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      Beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production

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          Abstract

          Most of the positive effects of solar radiation are mediated via ultraviolet-B (UVB) induced production of vitamin D in skin. However, several other pathways may exist for the action of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on humans as focused on in this review. One is induction of cosmetic tanning (immediate pigment darkening, persistent pigment darkening and delayed tanning). UVB-induced, delayed tanning (increases melanin in skin after several days), acts as a sunscreen. Several human skin diseases, like psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and localized scleroderma, can be treated with solar radiation (heliotherapy) or artificial UV radiation (phototherapy). UV exposure can suppress the clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis independently of vitamin D synthesis. Furthermore, UV generates nitric oxide (NO), which may reduce blood pressure and generally improve cardiovascular health. UVA-induced NO may also have antimicrobial effects and furthermore, act as a neurotransmitter. Finally, UV exposure may improve mood through the release of endorphins.

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          Most cited references 151

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          Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.

          Most humans depend on sun exposure to satisfy their requirements for vitamin D. Solar ultraviolet B photons are absorbed by 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, leading to its transformation to previtamin D3, which is rapidly converted to vitamin D3. Season, latitude, time of day, skin pigmentation, aging, sunscreen use, and glass all influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D3. Once formed, vitamin D3 is metabolized in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and then in the kidney to its biologically active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic among both children and adults in the United States. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes rickets among children but also precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis among adults and causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risks of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Maintaining blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D above 80 nmol/L (approximately 30 ng/mL) not only is important for maximizing intestinal calcium absorption but also may be important for providing the extrarenal 1alpha-hydroxylase that is present in most tissues to produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Although chronic excessive exposure to sunlight increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, the avoidance of all direct sun exposure increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can have serious consequences. Monitoring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations yearly should help reveal vitamin D deficiencies. Sensible sun exposure (usually 5-10 min of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) and increased dietary and supplemental vitamin D intakes are reasonable approaches to guarantee vitamin D sufficiency.
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            Melanin pigmentation in mammalian skin and its hormonal regulation.

            Cutaneous melanin pigment plays a critical role in camouflage, mimicry, social communication, and protection against harmful effects of solar radiation. Melanogenesis is under complex regulatory control by multiple agents interacting via pathways activated by receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms, in hormonal, auto-, para-, or intracrine fashion. Because of the multidirectional nature and heterogeneous character of the melanogenesis modifying agents, its controlling factors are not organized into simple linear sequences, but they interphase instead in a multidimensional network, with extensive functional overlapping with connections arranged both in series and in parallel. The most important positive regulator of melanogenesis is the MC1 receptor with its ligands melanocortins and ACTH, whereas among the negative regulators agouti protein stands out, determining intensity of melanogenesis and also the type of melanin synthesized. Within the context of the skin as a stress organ, melanogenic activity serves as a unique molecular sensor and transducer of noxious signals and as regulator of local homeostasis. In keeping with these multiple roles, melanogenesis is controlled by a highly structured system, active since early embryogenesis and capable of superselective functional regulation that may reach down to the cellular level represented by single melanocytes. Indeed, the significance of melanogenesis extends beyond the mere assignment of a color trait.
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              The nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway in physiology and therapeutics.

              The inorganic anions nitrate (NO3-) and nitrite (NO2-) were previously thought to be inert end products of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) metabolism. However, recent studies show that these supposedly inert anions can be recycled in vivo to form NO, representing an important alternative source of NO to the classical L-arginine-NO-synthase pathway, in particular in hypoxic states. This Review discusses the emerging important biological functions of the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway, and highlights studies that implicate the therapeutic potential of nitrate and nitrite in conditions such as myocardial infarction, stroke, systemic and pulmonary hypertension, and gastric ulceration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Dermatoendocrinol
                Dermatoendocrinol
                DERM
                Dermato-endocrinology
                Landes Bioscience
                1938-1972
                1938-1980
                01 April 2012
                01 April 2012
                : 4
                : 2
                : 109-117
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Radiation Biology; Institute for Cancer Research; The Norwegian Radium Hospital; Oslo University Hospital; Oslo, Norway
                [2 ]Department of Physics; University of Oslo; Oslo, Norway
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Asta Juzeniene; Email: asta.juzeniene@ 123456rr-research.no
                2012DE0169R 20013
                10.4161/derm.20013
                3427189
                22928066
                Copyright © 2012 Landes Bioscience

                This is an open-access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. The article may be redistributed, reproduced, and reused for non-commercial purposes, provided the original source is properly cited.

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