(NaturalNews) Higher levels of vitamin D appear to protect women against obesity-related cancer of the uterus, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and published in the journal Comprehensive Cancer Research.
Researchers fed mice that were genetically predisposed toward endometrial (uterine) cancer either a high-fat or a normal diet. Mice fed the high-fat diet became obese. Half the mice were also given vitamin D supplements.
Among normal weight mice, the rate of endometrial cancer was 60 percent regardless of whether they received vitamin D supplements or not. Among obese mice, however, the difference was striking: while 67 percent of mice not given vitamin D developed cancer, only 25 percent of the vitamin-supplemented mice did.
"Vitamin D has been shown to be helpful in a number of cancers, but for endometrial cancer, our study suggests it protects only against cancer that develops due to obesity," lead researcher Leena Hilakivi-Clarke said. "Still, if these results are confirmed in women, use of vitamin D may be a wonderfully simple way to reduce endometrial cancer risk."
Vitamin D is produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight. Scientists have known for decades that the vitamin plays a crucial role in bone and dental health, and in the last few years have begun to discover that it also plays a critical role in disease prevention.
In his book There is a Cure for Diabetes, Gabriel Cousens notes that higher levels of the vitamin have been linked with significantly lower levels of that disease.
"The benefits of ... adequate vitamin D levels do not stop with diabetes, but significantly affect the complications associated with a … Westernized diet and lifestyle," Cousens writes.
"Research shows that vitamin D has a variety of important benefits besides lowering blood sugar. It seems to protect against eighteen different kinds of cancers [and] has a significant positive impact on the immune system in fighting colds and flus, viruses, and TB."