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Light and Vitamins - D, A, C, B1, B2, B3, B9, B12, E – April 2018

Photobiology of vitamins.

Nutr Rev. 2018 Apr 28. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy013. [Epub ahead of print]

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Lucock M1, Jones P, Martin C1, Yates Z2, Veysey M3, Furst J4, Beckett E1,5.
1 School of Environmental & Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
2 School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
3 Hull-York Medical School, University of York, Heslington, York, United Kingdom.
4 School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia.
5 School of Medicine & Public Health, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

This review explores contemporary ideas about the relationship between light exposure and vitamin biology. Nutritional biochemistry has long recognized the relationship between vitamins A and D and light exposure, but in recent years other vitamins have also been implicated in photoresponsive biological mechanisms that influence health, well-being, and even evolutionary processes. Interactions between light and vitamins can modify genotype-phenotype relationships across the life cycle, providing a basis for interesting new explanations relevant to wide aspects of human biology.
This review examines both well-established and emerging ideas about vitamin photobiology in the context of the following:

  • (1) light responsiveness of vitamin D (photosynthesized in skin), vitamin A (linked to vision), and vitamin B3 (needed to repair genomic damage);
  • (2) vulnerability of folate and vitamins B1, B2, B12, and D to ultraviolet (UV) light (all potentially degraded);
  • (3) protective/filtering actions of carotenoids and vitamins C and E, which act as antioxidants and/or natural sunscreens, against UV light;
  • (4) role of folate, carotenoids, and vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E in UV-related genomic regulation, maintenance, and repair;
  • (5) role of folate and vitamins A, B2, B12, and D in a range of light-signaling and light-transduction pathways; and
  • (6) links between folate and vitamin D and the evolution of UV light-adaptive phenotypes.


PMID: 29718444 DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy013

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