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Can Skin Exposure to Sunlight Prevent Liver Inflammation?

1
Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, 100 Roberts Rd, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008, Australia
2
Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK
3
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7053219
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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