IHN Database

Sun avoidance increases cancer risk

NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA. There is ample evidence that lack of sun exposure increases the risk of many types of cancer. The mortality rates for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are twice as high in the northeastern part of the US as in the southwest. Dr. William Grant, PhD, an independent American researcher, now reports additional evidence indicating the eight more cancers are associated with lack of exposure to UV-B radiation (sunshine!). Dr. Grant found a clear inverse correlation between UV-B exposure and mortality from bladder, kidney, lung, pancreatic, stomach, rectal, esophageal cancers and cancer of the corpus uteri. He estimates that over 21,000 white Americans, 1400 African Americans, and 500 people from Asian and other minorities die prematurely every year from cancer because they don't get enough sunshine.

Dr. Grant and most other researchers in the field believe that the lack of sun exposure leads to a vitamin D deficiency, which is known to be implicated in the progression of many cancers. Vitamin D is formed in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D formation is totally inhibited by sunscreens and most clothing. Dr. Grant points out that winter time UV-B levels in Boston are insufficient to promote vitamin D synthesis in the skin. He advocates prudent sun exposure when it is available and vitamin D supplementation when it is not.
Editor's Note: If lack of sun exposure is a problem in northern USA then it is obviously even more of a problem in Canada. Researchers at the University of Toronto recently concluded that Canadians need to supplement with 4000 IU/day of vitamin D when they are not exposed to sunshine.
Grant, William B. An estimate of premature cancer mortality in the U.S. due to inadequate doses of solar ultraviolet-B radiation. Cancer, Vol. 94, March 15, 2002, pp. 1867-75

category search
Keyword Search

copyright notice