Should You Follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sun Rule? - Save Our Bones

I usually don’t pay much attention to celebrity gossip, much less write about it. But I believe that as long as we keep our minds and eyes open, we can learn something from everyone. After all, celebrities are people too, and they are not immune to the health conditions that affect the rest of us.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a talented and beautiful actress who has won all sorts of prestigious awards for her work. Like many celebrities, Gwyneth places great importance on her appearance and her health. And that’s understandable; when you’re an actress, looking good is a big part of your job.

Lessons We Can Learn from Gwyneth Paltrow

This young celebrity sustained a leg fracture (specifically, a tibial plateau fracture) in 2010. That’s when doctors discovered something shocking for someone under the age of 40: osteopenia. They also discovered severe Vitamin D deficiency, “the lowest they had ever seen,” wrote Gwyneth on her blog.1 At that point, she “went on a prescription strength level of Vitamin D and was told to…spend a bit of time in the sun!”1 she writes.

Gwyneth wondered if this sun exposure would be “safe.” After all, she had carefully followed the advice that was commonly given to her generation for age-defying beauty: avoid the sun.

If you are a Save Our Bones community member, you are most certainly seeing some red flags pop up here!

Gwyneth’s Lifestyle Habits

As I said above, I believe everyone can teach us something if we pay attention. So what can we learn from Gwyneth? First, let’s take a look at some of her lifestyle habits.

  • Gwyneth’s age-defying beauty has been ascribed to her strict no-sun rule. She is said to have never left her home without first applying sunblock.
  • She periodically engaged in drastic detoxes and cleanses. (Hopefully, she will discover the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse, which is much healthier!)
  • She followed a macrobiotic diet for much of her adult life, which is grain-based, contains a lot of soy products, and is not consistent with the 80/20 pH-balanced diet recommended in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

Gwyneth’s No-Sun Rule has Backfired

Of all the lifestyle habits above, the first one – Gwyneth’s no-sun rule – is a major factor in her osteopenia diagnosis. Avoiding the sun has compromised her health to the point that her other health habits did her more harm than good. How ironic that this actress, whose lifestyle gave her an ageless appearance in so many ways, caused her bones to “age” prematurely!

Gwyneth’s dermatologist, Dr. Frank Lipman, agrees as to the importance of Vitamin D and sun exposure, commenting that:

“For the last 30 years or so, doctors (dermatologists in particular), health officials, beauty experts and many product companies have been demonizing the sun. They’ve told us to avoid it because without sunscreen, exposure to the sun’s rays will damage skin and cause cancer. But this oversimplification distorts the facts. In the past few years, numerous studies have shown that optimizing your Vitamin D levels may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. And the best way to optimize Vitamin D levels is through safe, smart and limited sunscreen-free exposure to the sun.”2

I’m really glad that Dr. Lipman has strayed from the flock, and I agree with him on this, as regular readers already know. In fact, in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I recommend some sun exposure every day whenever possible.

Here are some more guidelines for healthy exposure to the sun

  • Expose as much skin as possible to the sun. You may want to wear a hat to shade your face while exposing larger areas of your body to the sun.
  • Going outside when your shadow is shorter than your height – typically between 10am and 2pm – is the best time for maximum Vitamin D production.
  • Short, daily exposure is best, between 15 and 20 minutes.
  • Avoid sunburn.
  • You can use a sunlamp during winter months. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and use a sunlamp that’s specifically designed to promote Vitamin D production.

Good for Gwyneth!

I applaud Gwyneth Paltrow for her open mind, and for not being afraid to ask questions and seek solutions. She knows better than to continue a practice that’s clearly harmful just because “it’s the way we’ve always done it.” I hope she will apply her doctors’ recommendations and get healthy exposure to sunlight and reverse her bone loss. I wish her the best!

Maybe her inquisitive mind and search for answers will bring her to the Save Our Bones community… I hope so!

