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Sunlight Reduces Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: Natural Vitamin D Yields Protection

Dec 29, 2015 03:22PM

Researchers from the University of California (UC) School of Medicine at San Diego have determined that regions with greater exposure to ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation from the sun and reduced cloud cover have significantly lower incidence of pancreatic cancer.

In an analysis of global rates of the disease, the research, published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, demonstrated that areas with more sunshine had only one-sixth of the pancreatic cancer rates of areas with less sunshine. The farther from the equator, the less is the exposure to UV-B radiation, leading to less body production of vitamin D.

Study author Cedric F. Garland, doctor of public health, a UC professor and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, says, “If you’re living at a high latitude or in a place with a lot of heavy cloud cover, you can’t make vitamin D most of the year, which results in a higher-than-normal risk of getting pancreatic cancer.”

According to World Cancer Research Fund International, 338,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed annually, and it is the seventh most lethal form of cancer.

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