By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–
I have previously written that sunlight exposure correlates to a profoundly reduced risk of prostate cancer (PC). I also and noted that that sunlight exposure per se appeared to be much more important in reducing that cancer than was vitamin D. In fact, some vitamin D studies showed only weak correlations between vitamin D and a reduction in cancer, and the highest levels of serum vitamin D showed a J-shaped curve, meaning that the highest D levels actually correlated to a slightly increased risk. No such increase has been shown with the highest levels of sunlight exposure–quite the opposite. The highest levels of sunlight correlated to the highest levels of protection against PC.
This would indicate that sunlight has protective effects beyond the production of vitamin D. Such effects may be due to the production of serotonin, endorphins and nitric oxide, substances other than vitamin D that are produced by the skin in response to sunlight.
It was with interest, therefore, that I read a recent article describing the effect of sunlight on PC, called “Sunlight could decrease prostate cancer risk.” After reading that sunlight exposure could reduce the risk of PC by 50%, the author unfortunately stated that “this does not mean that men should deliberately sunbathe to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. Outdoor exercise and an adequate amount of vitamin D from diet should be sufficient to afford protection from the disease.” This is not a statement based on science.
The author assumed, of course, that it was vitamin D that caused the correlation of sunlight exposure to reduced risk of PC—a conclusion that may be wholly in error. What we can glean from the research is only that Sunlight exposure correlates to reduced risk of PC. There is no proof whatsoever that the correlation was caused by vitamin D, which is only one of several metabolites produced in the body after stimulation by sunlight.
I have not as yet been able to find the original research on which the article was based and cannot provide a reference at this time. However, you can read the article by going to: http://www.newsfix.ca/2013/05/06/sunlight-could-decrease-prostate-cancer-risk/.