Benefits of Vitamin D are galore and there is extensive literature on the subject which is reviewed regularly. Its deficiency can cause several illnesses right from simple colds to chronic diseases such as heart conditions and cancer. But the real problem arises out of the fact that Vitamin D can be obtained only through natural sunlight, thus one need to take care to absorb as much healthy sunshine as possible in order to balance the Vitamin D levels in the body.
Sunshine is present throughout the day, so one might wonder that Vitamin D deficiency is difficult to take place, the truth is not all sunrays are beneficial. Researchers believe that the early morning light is the most beneficial to the body, and thus that should be absorbed by the body.
The other option is intake of Vitamin D3 supplements, which need to be consumed in high dosage. In order to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D in the blood, one needs to consume 1000-5000 International Unit (IU).
Sun Exposure and Pancreatic Cancer Link Study
A new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Pancreatic Cancer Conference in Lake Tahoe Nev. showed that people born in high level ultra violet rays exposed places, with sensitivity to sun had lower risks of developing pancreatic cancer. The ground-breaking research suggests that exposure to the sunlight which is a natural source of Vitamin D, helps to lower pancreatic cancer by nearly 50%.
A case controlled study was carried out by Dr Rachel Neale, Ph.D. and her colleagues from Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia. The research recruited 714 people from Queensland between the years 2007 to 2011, who were compared to 709 control participants who were in turn matched according to sex and age. All the participants for the study were asked for vital information such as socio demographic, economic condition, medical history especially relating to skin cancer, birth location, skin type defined by color, tanning ability and susceptibility to sunburn.
The research team used the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer of NASA to evaluate the amount of exposure to UV radiation faced by participants at their birthplace.
The research suggested that those people who are born in high UV radiation areas were 24% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to those living in areas with low UV radiation. Additionally it was found out that people with sun sensitive skin – skins that burned easily but did not tan, were 49% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer. It was also revealed that those with skin cancer history also had 40% decreased chances of developing pancreatic cancer.
Although it seems that the Vitamin D present in the sunlight is responsible for this effect, Dr. Rachel Neale believes that there are other factors in the sun rays that are responsible for the lowering of pancreatic occurrence. In her opinion more research should be carried out to probe further whether Vitamin D consumed independently in the form of supplements would have the same effects.
Dr. Neale cautions to avoid the sun during peak times when the exposure of UV is highest as it has been linked with various problems including melanoma. In her opinion, standards have not been set regarding the ideal amount of UV exposure that is beneficial for lowering occurrence of pancreatic cancer and saving people from skin cancer due to higher UV exposure.
According to Dr. Neale, more research is required in this area in order to study the link closely. In her opinion more clinical trials are needed as that would help to establish the link better.
Amongst the other kinds of cancer, pancreatic cancer is the deadliest one as it cannot be diagnosed until it has spread and has reached an advanced stage. According to estimates, 44,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012 whereas 37,000 will die due to this cancer. Thus extensive research in this field in underway and the study by Dr. Neale is one step closer to getting better perspective regarding the link between UV rays and pancreatic cancer.
Credit: Cancer Treatment Center in Philadelphia – For nearly 30 years, Cancer Treatment Centers of America has been helping patients win the fight against advanced and complex cancers.