Human - Are we part Plant, we require sunlight for Vitamin D ...


Marilyn's Column | February/2017

Topic: Human Animal - Are we part Plant?

Are Humans part Plant?

   No, but Yes - Maybe. We use sunlight to make Vitamin D, do we not? Our Skin is our Manufacturing Center for critical phytochemicals we use in our metabolism, particularly Cholesterol Sulfate. The biochemistry of the skin and the products manufactured there is just now reaching critical mass, especially since it is estimated that 50% - 70% of modern populations are deficient.

Biochemistry of the skin and sunlight for centenarians

Vitamin D is a Pro-hormone which is involved as a co-factor in over 2,000 enzymatic reactions. A -1958 - example of the sun's influence over our Health - linear association with seasonal infections and lung function clearly shows a seasonal connection with our immune system and the sun. (1,1a)

Conventional health authorities claim getting a flu shot each year is the best way to ward off influenza. But where's the actual science backing up that claim? In 2008, Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an underlying CAUSE of influenza. (2,a,b,3,4) Did You Know ...

Biochemistry of vitamins and longevity for centenarians
Vitamin D deficiency is coming back, and present a modern health problem.
From Vitamin D Wiki, a fellow engineer presents Current Findings on Vitamin D.

. The food we eat is converted to generate ATP. But the mechanism of ATP production can also be stimulated in response to near-infrared exposure, which triggers the mitochondria to produce additional ATP. More specifically, light allows the body to use food more efficiently

Plants use sunlight to drive their metabolism, but humans do not. Plants and Animals, respond to circadian (∼24 hr) rhythms of behavior and physiology. Molecular clocks are endogenous to most organisms, both plant and animal. The mechanisms underlying these clocks are remarkably conserved across evolution.

Metabolism - Krebs Cycle, the sum of all chemical processes by which a plant or an animal uses food, water, etc., to grow and heal and to make energy. Most light-sensitive organisms on earth have acquired an internal system of circadian clocks allowing the anticipation of light or darkness. In humans, the circadian system governs nearly all aspects of physiology and behavior. The accepted mechanism in the mitochondria involves dissociation of the inhibitory molecule called nitric oxide (NO) from COO, increasing electron transport and ATP synthesis. NO also has important signaling effects.

Melatonin: role as a circadian modulator in memory processing
Example: Melatonin's role as a circadian modulator in memory processing. (5)

The body CLOCKs are controlled by light and food. Circadian clocks are encoded by a transcription-translation feedback loop that aligns energetic processes with the solar cycle. (8) (Note 1) For example, the bright sunlight turns on genes that prepare the body for the day's activity, prepares the immune system and syncs with other system clocks. The liver clock turns on genes when food arrives and then starts up the bodily cycles and nutritional pathways. A Traffic Jam can occur when these clocks are not in sync. The body's organs and the gut microbiota each have their own clocks that respond to imminent conditions. (7,8,13)

Calvin cycle - Opposite - Krebs Cycle  this cycle support all oxygen breathing organisms on this planet. Photosynthesis occurs in two stages in a cell. In the first stage, light-dependent reactions capture the energy of light and use it to make the energy-storage and transport molecules ATP and NADPH. The light-independent Calvin cycle uses the energy from short-lived electronically excited carriers to convert carbon dioxide and water into organic compounds.

Plants do not carry out the Calvin cycle during nighttime. They instead release sucrose into the phloem from their starch reserves. Plants and Animals, respond to circadian (∼24 hr) rhythms of behavior and physiology. Molecular clocks are endogenous to most organisms. The mechanisms underlying these clocks are remarkably conserved across evolution. (7,8,9) (Note 2,3)


Photobiomodulation | An emerging Science

LLLT - Low Level Light Therapy, such as Infrared therapy is one aspect of photobiomodulation - Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). One of the most commonly used wavelengths of light is the near-infrared, which starts at about 750 nanometers (nm) and goes all the way into 1,200 nm. Near-infrared in the lower range penetrates well into the body and has many beneficial biological effects. Wavelengths beyond 1200 nm have very limited ability to penetrate deeply into the body.

Our skin responds to light which controls many metabolic pathways.
Wellman Center for Photomedicine. LLLT involves alteration of mitochondrial respiration that both increases cellular ATP levels and at the same time produces intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). (15,16)

Dr. Michael Hamblin, researcher and associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, says ... Near-Infrared Helps Fuel Your Body ... the mid-600s and all of the wavelengths in the low 800s appear to have the same biological impact. (15,15a,16)

I suspect that our Obsession with Skin Cancer has distorted our common sense about sun exposure, another Man-Made Hype. We have run around Top-Less on this planet a lot longer than we have had clothing. Our body has protected itself for millions of years, the only problem is we migrated. This migration has led to Light Adaptations and our protective melatonin has been reduced as part of our skin protective regulation response as it tried to still gather the proper amount of sunlight. Our body must have its share of Daily Sunlight.

