Your Body Needs Full Spectrum Light for Optimal Function
By Dr. Mercola
Without the sun there would be no life on this planet, and your body needs sun exposure for optimal health as well. In fact, the sun can be a great healer, providing benefits that go far beyond vitamin D synthesis.
As noted by photobiologist Alexander Wunsch, humans are adapted to sunlight as a complex stimulus that, at the appropriate dosage, helps keep our biological systems running.
When we talk about sun exposure to optimize vitamin D production, we’re really only looking at a small portion of the action spectrum of light, because ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is the only portion able to photosynthesize vitamin D in your skin.
However, sunlight contains many other wavelengths, and we’ve likely only scratched the surface when it comes to identifying the biological activity influenced by the various portions of the sun’s light spectrum.
Your Body Needs the Full Spectrum Light Offered by the Sun
For example, we now know that a whole host of physiological processes are directed by your endogenous circadian rhythm, which is calibrated by exposure to natural sunlight and darkness.
Dr. Auguste Rollier, who has written text books on heliotherapy, emphasizes that the composition of the different parts of the light spectrum are of crucial importance, not only to achieve all of the benefits you can get from the sun, but also to provide protection against potential damage.
For instance, while UVB synthesizes vitamin D in your skin, it can also alter DNA structures, and the ultraviolet A (UVA) rays in sunlight can produce reactive oxygen species in the tissue, leading to damage.
To cope with these side effects, your skin needs other parts in the light spectrum, such as the near-infrared and the red light, which transfers energy to your cells.