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Can Skin Exposure to Sunlight Prevent Liver Inflammation?

Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, 100 Roberts Rd, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008, Australia
Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK
University of Edinburgh, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3219-3239;
Received: 28 March 2015 / Revised: 23 April 2015 / Accepted: 27 April 2015 / Published: 5 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Regulation by Vitamin D)
Liver inflammation contributes towards the pathology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Here we discuss how skin exposure to sunlight may suppress liver inflammation and the severity of NAFLD. Following exposure to sunlight-derived ultraviolet radiation (UVR), the skin releases anti-inflammatory mediators such as vitamin D and nitric oxide. Animal modeling studies suggest that exposure to UVR can prevent the development of NAFLD. Association studies also support a negative link between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and NAFLD incidence or severity. Clinical trials are in their infancy and are yet to demonstrate a clear beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation. There are a number of potentially interdependent mechanisms whereby vitamin D could dampen liver inflammation, by inhibiting hepatocyte apoptosis and liver fibrosis, modulating the gut microbiome and through altered production and transport of bile acids. While there has been a focus on vitamin D, other mediators induced by sun exposure, such as nitric oxide may also play important roles in curtailing liver inflammation. View Full-Text
Keywords: sunlight; vitamin D; nitric oxide; liver; inflammation; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease sunlight; vitamin D; nitric oxide; liver; inflammation; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
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Gorman, S.; Black, L.J.; Feelisch, M.; Hart, P.H.; Weller, R. Can Skin Exposure to Sunlight Prevent Liver Inflammation? Nutrients 2015, 7, 3219-3239.

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