Lack of sun/vitamin D increases risk of pancreatic cancer

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Pancreatic cancer is the world’s 12th most common form of cancer and the 7th most cancer-related cause of death, according to a survey of 107 countries by the Cancer Research Fund International.

338,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

And new research has established a strong link to pancreatic cancer and vitamin D deficiency.

Developed countries account for 55 percent of pancreatic cancer diagnoses. The Czech Republic has the world’s highest country rate, followed by Slovakia and Armenia.

By continents, North America and Europe have the highest rates, and Asia and Africa have the lowest.

People in sunny countries near the equator have only one-sixth the incidence of age-related pancreatic cancer as those countries far away from the equator.

The body can’t make vitamin D in climates with high latitudes and a lot of cloud cover, said Cedric F. Garland, lead author and adjunct professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “Those populations have a higher than normal risk of pancreatic cancer.”

Garland and other researchers have previously linked breast and colorectal cancer with inadequate levels of vitamin D, as sufficient amounts of the sunshine vitamin metabolates a serum known as 25-hydroxyvitamin, which lowers the risk of those cancers which have become quite prevalent today.

Even though such foods as tuna, salmon, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks have small amounts of vitamin D, as do some fortified foods and milk, by far the most important source is moderately exposing the skin to ultraviolet B radiation.

Skin exposed to sunlight through a window will not produce vitamin D. Dark-colored skin will also reduce vitamin D production.

So once again we learn how important sunlight exposure, absorbed wisely, is to our overall health.

Those lacking the sun and/or the opportunity to intake its beneficial rays, will help their own health or that of their loved ones by researching or consulting a trusted health professional for guidance in obtaining a high quality vitamin D supplement.

Click the Vitamin D category link on the right sidebar of this page to read more of our vitamin D posts.



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