Till next time,


1 Paltrow, Gwyneth. “Vitamin D.” Goop. March 26, 2013. Web.
2 Jolene. “Gwyneth’s Derm Talks Vitamin D, Sun Exposure and Aging.” Beauty is Wellness. March 26, 2013. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Rudi CUSMANO

    Hi Vivian,

    “about your comments on Ms G PALTROW lifestyle”

    I would be glad if Ms Paltrow joins “SAVEOURBONES PROGRAM”.
    As much as taking the sun for some 20 minutes at time I am used to take it
    longer both in the summer, at the Mediterranean sea (fommowing the local
    diet, corrected by your indications)and in the winter (bare chested at any
    ski resort if weather permits.

    Kindest regards,


  2. Kathryn Sanborn

    Good Informationon sun exposure and Vitamin D…Thank-you.

  3. Miriam

    Hi Vivian,
    Isn’t it a coincidence that after your article about Gwyneth Paltrows sun rule she appeared in the Dr.Oz show and did not mention about the osteopenia or what not being in the sun did to her bones. Was she and Dr. Oz paid by the makers of osteoporosis drug companies not to mention this part?

  4. Victoria Mozafari

    I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 9 years ago I followed Drs. Orders and took Actinal for 3 years. Had every side affect and decided to take control of my own health. Started weight bearing exercises, boxing vitamins increased vitamin D ate much healthier. My doctor warned me not to go off the medication that my condition would worsen. Nine years later and 16 pounds lighter my osteoporosis has reversed to osteopenia gain muscle mass feel better than ever at 5’5 and 112 pounds. I wish we had more doctors that would consider alternatives for better living and not opt for the easy way by following the pharmaceutical companies harmful drugs.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Great news, Victoria! Thank you for sharing that…and yes, it’s a pity that more doctors don’t encourage dietary and lifestyle changes.

  5. Midge

    Blithe Daner is her mother and is the spokes person on TV for one of the bad bone replacement drugs!! Let’s hope she doesn’t take her mother’s advice on what to do now!!!


    Hi! Vivian,

    Maybe You Could Go Through Facebook Or One Of The Other Sites, To Let Ms. Paltrow Know That Your SAVE OUR BONES PROGRAM IS AVAILABLE!


  7. V

    Astaxanthin is known to be a natural sunscreen – it is natural, available in foods and supplants – krill oil is one.

    • Connie

      I heard about KRILL OIL. One of my doctor suggested I take it, because it is also good for heart and to lower cholesterol I took it, but I noticed my blood pressurer is getting too high while I was taking the Krill Oil. I was about to go to the emergency room because my blood pressure goes up to 189/103 to 192/105. My husband suggested to stop the Krill Oil and see what happens, because he said, ever since I was taking that Krill Oil, that’s when my blood pressure started to be spike up. I stopped taking the Kril Oil and guess what. My blood pressure return to my normal Blood pressure reading. 89/65 or 90/60 to 89/58. Now, that was my normal blood pressure before taking Krill Oil. I took a picture of that high readings and my usual normal blood pressure readings and showed to the doctor who recommended it to me. He said, the Krill Oil is not for me. Now, now this proves that one supplements or medications works for somebody does not mean, it will work for everybody.

  8. Larry

    Three things you need to know about sun screen and vitamin D,
    First its the impurity’s in sun screen that cause cancer.
    Second 15 to 20 minutes then cover your self up or get out of the sun.
    Third when get out of the sun you must not wash you self with soap because it neutralizes the suns vitamin D.wash only B,O,parts of your body.
    Forth you need to scrub the dead skin off your body because it neutralizes the suns vitamin D.

    • Ron

      Sounds like some “old wive’s tales” in here. Vivian???

  9. vivian gilsoul

    Thanks to you Vivian (isn’t that a great name?) I told my doctor that I would NOT take Boniva. He had ordered me a box and I took it back to him on my next appointment. But we are still friends and he told me “You have that right to take care of yourself as you see fit” So all of you please take care of yourself by getting information about side effects and be brave,too.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing that encouragement, Vivian! And yes – I agree it’s a great name. 😉 I wish more doctors would say what yours did!

