Skin cancer is caused by solar UVR, which is also essential for vitamin D production. DNA damage (thymine dimers: T-T dimers) and vitamin D (25(OH)D) synthesis are both initiated by solar UVB. We aimed to investigate the simultaneous adverse and beneficial effects of solar UVB exposure in holidaymakers. Sun-seekers and skiers (n=71) were observed over 6 days through on-site monitoring, personal diary entries, and recording of personal UVB exposure doses with electronic dosimeters. Urine and blood samples were analyzed for T-T dimers and 25(OH)D, respectively. The volunteers had a statistically significant increase in vitamin D. There were strong associations between UVB exposure and post-holiday levels of T-T dimers and vitamin D, as well as between post-holiday T-T dimers and vitamin D. We conclude that UVB-induced vitamin D synthesis is associated with considerable DNA damage in the skin. These data, on two major health predictors, provide a basis for further field studies that may result in better understanding of the risks and benefits of "real life" solar exposure. However, vitamin D status can be improved more safely through the use of vitamin D dietary supplements.
Adult Bathing Beaches DNA Damage* Female Holidays Humans Male Middle Aged Pyrimidine Dimers/chemistry Skiing Skin/radiation effects Skin Neoplasms/etiology Sunlight/adverse effects* Time Factors Ultraviolet Rays/adverse effects* Vitamin D/blood* Vitamin D Deficiency/prevention & control* Vitamin D Deficiency/therapy*