A study that correlated exposure to sunlight with cancer risk found that people exposed to more sunlight had a significantly lower risk of many types of cancer (Lin, 2012). This study followed more than 450,000 white, non-Hispanic subjects aged 50-71 years from diverse geographic areas in the US. Researchers correlated the calculated ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure in these different areas with the incidence of a variety of cancers. The diverse sites included six states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina), and the metropolitan areas of Atlanta and Detroit. They followed these subjects over a period of nine years in the study and eliminated other known risk factors for cancer such as smoking, body mass index, and physical activity. This was the first prospective study (participants were actively observed for the duration of the study) to look at the relationship of sunlight to cancer.
Less sun more cancer
A total of 75,000 participants in the study contracted cancer. The study found that 12 types of cancer were reduced in those subjects exposed to more sunlight. These included cancers of the lungs, prostate, pancreas, colon, thyroid and many other types. As expected, melanoma and other skin cancers occurred more often in the participants exposed to more sunlight. The incidence of cancers of female organs including the ovaries, breast, and uterus were not reduced in this study, possibly because men spend more time outdoors than women. This confirmed a previous study that showed a decreased incidence of cancer in men but not women in relation to sun exposure (Grant, 2012).
Cancer prevention formula: sunlight, vitamin D, and antioxidants
This research confirms the protective effect of Vitamin D for many types of cancer. No other known factors in sun exposure would account for these findings. This provides more evidence that sun exposure is protective and that the routine use of sunscreens is counterproductive. Sunscreen should be used to prevent sunburn during prolonged exposure to bright sun at midday. And only zinc oxide sunscreens are safe. Eating organic fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants will also help prevent sunburn and protect you from skin cancer. Sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation promote health and prevent cancer. Similarly, in parts of the world and times of the year with limited sun exposure taking a vitamin D supplement in adequate amounts is beneficial to the immune system, promotes bone growth, prevents cardiovascular disease, and reduces the incidence of cancer.
Grant WB. An ecological study of cancer mortality rates in California, 1950–64, with respect to solar UVB and smoking indices. Dermatoendocrinol., epub April 2012
Lin SW, Wheeler DC, Park Y, Cahoon EK, Hollenbeck AR, Michal Freedman D, Abnet CC. Prospective study of ultraviolet radiation exposure and risk of cancer in the U.S. Int J Cancer. 2012 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27619.