Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC)

Sunlight, Nutrition And Health Research Center

Ultraviolet Radiation
Vitamin D recommendations
Vitamin D requirements during pregnancy and lactation
Why is the public misinformed about UV and vitamin D?

Home

Cancer Mortality Maps
- Breast Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Multiple Sclerosis

About Us

Position Papers

- Critique of the International Agency for Research on Cancer meta-analyses of the association of sunbed use with risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma

- Estimated benefit of increased vitamin D status in reducing the economic burden of disease in Western Europe

- Vitamin D Starter Kit

- Alzheimer's Disease 

- Responses to the Institute of Medicine’s report on vitamin D and calcium along with selected papers that seemed to help steer the IOM’s decision.

- Summary of evidence for a role of vitamin D in risk of disease incidence or death for 118 diseases or conditions;
a project for VitaminDCouncil.org; updated search of pubmed with slightly different search terms

-Importance of vitamin D for pregnant women and developing fetuses (powerpoint presentation)

 

Press

Publications

Ask SUNARC

Benefactors

Links

Position of health organizations and agencies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the World Health Organization, on UV radiation and vitamin D

wbgrant@infionline.net

Vitamin D3 and Solar Power for Optimal Health

Solar Power for Optimal Health!
Click image for info and to purchase

"Marc deserves congratulations for tackling a difficult subject and making it understandable for the lay reader. I highly recommend this book."

~ Vitamin D Council Executive Director, Dr. John Cannell

William B. Grant, Ph.D.
wbgrant@infionline.net

Bibliography

Date Posted/Revised
Title
Format
03/30/2010
Critique of the International Agency for Research on Cancer meta-analyses of the association of sunbed use with risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma
 
  Abstract
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported meta-analyses of the association of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), finding significant correlations with ever use of sunbeds and first use of sunbeds prior to age 35 years; it did not claim that the associations showed causal links. However, some observational studies in the meta-analysis included individuals in the UK with skin phenotype at increased genetic risk of CMM without adjustment for skin phenotype. Treating the five UK studies separately from the other 14 corrected this oversight. In the original study, the summary relative risk (RR) of CMM with respect to sunbed use was 1.15 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.31). In this study, the similar RR was 1.20 (95% CI, 1.03-1.38). The RR for the five UK studies was 2.09 (95% CI, 1.14-3.84), whereas the RR for the other 14 studies was 1.09 (95% CI, 0.96-1.24). For first use of sunbeds prior to age 35 years, the IARC found a summary RR of 1.75 (95% CI, 1.35-2.36). This study plotted the RRs versus latitude of each study population, with a linear regression analysis carried out for all but the one UK study. The RR increased at 0.077 per degree of latitude and the regression explained 67% of the variance. It is also argued that factors other than sunbed use explain the increasing worldwide trends in CMM. Because solar-UV-simulating sunbeds induce production of vitamin D, the health benefits of their use greatly outweigh any possible risks.
   
03/12/2009
Estimated benefit of increased vitamin D status in reducing the economic burden of disease in Western Europe
 
 

Abstract
Vitamin D has important benefits in reducing the risk of many conditions and diseases. Those diseases for which the benefits are well supported and that have large economic effects include many types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, several bacterial and viral infections, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Europeans generally have low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels owing to the high latitudes, largely indoor living, low natural dietary sources of vitamin D such as cold water ocean fish, and lack of effective vitamin D fortification of food in most countries. Vitamin D dose-disease response relations were estimated from observational studies and randomized controlled trials. The reduction in direct plus indirect economic burden of disease was based on increasing the mean serum 25(OH)D level to 40 ng/mL, which could be achieved by a daily intake of 2000–3000 IU of vitamin D. For 2007, the reduction is estimated at €187,000 million/year. The estimated cost of 2000–3000 IU of vitamin D3/day along with ancillary costs such as education and testing might be about €10,000 million/year. Sources of vitamin D could include a combination of food fortification, supplements, and natural and artificial UVB irradiation, if properly acquired. Additional randomized controlled trials are warranted to evaluate the benefits and risks of vitamin D supplementation. However, steps to increase serum 25(OH)D levels can be implemented now based on what is already known.
 