  10. Maria J.Mckenney

    Thanks Vivian for your mensajes..or consejos.. Hope you have Happy Easter. Also ate many chocolates with little sugar.. God Bless you…. I’m going to take a little sun before 9 AM. or after 4 PM. Because for the medicine de name Azathioprine 50 mg. that I’m taking I can,t take sun….. Happy Easter again.. Love, Maria J. Mckenney ( Josie)

  11. Maria J.Mckenney

    Thanks Vivian for your mensajes..or consejos.. Hope you have Happy Easter. Also ate many chocolates with little sugar.. God Bless you….Love Josie.aria J.Mckenney

  12. Dee

    Hi Vivian and readers. Another interesting coluum especially about Gwynneth’s mother. As for me I have bad news. Five years ago I had oteoporosis-2.8 inthe hip and then three years ago improved to -1.8 in the hip and now decreased to -2.5 in the hip. My Dr thinks it is caused by two things.One is prednizone for PMR and the other a possible tumor on the parathyroid gland. The only problem is she cannot find the tumor and
    thinks it is very small and may be hidden. I may have exploratoty surgery.Any comments from readers who have had this surgery?

    • Susan Reiter

      Go to – excellent resource. If you can’t afford to go to the Norman Parathyroid Clinic, find the most experienced parathyroid surgeon you can – beware of exploratory surgery as the glands are very small and most surgeons do not do many parathyroid operations.

      • Dee

        Thanks Raymond and Suson for your advice
        If I have a tumor it must be the size of a grain of rice and not growing as I have had high calcium for about 15 years.

        • Susan Reiter

          Please go to and learn what high calcium can do to you – even small rumors can cause major problems.

    • Raymond Wyborny

      I have had this surgery. It can be proven if you have a bad parathyroid gland by taking a blood calcium test and a 24 hour urine test. If both readings are high you have a bad gland. Locating it can be tricky but I would not have exploritory surgery. If you want the worlds expert advice on this go to

      • Dee

        Thanks again Raymond and Susan for you replies. Went to the website in Florida and it is most helpful. I am a Kaise patient and they have a special surgeon that does this surgery.

  13. LynnCS

    So good to read of your research, Vivian. I have a healthy brand of D3 and often forget to take it. It doesn’t do much good in the cupboard, does it. When I started seeing my current Doc, he told me to stop taking the calcium and that the D3 was ok along with a K2 that he recommend I take. Do you have any articles on K2? I have been using one by Thorne, 15mg. I would like to see what your recommendations are. Thanks, Lynn

    • Customer Support

      Lynn, to see all the articles that Vivian has written on a particular subject (like Vitamin K), you can simply type the subject into the search bar at the top of the page and click Search. Then everything that Vivian has written on that topic will come up! 🙂 Here’s an article on Vitamin K that I found using this method:

  14. Chandrakant P. Patel

    I have been always thinking how the Sun, ratheer the the Sunlight-“Tej”), the creator and Maintainer of earthly life in coperation with the other four fundamental (elemental)basic matters (Dravyas) called the matter, water,air, and “AKASH”- the space-, can be a creator of cancer or any mal-function of skin or any of the body’s organs and purveor of death. One of the The ancient Indian Wisdoms of Yoga,states that the “Five Elements” are constituents of everything in the universe. The ignorant scientific wisdom of the Modern science that finds The Sun to be Malevolent is worth the Garbage Pot; sooner it is dumped sooner humanity will loosen the grip of the killer chemical medicines. –Chandrakant P. Patel (March 28, 2013, 2:53 PM)

  15. apiggott

    hi Vivian, thank you for your column that’s fill with important information, I live in the West Indies which means sun all year all, we normally use a broad rim hat or no hats at all. The problem down here is the drinking of pasturized milk which I now know is not the best milk to drink. I start eating alot of almond nuts and steel cut oat as cereal. Is it better to use the oats at night or in the morning? Ialso add ground flax seed and dry fruits.

