According to a new study, people who live in regions with low sunlight may have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
Researchers believe that the increased risk of pancreatic cancer may be due to a lack of vitamin D.
Pancreatic cancer is a particularly deadly form of cancer. It is the 12th most common type of cancer in the world, but the 7th most deadly.
Living at a high latitude or in a place with a lot of heavy cloud cover, hinders the production of vitamin D which results in a higher-than-normal risk of getting pancreatic cancer.
Conversely, people who live in sunny countries near the equator have only one-sixth of the age-adjusted incidence rate of pancreatic cancer compared to those who live far from the equator.
The important of sunlight deficiency suggests the vitamin D deficiency may contribute to risk of pancreatic cancer; however this does not prove it.
According to researchers, it is possible to get vitamin D from foods like salmon, tuna, cheese, egg yolks, and fortified products like milk, cereal and juices. However, the body needs more vitamin D than can be provided by food.
Outdoor exposure to the sun boosts the body’s production of vitamin D.
Researchers had previously linked higher vitamin D levels to lower levels of breast and colorectal cancer.
These conclusions were reached after reviewing information from more than 100 countries. They also adjusted their results so they wouldn’t be thrown off by other risk factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking.
The study was published online in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on April 30th.