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Moderate UV radiation prevents development of white skin cancer
A study shows that vitamin D from sunshine prevents the formation of abnormal cells
Laboratory experiments on mice carried out by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia have shown how vitamin D in its active form (1,25(OH)2D3) can inhibit the multiplication of abnormal cells. The researchers discovered that this dangerous process can be slowed down or even halted by active vitamin D. In their laboratory tests, this resulted in much rarer occurrences of white skin cancers such as spinalioma (squamous-cell carcinoma) and benign epithelial tumours (papilloma).
The active form of vitamin D is 90% produced by a complicated metabolic process triggered by UV radiation from sunlight on the skin. This process involves the liver, the kidneys and the skin cells themselves. "Generally, just a few minutes in the sun are enough to trigger this process - long before the UV rays have begun to cause irreparable damage to the DNA of the skin cells. So it's a question of getting just the right amount of sunshine in order to benefit from the positive effects of UV exposure, while avoiding the negative consequences", Ad Brand of the Sunlight Research Forum explains.
Katie M. Dixon, Anthony W. Norman, Vanessa B. Sequeira, Ritu Mohan, Mark S. Rybchyn, Vivienne E. Reeve, Gary M. Halliday, and Rebecca S. Mason: "1a,25(OH)2-Vitamin D and a Nongenomic Vitamin D Analogue Inhibit Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis"; in: Cancer Prevention Research, 4(9) September 2011
Sunlight Research Forum
The Sunlight Research Forum (SRF) is a not-for-profit organisation based in The Netherlands. SRF's aim is to help bring to the fore, the latest medical and scientific information on the effects of moderate UV exposure on man. It takes time, often decades, for new scientific ideas to be accepted and assimilated, first into the general body of scientific knowledge and finally into policy. We want to reduce this time to a minimum so that the benefits of research can lead to a better understanding of UV effects on man and will become available to the public without any unnecessary delay. We hope to provide policy makers with correct information on which to base national health policy and individuals with better information on which to base choices about their lifestyles.
New research and well founded ideas on moderate UV exposure both indoor and outdoor will be presented and discussed in the Sunlight Research Forum by people working in the health disciplines, by academics and by journalists.