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THE UVF NEWSLETTER HARVARD STUDY SUGGESTS TANNING PROTECTS AGAINST MELANOMA


The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical S...chool, recently reported ground breaking research which indicates that tanning may indeed protect against melanoma skin cancer. Lead researchers have been studying a gene called p53, also known as the “master watchman of the genome”. This gene has long been known to act as a tumor suppressor that protects DNA from cancer-causing damage. Specifically, p53 regulates cell lifespan and growth, which ensures that cells do not mutate or multiply uncontrollably as occurs in cancerous cells.Researchers have found that p53 also plays a significant role in the tanning process by initiating a chain of events that culminates in the production of melanin, or dark pigmentation. This tan then in turn protects skin from sun damage and, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, “can reduce one’s risk of melanoma. ”In fact, the “number one risk factor for melanoma is an inability to tan,” notes David E. Fisher MD, PhD, director of the Melanoma Program at Dana-Farber and senior author of this study. Those who tan easily or have dark skin pigmentation have the lowest incidence of melanoma. Overwhelming evidence suggests that genetics plays the biggest role in determining an individual’s risk for melanoma. This new research shows that the natural biological process of tanning can further protect our skin from overexposure and therefore reduce our chances of developing this deadly disease. For more information about this study please visit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s website at: http://www.dana-farber.org/abo/news/press/2007/guardian-of-the-genome-protein-found-to-underlie-skin-tanning.htmlSee More


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“Here’s something else to consider: Vitamin D made in the skin lasts at least twice as long in the blood as vitamin D ingested from the diet. When you are exposed to sunlight, you make not only vitamin D but also at least five and up to ten additional photoproducts that you would never get from dietary sources or from a supplement. So the obvious question is, why would Mother Nature be making all of these vitamin D photoproducts if they weren’t having a biologic effect?” — Dr. Michael Holick, Boston University Vitamin D pioneer who advocates regular UV exposure as the natural and intended way to make vitamin D. Holick’s new book, “The Vitamin D Solution” hit book stores this month.



Holick makes it clear that his job is not to advocate tanning, but lays out the facts that humans need more UV than they have been getting, and that the benefits of regular UV exposure outweigh the risks if you take proper measure to avoid sunburn.


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“A report published last summer by the World Health Organization summarized that ‘there was no consistent evidence for a dose-response relationship between indoor tanning exposure and risk of melanoma,” The Delaware News Journal reported. “The report’s strongest study — which followed more than 100,000 women over eight years — found that less than three-tenths of 1 percent who tanned frequently developed melanoma while less than two-tenths of 1 percent who didn’t tan developed melanoma. Almost all the other studies in the report did not establish a strong link between the two.”


“A report published last summer by the World Health Organization summarized that ‘there was no consistent evidence for a dose-response relationship between indoor tanning exposure and risk of melanoma,” The Delaware News Journal reported. “The report’s strongest study — which followed more than 100,000 women over eight years — found that less than three-tenths of 1 percent who tanned frequently developed melanoma while less than two-tenths of 1 percent who didn’t tan developed melanoma. Almost all the other studies in the report did not establish a strong link between the two.”





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