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Proceedings Paper

Ultraviolet B, vitamin D, and their mechanisms in cancer prevention
Author(s): Cedric F. Garland; Frank C. Garland; Edward D. Gorham; Martin Lipkin; Harold Newmark; Joseph V. Raffa; Michael F. Holick
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Paper Abstract

Background: Recent advances confirming the role of vitamin D in prevention of cancer have created new scientific interest. The main source of vitamin D is exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB). Factors that reduce atmospheric penetration of UVB play a role in increasing risk of cancers of the colon, breast, and other sites. Objective: To systematically review available epidemiological and laboratory studies concerning effects of UVB or vitamin D on colon, breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. Methods: All published research articles that identified the role of ultraviolet B, vitamin D, and its metabolites in conjunction with colon and breast cancer were ascertained and abstracts or articles were reviewed. Results: The preponderance of epidemiological and laboratory studies support the hypothesis that moderate exposures to ultraviolet B and vitamin D provide protection against colon and breast cancer, among others. The effect is present throughout life for colon cancer, but is exerted mostly during the first two decades for breast cancer. Conclusion: Latitude, climate, sulfate air pollution, stratospheric ozone, and behavioral factors combine to reduce the dermal synthesis of vitamin D to virtually zero during winter months. Populations at 37+ degrees of latitude are at markedly elevated risk of vitamin D deficiency, and, consequently, of colon, breast and prostate cancer incidence and mortality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 January 2002
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4482, Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects, (17 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.452933
Show Author Affiliations
Cedric F. Garland, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Frank C. Garland, Naval Health Research Ctr. and Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Edward D. Gorham, Naval Health Research Ctr. and Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Martin Lipkin, Rockefeller Univ. (United States)
Harold Newmark, Rutgers Univ. (United States)
Joseph V. Raffa, Boston Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Michael F. Holick, Boston Univ. School of Medicine (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4482:
Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects
James R. Slusser; Jay R. Herman; Wei Gao, Editor(s)

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