Monday, November 21, 2011

The Surprising Cause of Melanoma incidence (And No, it's Not Too Much Sun) -British Journal of Dermatology

The rising rates of melanoma are very frightening. Researchers are trying to find the causes and one group recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology a finding that innocuous skin lesions have been classified as cancerous. This leads to an increased incidence where there may not be. 

So why am I talking about melanomas in a celiac/gluten sensitivity blog. People suffering from Celiac/gluten sensitivity have low levels of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D. And so depend on the skin to make enough  vitamin D. And vitamin D protects against melanoma.

Exposure to sunlight, particularly UVB light makes vitamin D3 which then circulates in the blood. There is however no guarantee that your skin makes enough vitamin D3, so a blood level is required to be sure!

Optimize your vitamin D levels through proper sun exposure which is described for you in Dr. Mercola's article. Noon day sun maximizes your vitamin D levels and minimizes your risk of skin damage.

Or take a good vitamin D3 supplement and get your blood levels done to ensure your digestive system has absorbed enough Vitamin D for you to have the right vitamin D level. In Canada that would be between 100 and 200. At this range you will be protected from as many as 16 different types of cancer.

Dr. Mercola writes:

Is Lack of Sunlight a More Likely Culprit?

Despite all the bad press linking sun exposure to skin cancer, there's almost no evidence at all to support it. There is, however, plenty of evidence to the contrary. Over the years, several studies have confirmed that appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer. In fact, melanoma occurrence has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure, and can be increased by sunscreens.
One of the most important facts you should know is that an epidemic of the disease has in fact broken out among indoor workers. These workers get three to nine times LESS solar UV exposure than outdoor workers get, yet only indoor workers have increasing rates of melanoma -- and the rates have been increasing since before 1940.
There are two major factors that help explain this, and the first has to do with the type of UV exposure.
There are two primary types of UV rays from sunlight, the vitamin-D-producing UVB rays and the skin-damaging UVA light. Both UVA and UVB can cause tanning and burning, although UVB does so far more rapidly. UVA, however, penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB, and may be a much more important factor in photoaging, wrinkles and skin cancers.
A study in Medical Hypotheses suggested that indoor workers may have increased rates of melanoma because they're exposed to sunlight through windows, and only UVA light, unlike UVB, can pass through window glass. At the same time, these indoor workers are missing out on exposure to the beneficial UVB rays, and have lower levels of vitamin D.
Researchers wrote:
"We hypothesize that one factor involves indoor exposures to UVA (321–400nm) passing through windows, which can cause mutations and can break down vitamin D3 formed after outdoor UVB (290–320nm) exposure, and the other factor involves low levels of cutaneous vitamin D3.
After vitamin D3 forms, melanoma cells can convert it to the hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, or calcitriol, which causes growth inhibition and apoptotic cell death in vitro and in vivo. 
… We agree that intense, intermittent outdoor UV overexposures and sunburns initiate CMM [cutaneous malignant melanoma]; we now propose that increased UVA exposures and inadequately maintained cutaneous levels of vitamin D3 promotes CMM."
To put it simply, UVB appears to be protective against melanoma -- or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective.
As written in The Lancet:
"Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect."
Read the rest of Dr. Mercola's take on melanoma's, sun exposure, Canadian Cancer Society's recommendations and vitamin D advice by clicking here::

Don't forget, not enough omega-3 oil in the blood is also a link to cancers.
And there is significant evidence that high omega 6/ omega 3 ratio is also predisposing to higher cancer levels as the high ratio is very inflammatory.

A healthy ratio is 2-3/1 and an typical North American's ratio is about 10/1. 
How to remedy this? Eat less seed oils which are predominantly found in processed foods like crackers and eat oily fatty fish 3 times a week. Or supplement with a good quality fish oil.