Risk of Colorectal Cancer may be linked to Sunlight Exposure


Research published in BMC Public Health shows a correlation between inadequate exposure to the UVB light from the sun and an amplified risk of colorectal cancer, especially in senior citizens.

Authors of research at the University of California San Diego found that in the 186 countries involved in the study, lower UVB exposure linked to increased numbers of colorectal cancer for ages 0 to 75+. The increased risk was noteworthy for over 45’s after additional aspects including skin pigmentation, life expectancy and smoking were accounted for. The writers inferred that a lower UVB exposure could result in lower vitamin D levels, which has been connected to an increased risk of colorectal cancer in the past.

“Lower UVB exposure linked to increased numbers of colorectal cancer for ages 0 to 75+“

Researchers used UVB estimates from the Global Cancer database and gathered information for 148 countries on other influential impactors on health such as skin pigmentation, life expectancy and smoking, as well as UVB exposure from previous publishing’s and databases. Countries with lower UVB were one’s that experienced less sunlight including Norway, Denmark and Canada, whereas higher UVB was seen in those closer to the equator e.g. United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and India. However, other factors that could have an impact on UVB exposure and vitamin D levels were not part of the study. These may include vitamin D supplements, clothing and air pollution.

Although there are links and correlations in the findings made by authors of research at the University of California San Diego, there is a long way to go in fully comprehending the connection between UVB and vitamin D with colorectal cancer. Upcoming studies could focus on the possible benefits on colorectal cancer of amending vitamin D insufficiencies, particularly for older demographics.

Co-author Raphael Cuomo described how “Differences in UVB light accounted for a large amount of the variation we saw in colorectal cancer rates, especially for people over age 45. Although this is still preliminary evidence, it may be that older individuals, in particular, may reduce their risk of colorectal cancer by correcting deficiencies in vitamin D.”

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