Cells respond to light by increasing molecules such as growth factors, nitric oxide (NO), reactive oxygen species (ROS), ATP, RNA and DNA. (17,17a)

The Physics of it, the accepted mechanism in the mitochondria involves dissociation of the inhibitory molecule called nitric oxide (NO) from COO, increasing electron transport and ATP synthesis. NO also has important signaling effects. As you know, Nitric Oxide - NO, is a vascular dilator and is important in the endothelium and forms an important part of the vasculature and is involved in promoting an atheroprotective environment. Once considered as a simple barrier between the blood and vessel wall, the endothelium is now regarded as a dynamic organ which lines the entire vascular system. (18,19)

The optimal wavelength for stimulating COO lies in two regions, red at 630 to 660 nm and near-infrared at 810 to 830 nm. The theory is that the absorption spectrum of COO has two peaks: one in the mid-600s and one at around 800. So, it could be said that your body is fueled by both food and sunlight. [Physiology of the endothelium, Galley HF, Webster NR.].

What this means is that the red light at 630-660 nm will provide the same mitochondrial benefits as the near-infrared range of 810 to 830 nm. A discussion on Photobiomodulation is presented by Dr. Joseph Mercola ... Dr. Mercola interviews Dr. Hamblin - Healing the Body With Photobiomodulation | feb/2017.

This image is a Collapsed Tree of Life from Wikimedia Commons: by Tim Vickers, and gives a look at the huge varieties of life, and the small segment from which both Plants and Animals were derived.

This is a highly resolved Tree of Life based on completely sequenced genomes. From this genome driven depiction of our family tree it is shown that we are decendents of "Protozoa". We can see we are right there and kindred with plants, algae, fungi, and best of all ... Slime Mold. ... Who new?




    ... Yes we are part plant; therefore, the corollary is that a plant is part animal.

  1. New evidence shows that we both have the same ancestrial cell structure and ribosomes. All living things come from the same Single Cell forms of life with essentially the same cell structure.
  2. The Big Question is when did we diverge. Instead of growing roots and sticking them in the ground and soaking up the "Sun", we grew feet and started walking and eating, getting our energy by eating our cousins. Consequently, we have two metabolic cycles that are opposites, but are derived from the same single cell life form ... 3.8 billion years old.
The therapeutic effect of light for disease treatment and aging metabolism.
University of Birmingham: The therapeutic effect of light for disease treatment has been recognised for many centuries.(17,17a)

Life depends on molecular messaging. Cells and organisms, simple ones like c-elegans and complicated ones like humans, are constantly exchanging internal molecular messages. The very earliest life had no proteins. By studying protein-free regions of the ribosome, scientists are able to trace the very oldest chemical processes.

Cells respond to light by increasing molecules such as growth factors, nitric oxide (NO), reactive oxygen species (ROS), ATP, RNA and DNA. (17)

Professor Loren Williams of the Georgia Tech School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and his team led the research into the first assemblies of molecules, known as the ribosome, that led to the beginning of life. Today the ribosome converts genetic information, from RNA, into proteins in living cells and this Engine of Life is still running today.

Dr. Bonnie Bassler - Princeton, (30) has shown that cellular and procaryotic life has had 3 billion years to construct communications for beneficial and defensive pathways. Once cells could communicate Called -Quorum Sensing, they formed collective communities. Humans are just a new/recent - collective of organisms. Our Gut Microbiome indicates that we are now a symbiosis of single cells working with a complex form of life ...

- for a 3.8 billion year old Metabolic Pathway ⇒ So Don't Screw It Up! We all came from the same single cell protists-procaryotic-eukaryotic life.

The Real Rub is that some Heterotrophs cannot cook their own food for the life of them. They resort to fast-food take out, frozen foods, canned goods, boxed, packaged, and dehydrated foods, and the microwave. Hence: ... the SAD is now SADDER, which is discussed in ... the Obesogenic Diet.