    • Jose L. Suescun

      The Circadian Cycle, common denominator to the human race, dictates that you eat protein for breakfast and lunch and carbos in the evening, for the large amount of energy needed in biochemical reactions to repair, build and detoxify

    • Customer Support

      Please e-mail your question to customer support – just click on the smiley face at the top of the page. Thanks!

  16. jen

    What Gwyneth first needs to do is help her mother out of dire financial distress. Why else would Blythe Danner be pushing a dangerous osteoporosis drug like Prolia (denosumab).

    In this connection, I saw the following comment on the internet :

    Just saw Blythe Danner selling some osteoporosis drug, and it got me to wonderin’…how did Prolia’s advertising people find out that Blythe Danner has post-menopausal osteoporosis? Does her publicist notify drug companies of her medical conditions? Did her doctor alert the company in exchange for a finder’s fee? (Given HIPAA restrictions, I’m guessing not, at least without her permission.) Do the drug companies cold call aging stars to find out what drugs they’re taking? Do they leave lists with doctor’s offices of drugs that could use an endorser this quarter?

  17. shula



  18. SherryLee

    Unfortunately my husband has ‘inherited’ an inability to process the
    D3 his skin receives from the sun……..fished on lakes for a living
    for over 20 years and had LOW D3….glad we discovered it, because now
    he takes 5,000 units daily and has seen a great improvement.

  19. Sharon

    My doctor once told me that people living near the Equator often got skin cancer; but they rarely got any other kind of cancer. A pretty good reason to get a bit of sun — and also to take Vitamin D.

  20. KP

    Gwyneth’s mother is Blythe Danner who has recently been the celebrity ‘voice’ for Prolia.

  21. agnes gordon

    Liked the article about sun exposure….but one thing puzzles me,wich is why her mother Blythe Danner is constantly on commercials for Osteoporosis medication?????? just a thought!

  22. Charlotte

    I have known this for many years. The first time this myth we have been fed that the sun is bad was in Mexico. I noticed immediately the Mexican people are constantly – daily exposed to the sun and yet their cancer rate is very much below ours. They do not take mass doses of vitamin D either because they do not need to – their diet is better and they are not afraid of the sun. We Americans need to wake up to all of these fabrications doled out to us by the medical profession, many to sell products – such as expensive sun block which is full of chemicals!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Charlotte, you’re ahead of the curve. Good for you! 🙂

  23. Michele Garden

    Paltrow is also very thin, possibly of Celtic background, certainly of northern heritage. What do genes contribute to osteo anything? I look exactly like my father whose 3 sisters died in their 90S and were ram rod straight until death with no fractures. Please talk more about genes. Michele

  24. Jane Quinn

    Gwenyth Paltrow has NOT been following the macrobiotic diet for many many years, since prior to her last pregnancy. Just look at her cookbook, published three years ago. It is full of meat and dairy (foods not recommended on the macrobiotic diet).
    The macrobiotic diet is whole grain-based with all organic foods and also contains legumes/beans/ vegetables of all kinds with an emphasis on dark, leafy greens, sea vegetables (extremely high in good minerals for the bones), seasonal fruits, nuts, oils, and seeds. Some small amounts of soy products are used-with an emphasis on good fermented soy in tempeh, miso, and shoyu. Processed soy is not encouraged. Some eat fish a few times a week so the diet is NOT “deficient” in B 12. Also B 12 can be found in sea vegetables and some properly fermented foods. Supplements are also used if needed. It is a sound diet-depending on how one practices of course.

  25. Sonia

    Since both my husband and I have had skin cancers removed, our dermatologist has told us to stay out of the sun unless we have applied a high SPF sunblock.

