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High Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of Certain Cancers

Vitamin D is made by the skin in response to sunlight, and it helps to maintain calcium levels in the body to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A recent study suggests that high levels of vitamin D may be associated with a lower risk of developing cancer.


Participants in the study included 33,736 Japanese adults between the ages of 40 and 69. All of the participants provided detailed information about their medical history, diet, and lifestyle. The researchers also took blood samples in order to measure vitamin D levels.


The researchers found that vitamin D levels varied based on the season, with higher levels in summer and autumn. After accounting for this seasonal variation, the researchers place the participants into four groups, from lowest to highest levels of vitamin D. The participants were then monitored for an average 16 years, during which time there were 3,301 new cases of cancer in the group.


After adjusting for other cancer risk factors including age, weight, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, and dietary factors, the researchers found that the highest levels of vitamin D were associated with a 20% reduced risk in overall cancer. When they looked specifically at liver cancer, they found a 30% to 50% lower risk, with a stronger association for men than for women.


The researchers found no association for lung or prostate cancer.


Researchers from the National Cancer Center in Tokyo conducted the study. It was published on March 7, 2018, in BMJ.


Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles, help with certain allergies, skin protection, bone health, blood sugar health and promoting cognitive function and eye health.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun, but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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