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Why Light Matters - Page 2

Written by Colleen Huber, NMD   
Monday, 01 December 2008 00:00
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Much research on this subject has been summarized by the German ophthalmologist Fritz Hollwich, MD, as well as by John Ott, Hon. D. Sci., a researcher on the properties of light. The array of bodily organs and systems that depend on full-spectrum light through the eyes is astounding. When the eyes are exposed to natural sunlight or full-spectrum light, the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, pancreas, liver, and kidneys all function better, according to the numerous studies presented in these two books. Full-spectrum light includes a balance of wavelengths from all colors of the visible spectrum plus ultraviolet and infrared.

On the other hand, cool-white fluorescent bulbs, which are now used for the great majority of interior commercial lighting, have strong yellow, but are very deficient in most the other wavelengths, with no ultraviolet or infrared.

Unfortunately, however, UV light has received a bad name, primarily because of individuals who have a history of blistering sunburns followed by skin cancer. There has never been any research showing health benefits of blocking UV light to the eyes. However, it is now impossible to buy eyeglasses that allow full-spectrum light. All of the lenses made in the last ten years for eyeglasses are made to block UV light, even plastic lenses, which if untreated, would allow full-spectrum light. However, full-spectrum light to the eyes is necessary for proper functioning of ovaries, testes, and thyroid, according to Hollwich and the research he summarizes.

Earl Staelin, writing in the current issue of the Well Being Journal, summarizes the recommendations of those who have studied light and its health effects, and recommends that individuals who must wear glasses try to get outdoors everyday for 20 to 60 minutes or more without wearing any glasses. If the weather makes this impractical, then it would be beneficial to try to function without glasses indoors under full-spectrum lighting, because the amount of UV light that strikes the retina from around the edges of glasses is insignificant compared to the large amount of light coming through the eye and through the lenses. The full spectrum of daylight need not come from direct sunlight, but is available also on a cloudy day or under the shade of a tree or porch. Glass windows however, do block out UV light, so try to get out in the fresh air if at all possible. On days when even this is difficult, there is yet another recourse: distilled cod liver oil. The distillation takes out mercury and other heavy metals, which are all too prevalent in both salt and freshwater fish. Cod liver oil is high in vitamins D and A. I take an average of 2 tablespoons a day, but for your optimal intake, depending on your sun exposure, other health conditions and weight, you should really check with your naturopathic physician.

Colleen HuberAbout the Author:

Dr. Huber NMD, is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Primary Care Physician currently practicing in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Huber focuses on herbal medicine, nutrition, intravenous therapies, environmental medicine and acupuncture. She received her Naturopathic Medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Visit Dr. Huber's Website: www.naturopathyworks.com

Pathways Issue 20 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #20.

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