According to a new study, low exposure to sunlight can up your chances of suffering from cancer.
Vitamin D has many health benefits and various studies have proved that it can prevent diseases like heart disease, IBS and sleep apnea. And now, a new study has said that lower exposure to sunlight and thereby a fall in vitamin D levels in the body can increase one’s risk of cancer including leukemia. The researchers analyzed data on the incidence of leukemia in 172 countries and found that people who lived in higher latitudes are two times more likely to develop leukemia than people living near the equator.
Cedric Garland, adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the US explained that these results suggest that the burden of leukemia worldwide is due to a deficiency of vitamin D in populations distant from the equator.
The study also states that leukemia rates were higher in the countries nearer to the poles such Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Ireland, Canad and the United States. Also, the countries with lowest incidence rates were those near the equator such as Bolivia, Samoa, Madagascar and Nigeria.
How does low sun exposure increase the risk of leukemia?
Garland explained that people who live in areas with low solar ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure tend to have low levels of vitamin D metabolites in their blood which place them at a high risk of cancerslike leukemia.
When the UV rays from the sun strike the skin, the synthesis ofvitamin D is triggered. The researchers analyzed age-adjusted incidence rates of leukemia in 172 countries from GLOBOCAN, an international agency for research on cancer that is part of the World Health Organization.
They comparing that information with cloud cover data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project. The researchers found that reduced UVB radiation exposure and lower vitamin D levels were associated with higher risks of cancer. The findings were published online in the journal PLOS One. Here is everything you need to know about latest advances in cancer treatment.