  26. Patricia Goldberg

    My doctor FIRED ME! I received a letter from my physician stating she was no longer willing to be my doctor and to find a new one! Which I was more than happy to do. The letter resulted as a result of my refusal to submit to pharmactical treatment for osteoporosis. First of all the treatment cost were redicilous even with insurance and then the laundry list of side effects were not anything I was willing to even consider might happen. I told her I couldn’t afford the options, knew I was at risk, would be careful andl follow a natural supplemental approach and diet. Three days later I recevied my letter. I do not believe just because someone is a DOCTOR we should take their suggestions/opinions as gosspil. It’s a vicious cycle all tied to pharmaceutical companies. Take this for that then something else for what ever alignment or diease the treatment/ drugs gave you in the first place. Find a doctor that doesn’t get kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and values your opinion in your treatment!

    • Linda

      That is so strange of your Dr! However, I have had mine say that she shouldnt treat me because she will have to glue me back together soon since wont take the paharmaceutical drugs . I am only -2.8 in the spine. Everywhere else is fine. Working on the acid/alkaline diet for repair.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Patricia, this may be a very beneficial “firing” for you!

      • Patricia Goldberg

        Absolutely.. I’m not upset at all!

    • Charlotte

      My physician took me OFF the osteoporosis medication and apologized for what they now know are the risks. This happened about 5 years ago and she said then to stop taking the medication immediately. She stated that they now know that after 5 years – I had been on it much longer – it does not do anything more and stays in your system for an indefinite period of time! When my teeth began to fall out, I went back to her and showed her – plus she had to prescribe something for anxiety I had so much dental work done – she said that “yes, this is a side effect for some women unfortunately for you.” She also stated that is another reason for stopping – they doctors have discovered too many side effects that they were not aware of when prescribing it. I do believe that in the beginning, they thought these drugs would help but there was no evidence of long term use – drugs were too new. We all know now, however and hopefully waking up to their dangers!

  27. Dorothy from New Hampshire

    Are you aware that Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother, Blythe Danner, does commercials for Prolia? Hopefully, Gwyneth won’t be seeking advice from her on how to deal with her osteopenia.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Let’s hope not!

  28. allison

    I also read that animal protein (organic and grass-fed ofcourse) helps build bone. To much non-fermented soy blocks and decreases so many functions as well. And ofcourse, sustaining a body of a 15 year old @ 40 doesn’t help either. She’s one bad cold away from hospitilization.

  29. Susan Reiter

    Or perhaps she has parathyroid disease in which case low vitamin D would be her body’s way of protecting itself from the damage of calcium in her bloodstream. I have written to you Vivian regarding this and to date have received no reply. I think the work you’re doing is good, however you are remiss in not putting a disclaimer on your site regarding parathyroid disease which causes oesteopenia and rhen oesteoporosis. No matter how much you change you diet NOTHING can override this disease except surgery. Please have people first check their serum calcium levels – if the numbers are below 9 or above 10 recommend they go to and start learning about the disease. The good news is there is a cure!

  30. hilton

    I live in London England where sunshine is in short supply. I also had a Vit D deficiency which the doctors say was a major factor in causing my osteoporosis. They put me on 20,000IU of Vit D per week (Cholecalciferol) and say that thats as good as getting 15- 20 mins a day of you agree?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am glad you were able to avoid drugs, Hilton!

      I suggest a healthy dose of common sense – we know we need vitamin D, and we also know that we get it mostly from the sun (ideal) and from supplements (less ideal, but necessary). We also know that it’s a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it accumulates in the body. Therefore, I do not recommend the kind of megadose you’re talking about!

      There is no cookie-cutter recommendation for everyone; each of us spends time in the sun for varying times (or no time at all). So knowing that you can always safely take the RDA of 400 IUs (as per the Osteoporosis Reversal Program), you can build from there depending on the seasons and your exposure to the sun.

      For more on Vitamin D, feel free to read my blog post on this topic:

      I hope this answers your questions! Thanks for being a part of the Save Our Bones community.

  31. Sampson Diku

    I want to thank you very much for all you are giving me for the past sins the day i meet this program to date i have learn a lot from you and you give me so much.I am grateful for all that you has down for me.
    Thank you may God bless you.
    Sampson Diku.

