Exposure to sunlight may reduce your risk of advanced breast cancer, according to new research from Stanford University.

The study followed 4,000 women between the ages of 35 and 79, and evaluated the effects of long-term sun exposure. Women with a light skin color who had high sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the breast) as women with low sun exposure.

High sun exposure was defined as having dark skin on your forehead, since your forehead is typically exposed to the sun often.

Sun exposure may work to prevent cancer because it increases the levels of vitamin D in your body. While you can get some vitamin D from your diet, up to 90 percent comes from your exposure to sunlight.

* American Journal of Epidemiology October 12, 2007
* The Independent October 21, 2007
* Clinical Trials Web October 21, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Why isn't this information on how important sun exposure is for your health on the front page of nearly every newspaper and magazine or on the evening news? Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that no one is making large amounts of money by telling you this?

And the converse is very true; large industries stand to lose billions of dollars if this information is widely known and adopted.

In case you missed it in the summary above, this study found that getting a lot of sun exposure can slash your breast cancer risk IN HALF. If you have been reading this newsletter for awhile you will not be surprised because I have been saying this for some time now, as far back as 1998. Clearly, the dangers of the sun have been completely exaggerated and have actually prompted many of you to increase your risk of cancer by shunning the sun. The studies on the health benefits of sunshine just keep pouring in. Back in August, a particularly groundbreaking study came out that found 600,000 cases of cancer could be prevented every year just by increasing the levels of vitamin D, and that increasing levels of vitamin D could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives throughout the world each year!

I am always thrilled to have well-respected, peer-reviewed journals publish studies that further confirm this exciting finding.

The evidence is very clear that the farther away from the equator you live, the higher your risk of dying from cancer becomes. Why? With sun exposure, UVB radiation from the sun converts cholesterol in your body into vitamin D, one of the most potent anti-cancer vitamins there is.

This is why you simply must get out there and expose your skin to the sun as much as you can during the summer months. You do NOT want to get sunburned, but you do need to stay out long enough (with enough skin exposed) for your body to produce plenty of vitamin D.

It's not excessive for a light-skinned person to stay out in the sun for an hour a day, particularly once they've built up a tan. If you have darker skin, which acts like a filter, you will need to stay out from two to five times longer to get the vitamin D you need.

Now that winter is approaching, which means that many of you in the United States will not see the sun again until April or May, what should you do to keep your vitamin D levels up?

You can take a vitamin D3 supplement, such as cod liver oil. However, It IS possible to overdose on oral vitamin D supplements (there's very little risk of overdosing on vitamin D from the sun, however), so you need to have your blood levels of vitamin D measured regularly.

Just remember, sun exposure is by far the best way to get your vitamin D.

What About Tanning Beds?

For years I have also told you to find a safe tanning bed to get your dose of vitamin D in the winter. I even asked readers to put me in touch with someone that can make these beds. Well, guess what? Someone actually did.

For the past few months I have been working with a U.S. manufacturer that has a patented vitamin D sunlamp system that will keep you healthy in the winter. It is far more convenient and less expensive than snow-birding in Florida or Hawaii -- and it will keep your entire family healthy in the winter.

Not only will it raise your vitamin D levels and radically reduce your risk of cancer, it will dramatically reduce -- if not virtually eliminate -- your risk of the flu, coughs and cold in the winter (assuming you are following the basic elements of the Total Health Program). I hope to provide more information about this before the end of the year.

For more incredible details on the importance of sunshine and vitamin D to reduce your risk of cancer, I urge you to read my new special report: Over a Million People Die Every Year From Lack of Sun Exposure.

I wrote this report just in time for winter, so you can find out the vital details you need to know to keep your vitamin D levels where they need to be. Also, keep an eye out for my upcoming book Dark Deception, which explores this topic in even greater detail, and exposes why the conventional advice to stay out of the sun is dead wrong.