Biological Effects of Sunlight, Ultraviolet Radiation, Visible Light, Infrared Radiation and Vitamin D for Health

Anticancer Res. 2016 Mar;36(3):1345-56.


Humans evolved in sunlight and had depended on sunlight for its life giving properties that was appreciated by our early ancestors. However, for more than 40 years the lay press and various medical and dermatology associations have denounced sun exposure because of its association with increased risk for skin cancer. The goal of this review is to put into perspective the many health benefits that have been associated with exposure to sunlight, ultraviolet A (UVA) ultraviolet B (UVB), visible and infrared radiation.

Keywords: POMC; Sunlight; autoimmune diseases; beta-endorphins; cancer; clock genes; nitric oxide; ultraviolet A radiation; ultraviolet B radiation; visible radiation; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays / adverse effects*
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Sunlight / adverse effects*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*


  • Vitamin D