Less Sunshine Linked to Pancreatic Cancer
We’ve quickly become a nation of sunblock. Parents are covering their children’s skins SPF-50s, and adults are slathering up. The effect is to almost completely block the sun’s ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays.
Because we’ve been told that the sun is our enemy.
The primary reason given for the “deadly sun” has been the risk of cancer is theoretically increased by increased UV-B exposure.
Yet as I prove in my book on the topic, this is simply not true. The research shows just the opposite: That healthy UV-B exposure on the skin is associated with a reduction of many types of cancers – including melanoma.
We can now add an additional study to this evidence
A new study from the University of California at San Diego has found that pancreatic cancer risk is reduced in those regions that have greater ultraviolet-B radiation.
The study analyzed cancer data from 172 countries around the world. The countries with significantly less ultraviolet-B radiation had about 600 percent – or six times – more incidence of cancer compared to those countries with greater UV-B radiation – and thus less cloud cover.
This relationship remained when other risk factors known for pancreatic cancer were considered.
These regions with the highest rates of pancreatic cancer around the world include North America and Northern Europe, while those regions with the lowest rates include Asia and Africa.
On the other hand, those areas that have greater cloud cover and reduced ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun have the greatest incidence of pancreatic cancer.
The study was led by Dr. Cedric Garland, and Dr. Edward Gorham, both professors in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego. Dr. Garland is also a member of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Garland commented on the study:
“People who live in sunny countries near the equator have only one-sixth of the age-adjusted incidence rate of pancreatic cancer as those who live far from it. The importance of sunlight deficiency strongly suggests – but does not prove – that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to risk of pancreatic cancer.”
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer, with some 338,000 new cases reported every year. It is also the fourth leading cause of cancer death.
Note that earlier research discussed in my book, Healthy Sun, has found that the type of vitamin D produced from healthy sun exposure is different than the vitamin D found in most vitamin supplements.
Garland CF, Cuomo RE, Gorham ED, Zeng K, Mohr SB. Cloud cover-adjusted ultraviolet B irradiance and pancreatic cancer incidence in 172 countries. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Apr 9. pii: S0960-0760(15)00101-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.04.004.
UC San Diego News Center. Pancreatic Cancer Risk Linked to Weak Sunlight. April 29, 2015.