A new study revealed the devestating impact of a lack of sunlight on pancreatic cancer

A new study, analyzing the data from 107 countries, published by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, has revealed that pancreatic rate occur at a much higher rate in countries with the least amount of sunlight and high latitude. Pancreatic is the 12th most common in the world, causing a crisis with 338,000 new cases diagnosed annually.

“If you’re living at a high latitude or in a place with a lot of heavy cloud cover, you can’t make most of the year, which results in a higher-than-normal risk of getting pancreatic ,” said first author Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, adjunct professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and member of UC San Diego Moores Center. “People who live in sunny countries near the equator have only one-sixth of the age-adjusted incidence rate of pancreatic as those who live far from it. The importance of sunlight deficiency strongly suggests — but does not prove — that deficiency may contribute to risk of pancreatic .”

Although lack of has been correlated with other cancers, this study is the first one to associate deficiency with pancreatic . is found in certain food items such as fatty fish, and tuna, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks provide small amounts and is often added as a fortifying nutrient to milk, cereals and juices. is produced by the body when skin is directly exposed to sunlight.

The researchers attribute the surprising results to solar ultraviolet B that has been adjusted for heavy cloud cover produce, a stronger prediction of pancreatic risk.


Cedric F. Garland, Raphael E. Cuomo, Edward D. Gorham, Kenneth Zeng, Sharif B. Mohr. Cloud cover-adjusted ultraviolet B irradiance and pancreatic incidence in 172 countries. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.04.004

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