Sunscreens as I previously blogged about are not only poisoning both us as well as our environment but affect the p53, one of our main ways to fight cancer. Particularly skin cancers. Less sun by whatever means, results in less pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC).

And thus less melanotropin stimulating hormone (MSH) produced from POMC. MSH results in the production of melanin in the skin cells and keratinocytes. Our natural protection from ultraviolet light. The B-fraction of ultraviolet light is required for p53 to stimulate the production of POMC. 1 Thus, reduced or no B-fraction of ultraviolet light (UV-B) due to sunscreen results in no or less POMC. 

MSH besides protecting our cell’s DNA from both the A-fraction of ultraviolet light (UV-A) and UV-B also forms both the B-MSH and A-MSH neuropeptides. Of note sunscreens do not protect us from UV-A. Which can damage the cells DNA and lead to cancer.

B-MSH plays a role in weight regulation, and A-MSH which helps maintain the correct energy balance. It does this in the ventromedial nucleus part of the brain. This is where regulation of appetite occurs. It occurs by POMC neuron stimulation that results in satiety. 2 Essentially preventing overeating. Why is that important?

Well cancer cells need to be fed. Cancer cells have voracious appetites especially in those with tremendous cell growth and what we eat may affect how well cancer cells grow in our body. Less B-MSH and A-MSH results in issues with appetite leading to obesity. 

Obesity causes a state of chronic inflammation. 3 Chronic inflammation increases risk of cancer. It all loops back to itself. So what hope do we have? Well if you are like most people you better hope you inherited close to perfect genes. 

See most people have been convinced they need to use sunscreen and avoid sun exposure. Then, the true solution to protecting yourself from cancer vitamin D3 if you only casually investigate it you are left with the impression that it is fat soluble so dangerous. Dangerous especially at higher doses and blood levels. It is not. 

Well following that train of thought I did some research and sure enough all three forms of vitamin D3 directly activate the analogue of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in human keratinocytes. Resulting in the neuropeptides like A-MSH and B-MSH. 

Thus the oral form of vitamin D3 works like that produced by sun exposure. Thus these cells can produce pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) peptide. As discussed above by UV-B exposure from the sun but also by vitamin D3 directly. 


As keratinocytes are a type of cell that make up most of our cells in our skin, we can produce more than enough of these neuropeptides and whether by sun exposure of oral consumption have the same effect. So there is hope. This is important. 

As it is essentially impossible to receive enough sun exposure to raise and keep one’s blood levels to sufficient levels many experts advocate and certainly not to optimal levels I used. The only way to achieve these blood levels by diet-food or supplements.

Strictly diet is as far as I am aware of by food stuffs can be reasonably achieved by eating one tablespoon or so of salmon roe a day. Leaving taking oral supplemental vitamin D3 as only practical solution for most. 

  1. Cui R, Widlund HR, Fisher DE, et al.  (March 9, 2007). Central role of p53 in the suntan response and pathological hyperpigmentation. Cell. 128(5): 853-64
  2. Varela L, Horvath TL. (December 2012). Leptin and insulin pathways in POMC and AgRP neurons that modulate energy balance and glucose homeostasis. EMBO Reports. 13(12); 1079-86.
  3. Ferrante AW. (2007). Obesity-induced inflammation: a metabolic dialogue in the language of inflammation. Journal of Internal Medicine. 262(4):408-14

*The information posted above is for educational purposes only. Always check with your doctor before initiating any changes in your medical treatment. If you do not, then The Two-Minute Health Fact, Dr. Judson Somerville, nor The Optimal Dose is responsible!


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