  1. Why the flu predictably occurs in the months following the winter solstice, when vitamin D levels are at their lowest,
  2. Why it disappears in the months following the summer solstice,
  3. Why influenza is more common in the tropics during the rainy season,
  4. Why the cold and rainy weather associated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which drives people indoors and lowers vitamin D blood levels, is associated with influenza,
  5. Why the incidence of influenza is inversely correlated with outdoor temperatures,
  6. Why children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get colds,
  7. Why cod liver oil (which contains vitamin D) reduces the incidence of viral respiratory infections,
  8. Why Russian scientists found that vitamin D-producing UVB lamps reduced colds and flu in schoolchildren and factory workers,
  9. Why Russian scientists found that volunteers, deliberately infected with a weakened flu virus - first in the summer and then again in the winter - show significantly different clinical courses in the different seasons,
  10. Why the elderly who live in countries with high vitamin D consumption, like Norway, are less likely to die in the winter,
  11. Why children with vitamin D deficiency and rickets suffer from frequent respiratory infections,
  12. Why an observant physician (Rehman), who gave high doses of vitamin D to children who were constantly sick from colds and the flu, found the treated children were suddenly free from infection,
  13. Why the elderly are so much more likely to die from heart attacks in the winter rather than in the summer,
  14. Why African Americans, with their low vitamin D blood levels, are more likely to die from influenza and pneumonia than Whites are.

  15. According to J. J. Cannell, vitamin D deficiency has repeatedly been associated with many of the diseases of civilization, we point out that it is not too early for physicians to aggressively diagnose and adequately treat vitamin D deficiency. We recommend that enough vitamin D be taken daily to maintain 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels at levels normally achieved through summertime sun exposure (50 ng/ml). For many persons, such as African Americans and the elderly, this will require up to 5,000 units daily in the winter and less, or none, in the summer, depending on summertime sun exposure.

  16. ... but, C Power and J Elliott in 2006 republished a 1958 Study - [British birth cohort (National Child Development Study). Int J Epidemiol 35,] which answered these question, and many more. (22,22a) (Irony 1) (Note 4,5)


Irony Notes:

  1. Ironically, all that was/is needed to control/mitigate respiratory diseases was the measure Vitamin D levels. Being aware that vitamin D levels are a function of sunlight, sking color, and location on this planet.


  1. CLOCK: a gene encoding a transcription factor (CLOCK) that affects both the persistence and period of circadian rhythms. CLOCK functions as an essential activator of downstream elements in the pathway critical to the generation fo circadian rhythms. In humans, polymorphisms in the CLOCK gene have been associated with the increased insomnia, weight loss difficulty, and recurrence of major depressive episodes in with bipolar disorder. Ex: There are 3-5,000 genes that turn on in the liver, depending on the time of day. (1,7,11)
  2. The light:dark cycle generated by the earth's rotation is the driving force of daily behavioral and physiological rhythms exhibited by most organisms. However, these daily (∼24 hr) rhythms are not just a passive response to the light:dark cycle; instead, an intrinsic timekeeping mechanism synchronizes physiological processes to the cyclic environment. The endogenous timekeeper is a self-sustained oscillator, termed the circadian clock, (7)
  3. The circadian control of an organism's response to DNA damage response rests upon circadian proteins which play important roles in the processes of cell proliferation and control of response to genotoxic stress both at the cellular and organismal levels. DNA damage triggers cellular stress response pathways which may result in checkpoint cell cycle arrest, apoptosis or DNA repair. DNA damage leads to activation of critical components of cellular stress response pathways. (13,14)
  4. Sun exposure is the primary source of vitamin D for most people. (30,35,36) The vitamin D made by your body last 3 times longer than supplement vitamin D, the reason is obvious in that there is much more going on with this manufacturing process. (31,32,32a,33,34)
  5. In vitamin D deficiency, calcium absorption cannot be increased enough to satisfy the body's calcium needs. (30) Before taking vitamin D you should test your vitamin D blood levels. Test quarterly, but minimum twice a year, and aim for 50 ng/ml. (40-60 ng/ml range) Lifestyle is key, as sun exposure, diet, where on the planet you are, your skin color, and time of year contribute to your health and longevity.


[ + ] Sources and References:

