Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Indoor Test Animals Prove the Need for Sunlight

Photo: MarieDolphin
Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

The discovery that indoor animals like pets and test rabbits suffer from vitamin D deficiency wasn't really a test at all - it was accidental.

But a report from the American Journal of Veterinary Research is highlighting the very real health problems that occur while living with a lack of sunlight - for animals and humans.

In rabbits (test subjects or pets), low vitamin D levels lead to cardiovascular issues, weak immune systems and poor dental health - similar to humans. Test rabbits growing up in a lab fare worse; vitamin D deficiency is even skewing test results.

Lead researcher, Mark Mitchell said:
We know that vitamin D is important to vertebrates in that it helps with calcium absorption, but it also has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health and immune function. We know of several types of diseases that can develop with vitamin D deficiency. Some of the chronic problems we see are tooth-related.

Dental problems in animals are common in Mitchell's research - his findings have pinpointed the origins of the problem to vitamin D deficiency - an understated issue when it comes to dental health. It's understandable why a lot of animals aren't allowed outdoors (and why they shouldn't be left in the sun), but windows block necessary UVB light. Furthermore, it's unlikely that they get enough from their diets.

He said:
In human medicine, they're starting to measure vitamin D levels as part of our routine medical exams. But if we're not doing this with animals that we're using in research, we might be missing a step.
He warns that this problem is undermining research testing and wants to see pets and subjects have a better life.

Fortunately, they discovered that regular exposure to artificial UVB light for just two weeks doubled the rabbits' serum vitamin D levels.&

What can the sun do for you?

Recently, more scientists have come forward emphasizing sunlight to prevent heart disease. It is a metabolism in the body that is not duplicated by supplements. They also find it reduces death from all causes, and they stress that it outweighs any risk because it leads to longer life.

If extended hours in the sun has you worried about exposure and sunburn, you might enjoy making your own sunscreen without the chemicals that accompany store-bought sunscreen lotions.

Interestingly, adding vegetables and fruits (like grapes) to your diet provides the perfect "internal sunscreen" while still allowing the good rays. Adding clean animal fats and removing hydrogenated oils can do the same thing!

Also see: 10 Reasons To Soak Up The Sun This Summer

"Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation Produced From Artificial Lights on Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration in Captive Domestic Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculi)" is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:

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Anonymous said...

Fascinating and very cool, Heather.

BTW, astaxanthin, the powerful antioxidant pigment originally sourced in algae that gives wild salmon flesh that bright red hue, when taken orally as a supplement has been shown in experimental studies to be remarkably effective preventing cellular damage from UV rays.

Heather Callaghan said...

Ah, great info, thanks Anon!

Anonymous said...

Never take fish supplements. The oceans and rivers , tragically, are toxic. Overfishing kills billions of tons of fish, collaterally millions of tons of non-target species and the garbage of fishing gear kills whales, dolphin, seals, birds and more... Sunlight is a metaphor for illumination, shedding light on darkness. Our footprint on land and sea needs to be lightened for the damage we do. Get antioxidants from plant sources which is how the food chain begins. Everything from protein to minerals came originally from plants. Leave fish out of the equation as our impact on the marine ecosystem is as devastating as it is on land.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "clean animal fats." Even the consideration that the slaughter of sentient animals who struggle and are in dire distress, 70 BILLION a year globally, for their fat, is not a clean behavior.. Most people would never work in the slaughter industry or suggest their children seek employment there.
Having others fill the demand for slaughtered animals is not clean either.
Miss Callaghan should visit a factory farm or slaughterhouse to see just how unclean and horrific these hell holes are, for animals, for workers, for the toxic environment breeding virulent viruses that lead to recalls.. If animal fat has plentiful D in it, it is because the animals got theirs how? Not from eating other animals with the exception of USDA/FDA loopholes that allow chicken litter, manure, be pelleted and fed to cows and cow manure be used on crops that eventually are fed back to farmed animals, a very dangerous cycle for public health... There's nothing clean about forcing thousands of animals into a kill box, shooting a bolt through their brains, hoisting them by one leg, often regaining consciousness, to carve them up with saws. I hope Ms. Callaghan sees NOAH, and Earthlings, and Speciesism, as well as The Ghost In Our Machine. She can also visit Mercy For Animals, Compassion Over Killing, and Farm Sanctuary web sites to see the investigations under attack by agribusiness( trying to criminalize investigations through state Ag-gag bills)of the egregious acts of violence against female and male animals, some very young, some juveniles , in a food system created with inherent violence that should never be considered, "clean."

Heather said...

Yes, Anon - I know about CAFOs and slaughterhouses with thousands of animals which I'm pretty sure, don't allow casual visits.

Obviously, that wasn't what I was talking about. It was more along the lines of getting local grassfed butter, milk and even some grassfed beef and tallow from a local pasture-raised farm.

When we took pure animal fats with the perfect EFA ratio out of our diets we saw heart disease, obesity, sun burns which perhaps have helped skin cancer rates. The high amount of twisted vegetable oils in our diet is causing us to sizzle in the sun.

You CANNOT compare CAFO practices with grassfed - they are from two different planets.

I support the right to heal with clean, fresh diets and the freedom to access non-cruel food methods. GAPS (for autism) and Auto-Immune Paleo are just two ways that involve grassfed foods to reverse disease like Autism and auto-immune like Lyme.

Lewis Conley said...

did you forget about sunlight not to talk about fat i dont want to hear crap there mosley talking about your pets dogs cats ex if you worker out in the sun most of the time you wondent bern i dont youse sun block just by puting oil on you loshion to keep the water in your skine is ok

Lewis Conley said...

thank you

Lewis Conley said...

stay in the sun be happy

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