degrees, so maybe I already get more than your average bear). But I’d not hear that about taking it with protein and fat. What sort of food combo do you suggest?

    • thecoreyackerman July 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      I always take mine with breakfast which usually looks like eggs, Bacon, sausage, or some sort of almond flour based pancake. At the very least I do a protein shake ( whole milk, scoop of powder, banana, coconut egg). If I skip breakfast and try to take them with just a glass of milk or a cup of coffee, I get the neon yellow pee indicative of a lack of absorption… The term “meal” is pretty loosely defined but I think we can agree that a piece of fruit or a rice cake does not count as a meal… Or at least, should not could as a meal.
      Fat in coffee makes it hit harder too. Heavy cream instead of half and half= instant productivity increase.

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