  1. 1 youTube, Dr. MIchael Holick, The D-Lightful Vitamin D for Good Health
  2. 1a PubMed, Vitamin D and inflammatory diseases, Kai Yin and Devendra K Agrawal, 2014
  3. 2 J.J. Cannell, Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D
  4. 2a NCBI PubMed PMID: 16959053, PMCID: PMC2870528, DOI: 10.1017/S0950268806007175, Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, Garland CF, Giovannucci E.
  5. 2b Virology Journal20085:29, DOI: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-29, On the epidemiology of influenza, John J Cannell, Michael Zasloff, Cedric F Garland, Robert Scragg and Edward Giovannucci.
  6. 3 Medical News Today Published: Friday 15 September 2006, Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D
  7. 4 The JAMA Network February 23, 2009, Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Adit A. Ginde, MD, MPH; Jonathan M. Mansbach, MD; Carlos A. Camargo Jr, MD, DrPH.
  8. 7 youTube, Dr. Satchin Panda on Time-Restricted Feeding and Its Effects on Obesity, Muscle Mass & Heart Health, June, 2016
  9. 8 Frontiers in Neurology, May 2015, Human peripheral clocks: applications for studying circadian phenotypes in physiology and pathophysiology, Camille Saini, Steven A. Brown, Charna Dibner
  10. 9 Science Direct - Cell Metabolism 2016, Circadian Clock Interaction with HIF1α Mediates Oxygenic Metabolism and Anaerobic Glycolysis in Skeletal Muscle, Clara Bien Peek,
  11. 10 Fronteirs in Molecular Neuroscience, Front. Mol. Neurosci., 06 March 2012, The hormonal Zeitgeber melatonin: role as a circadian modulator in memory processing, Oliver Rawashdeh and Erik Maronde.
  12. 11 Cell Metabolism, AJHG, Time-Restricted Feeding Is a Preventative and Therapeutic Intervention against Diverse Nutritional Challenges, Amandine Chaix, Amir Zarrinpar, Phuong Miu, Satchidananda Panda
  13. 12 NCBI PMC Genetics. 2008 Mar; 178(3): 1147–1155. doi: 10.1534/genetics.107.088658 Probing the Relative Importance of Molecular Oscillations in the Circadian Clock, Xiangzhong Zheng and Amita Sehga.
  14. 13 NCBI PMC J Circadian Rhythms. 2010; 8: 3. doi: 10.1186/1740-3391-8-3, Circadian rhythm and its role in malignancy, Sobia Rana and Saqib Mahmood.
  15. 14 Circulation Research. 2010;106:68-78 Circadian Proteins and Genotoxic Stress Response, Marina P. Antoch and Roman V. Kondratov.
  16. 15 Wellman Center for Photomedicine Michael Hamblin lab team, Mechanisms of LLLT
  17. 15a NCBI PMC Ann Biomed Eng. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013, PMCID: PMC3288797, NIHMSID: NIHMS339992 The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy, Hoon Chung, Tianhong Dai, Sulbha K. Sharma, Ying-Ying Huang, James D. Carroll, and Michael R. Hamblin.
  18. 16 NCBI PubMed PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22453. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022453. Epub 2011 Jul 21. Low-level laser therapy activates NF-kB via generation of reactive oxygen species in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Chen AC, Arany PR, Huang YY, Tomkinson EM, Sharma SK, Kharkwal GB, Saleem T, Mooney D, Yull FE, Blackwell TS, Hamblin MR.
  19. 17 NCBI PubMed Sci Transl Med. 2014 May 28;6(238):238ra69. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008234, Photoactivation of endogenous latent transforming growth factor-β1 directs dental stem cell differentiation for regeneration. Arany PR, et al.
  20. 17a MCBI PMC PMCID: PMC1317110, NIHMSID: NIHMS4460, On the Role of Melatonin in Skin Physiology and Pathology, A. Slominski, et al.
  21. 18 NCBI PMC, Open Cardiovasc Med J. 2010; 4: 302–312. he Endothelium and Its Role in Regulating Vascular Tone, Sandoo A. et al.
  22. 19 NCBI PubMed PMID: 15121728 DOI: 10.1093/bja/aeh163, Physiology of the endothelium, Galley HF1, Webster NR.
  23. 22 CambridgeCore 1958 Study, Vitamin D status has a linear association with seasonal infections and lung function in British adults
  24. 22a British Journal of Nutrition, Vitamin D status has a linear association with seasonal infections and lung function in British adults, Diane J. Berry, Kathryn Hesketh, Chris Power and Elina Hypponen, 2011.
  25. 25 The New York Times - 2013, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food, By JO ROBINSON
  26. 26 Scientific American, Have We Bred the Nutrition Out of Our Food? BY NUTRITION DIVA MONICA REINAGEL
  27. 27 Scientific American, NUTRITION DIVA MONICA REINAGEL
  28. 30 OSU, Linus Pauling Institute, Vitamin D and Skin Health, "This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. We are not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University."
  29. 31 youTube, Dr. MIchael Holick, The D-Lightful Vitamin D for Good Health
  30. 32 PubMed, Vitamin D and inflammatory diseases, Kai Yin and Devendra K Agrawal, 2014
  31. 32a PubMed, Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population. Anderson JL, et al.
  32. 33 theBMJ 2003;327:316, Past exposure to sun, skin phenotype, and risk of multiple sclerosis: case-control study, 2003.
  33. 34 Atherosclerosis Journal, Vitamin D deficiency and obesity, I. Gonzalez Molero, G. Rojo, S. Morcillo, C. Gutierrez-Repiso, E. Rubio, F. Soriguer, F. Soriguer EAS-0668
  34. 35 Focus for Health, Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
  35. 36, Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Holick MF1.

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