   
07/01/2008
Vitamin D Starter Kit
   

Introduction
The health benefits of UVB and vitamin D include reduced risk for fractures, cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, congestive heart failure, periodontal disease, etc. The scientific consensus is that about 4000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D3/day are required for optimal health. Skin production of vitamin D3, stimulated by solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) provides most of the vitamin D for the majority of Americans. For young, lightly-pigmented individuals, a few minutes of mid-day solar UVB in summer can produce about 1000 IU for each 10% of the body exposed. Wearing sunscreen blocks vitamin D production, and going out when the sun is low in the horizon, such as morning and afternoon and winter, is not conducive to vitamin D production. The average American obtains 250-300 IU/day from fortified food and fish. Thus, most Americans do not get enough vitamin D.

For those who would like to learn more about the health effects of vitamin D, I’ve assembled comprehensive information, including the following: web sites, presentations, books, journal papers, practical matters, the Vitamin D Scientists’ Call to Action Statement, and the abstract of my latest vitamin D manuscript. I would be happy to provide more information upon request.

Word  
3/30/2004
UPDATED
06/04/2004
Alzheimer's Disease

Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD), first described in 1906 by German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, is a progressive brain disorder that causes a gradual and irreversible decline in memory, language skills, perception of time and space, emotional stability, pattern recognition, coordination, and, eventually, the ability to care for oneself. AD is associated with abnormal changes in the brain involving plaques, tangles, beta-amyloid protein, and free radicals.

The risk factors for AD include both genetic and environmental factors. The primary genetic risk factor is the presence of the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE e4) allele, which is more common among Africans, Inuits, AmerIndians, and northern Europeans than southern Europeans and Asians. This allele can be considered a "thrifty gene," one that helps store excess energy as fat, which is a survival factor for hunter-gatherer peoples. The primary dietary risk factors are total energy and some types of fat, while the primary risk reduction factors are cereals or grains and fish and some types of fat. Among fats, the good ones are linoleic acid (found in safflower, sunflower, hemp, soybean, walnut, pumpkin, sesame, and flax seed oil), alpha-linolenic acid (found in fish, canola, flax, hemp seed, soy bean, and walnut oil and dark green leaves), and olive oil, while the bad ones are saturated fats (found in solid fats such as butter and cheese) and trans-fatty acids (found in many processed foods and labeled as partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils). Also, extra virgin olive oil, with its strong antioxidant properties, is a good choice. Antioxidant vitamins C and E, as well as flavonoids, found in fruits and vegetables, and resveratrol, found in red wine, play a protective role. Obesity, smoking, cholesterol, and homocysteine are also risk factors, while exercise reduces the risk. Thus, even if one has a genetic predisposition for AD, there are many ways that one can reduce the risk.

For those who want to reduce their risk of AD, the most important thing appears to be to maintain a low body mass index by eating a diet low in total energy, low in bad fats, adequate in good fats, high in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants, and moderate-to-high in cereals and grains, with whole grains preferred. Added sugars should also be avoided since they lead to obesity. The traditional diets in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean provide examples of good diets. Adequate folate consumption, perhaps via supplements, should also be included. In addition, antioxidant and folate supplements would be beneficial. Finally, keeping both the mind and body active, are very helpful.

12/23/2011
Responses to the Institute of Medicine’s report on vitamin D and calcium along with selected papers that seemed to help steer the IOM’s decision.
Word  
04/19/2011-12/23/2011
Summary of evidence for a role of vitamin D in risk of disease incidence or death for 118 diseases or conditions; a project for VitaminDCouncil.org; updated search of pubmed with slightly different search terms
Word  
05/17/2011
Importance of vitamin D for pregnant women and developing fetuses
PPT  
  A presentation given in London, UK on 17 May, 2011    

page updated 02/10/2012