  32. Grace

    Vivian, I have also had precancerous lesions. Should I keep out of the sun and just take vit d supplements? Does having lesions change you suggestions for spending time in the sun?

  33. Isabelle

    First of all, thank you Vivian; Now I have a clear idea of how I can get naturally vitamin D promotion.

    You have made me aware of the importance of this vitamin for cancer

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s the other side of the skin cancer coin, isn’t it? I am so glad this post helped clarify things for you! 🙂

  34. Trudy

    I fully agree with MDibble. In Australia, especially QLD, we are told to ‘slip, slop, slap’. I am a swimmer and always apply sunscreen, I also avoid the midday sun (11-2pm). In spite of this I had a skin cancer operated on (2 surgeries, one plastic!) close to my eye. I never encountered any problems when I lived in Europe where I am from. My husband, an Australian (a dark skin type!), had approx. 40 skin cancer surgeries, one melanoma in his temple, one eyelid removed with a transplant (plastic surgery), more plastic surgeries on both sides of his nose, skin cancers removed from his skull and the list goes on! Gwyneth Paltrow is from Australia to my knowledge. She would have grown up with all the warnings and seen ‘victims’ of skin cancer, hence her caution. All authorities here ‘hammer’ it in the population to avoid the sun at all cost. I realize that we do need the Vit. D for our bones, but in the ‘sun cancer capital’ of the world QLD/Australia we have to take extra care.

    • Jose L. Suescun

      Sorry for all those surgeries. Being from Australia, did you not know that an aussie doctor invented a local Rx for basal and squamous cell skin cancer (no melanomas)with 100% success and no scaring?. Just drops of an extract from the eggplant. My own dermatologist does not know about it neither. If you email me, I will try to recover the name of the product, which is sold in the internet.

  35. Fenella Pearson

    I suspect Ms Paltrow is also deficient in vitamin B12, since this vitamin is deficient in Zen macrobiotic diets. Vitamin B12 is essential for bone structure, as well as vitamins D3 & K2.

  36. Susan Moller

    I live in Southern Spain, and when they discovered I had Osteoporosis, because of a leg fracture they checked for Vit D and Vit D3. I was very low. I thought I was getting enough sun, but I was wrong. When you live in a country with a lot of Summer Sun, you think you are getting enough, even if you don’t Sunbathe. Arm out of car, gardening, etc. So now I sit in the Sun for an hour or so, in Summer, and take Vit D3 and D in Winter.. You know, they say that a little of everything is good for you. !!!

    • Jose L. Suescun

      I am from northern Spain. When you sunbathe, have to expose a lot of skin, birth suit or bikini for 20 minutes; otherwise, it will not work.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Good point, Susan – sometimes we have to be deliberate about sun exposure and not just assume that living in a sunny climate will automatically give us enough! I think many people spend more time indoors than they realize, even if they live in a sunny climate. 🙂

  37. MDibble

    I was diagnosed with osteoporosis a few years ago. I’m 58 now. I also had low Vitamin D. So…in addition to starting 2000mg of Vitamin D daily I started going out in the sun “safely”. No more than 10-12 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. Some weeks even got skipped. I never overdid it and never got a sunburn. I was very careful. My Vitamin D level was now back in the normal range. Fast forward 18 months. I went to the dermatologist for 2 lesions on my face. While I was there they examined the rest of my skin. They removed the 2 lesions on my face along with 3 moles & 2 skin tags on my stomach & back. Guess what? The lesions on my face were benign BUT 2 of the 3 moles were pre-cancerous, one very close to melanoma. I needed more surgery to make sure the margins were clear. My skin was fine before the sun exposure to increase my Vitamin D level. So anyone considering going the “safe sun exposure” route should proceed with caution. It can be every bit as dangerous as osteoporosis – or worse.

    • Connie

      I was told that the safest way to get the natural Vit. D from the sun is on SUNRISE and SUNSET, where you don’t get sunburn and away from skin cancer. It is still has the natural Vit. from the sun. It is safer for sunburn and skim cancer.

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