Next Article in Journal
Nutritional Status and Nutritional Treatment Are Related to Outcomes and Mortality in Older Adults with Hip Fracture
Next Article in Special Issue
Emerging Evidence of Thresholds for Beneficial Effects from Vitamin D Supplementation
Previous Article in Journal
Myoprotective Potential of Creatine Is Greater than Whey Protein after Chemically-Induced Damage in Rat Skeletal Muscle
Previous Article in Special Issue
Vitamin D Requirements for the Future—Lessons Learned and Charting a Path Forward
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Version is current.

Open AccessReview
Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050554

The Vitamin D–Folate Hypothesis as an Evolutionary Model for Skin Pigmentation: An Update and Integration of Current Ideas

1
School of Environmental & Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW 2258, Australia
2
Hull-York Medical School, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
3
School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW 2258, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Times for Vitamin D and Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [757 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  

Abstract

Vitamin D is unique in being generated in our skin following ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. Ongoing research into vitamin D must therefore always consider the influence of UVR on vitamin D processes. The close relationship between vitamin D and UVR forms the basis of the “vitamin D–folate hypothesis”, a popular theory for why human skin colour has evolved as an apparent adaption to UVR environments. Vitamin D and folate have disparate sensitivities to UVR; whilst vitamin D may be synthesised following UVR exposure, folate may be degraded. The vitamin D–folate hypothesis proposes that skin pigmentation has evolved as a balancing mechanism, maintaining levels of these vitamins. There are several alternative theories that counter the vitamin D–folate hypothesis. However, there is significant overlap between these theories and the now known actions of vitamin D and folate in the skin. The focus of this review is to present an update on the vitamin D–folate hypothesis by integrating these current theories and discussing new evidence that supports associations between vitamin D and folate genetics, UVR, and skin pigmentation. In light of recent human migrations and seasonality in disease, the need for ongoing research into potential UVR-responsive processes within the body is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; folate; skin pigmentation; ultraviolet radiation vitamin D; folate; skin pigmentation; ultraviolet radiation
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Jones, P.; Lucock, M.; Veysey, M.; Beckett, E. The Vitamin D–Folate Hypothesis as an Evolutionary Model for Skin Pigmentation: An Update and Integration of Current Ideas. Nutrients 2018, 10, 554.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top