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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;624:16-30. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-77574-6_2.

Solar ultraviolet irradiance and cancer incidence and mortality.

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Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC), San Francisco, CA, USA.


Evidence supporting the UVB/vitamin D/cancer theory continues to mount with little detraction, although there are some inconsistent results, such as some from Nordic countries, with respect to serum calcidiol levels. Also, studies designed and conducted before it was realized that dietary sources are largely inadequate to have a pronounced effect on cancer risk were largely unable to confirm a beneficial role for vitamin D in reducing the risk of cancer. The analysis of the economic burden of solar UVB irradiance and vitamin D deficiencies compared to excess solar UV irradiance for the United States yielded interesting findings. One was that the US economic burden due to vitamin D insufficiency from inadequate exposure to solar UVB irradiance, diet and supplements was estimated at $40 billion to $56 billion in 2004, whereas the economic burden for excess UV irradiance was estimated at $6 billion to $7 billion. These findings are probably still approximately correct, if not on the low side, with respect to vitamin D because of the additional benefits found recently, such as protection against infectious diseases.

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