Whenever you see the two words “sunlight” and “cancer” together in the news, it’s usually not something particularly positive. Exposure to sunlight, after all, can cause skin cancer.
But what about this finding from the Department of Cancer Biology in North Carolina? Researchers there have discovered something quite surprising. Believe it or not, prostate cancer rates increase as you move from southern latitudes to northern latitudes. In other words, you are at greater risk the further north you live. Scientists have linked ultraviolet light and vitamin D to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
An epidemiologist by the name of Dr. G. Swartz analyzed the cancer mortality data for a 45-year period. What he and his team found was that geographic distribution of prostate cancer mortality is the inverse of that of UV radiation.
And not only could vitamin D help protect against prostate cancer growth, it could help with BPH, too. Vitamin D attaches to the receptors of non-cancerous cells as well and stops the growth of these cells. The best source of vitamin D is the sun. UV rays from the sun trigger vitamin D synthesis in your skin. Ten to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least two times a week to your face, arms, hands or back is enough to give you a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Just remember, however, that you still need to exercise caution and try to be careful to avoid excessive sun exposure and sunburns in particular. This is because of the risk of getting skin cancer and melanoma. But it is also clear that lack of sun exposure leads to vitamin D deficiency.
There is mounting evidence that healthy levels of vitamin D may decrease your chances of getting certain cancers. You can get vitamin D through supplements, but this form is not fully active. It requires conversion by your liver and then your kidneys to be fully active.