Originally published July 21 2011
Vitamin D and calcium slashes risk of skin cancer by 50 percent
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Another study has verified the outstanding health benefits of taking vitamin D and calcium, this one showing that the supplements can reduce a womans risk of developing skin cancer by as much as 50 percent.
"It looks like there is some promising evidence for vitamin D and calcium for prevention of melanoma in a high-risk group," lead researcher Dr. Jean Tang, an assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine told USA Today.
The researchers said women most at risk for developing the cancer are those who have prior non-melanoma forms of skin cancer. That would include basal cell or squamous cell cancer, they said.
And while calcium and vitamin D have long been known to aid in the growth of bones, researchers increasingly are finding that they also affect other cells. For instance, prior studies have found that calcium and vitamin D can help lower incidences of prostate, colon, breast and other cancers.
Dr. Tang speculated that cancer cells may have been present in the skin of women who have had prior non-melanoma cancer but that taking "calcium and vitamin D... reduces the risk of developing and actual tumor.
She said taking as little as 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day could be preventative, though the U.S. Institute of Medicine currently recommends 600 IU daily.
And while she said she wasn't sure which - the calcium or vitamin D - was most effective, the two seemed to work well in combination. It could be that calcium plays a role because it's been shown to reduce the growth of tumors in patients with colon cancer.
This latest study is just more proof of vitamin D's positive effects on overall health.
One recent study found that low vitamin D levels tend to be linked to more aggressive breast cancers, as well as a higher risk of recurrence.
"Many oncologists are already following vitamin D levels in their breast cancer patients and recommending supplements for low levels," said Dr. Laurie Kirstein, a breast surgeon at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. "To link vitamin D levels to the aggressiveness of a particular type of breast cancer is an interesting finding."
Besides cancers, vitamin D has also been found to help control and prevent depression, osteoporosis and can even have positive effects on obesity and diabetes.
As for vitamin D deficiency, that, too, has been an ongoing subject of study. A growing body of research has shown that deficiencies of this valuable supplement can lead to a variety of problems.
Low vitamin D levels, for instance, can affect newborns as well. A Dutch study has found that low vitamin D levels in newborns makes them six times more likely to develop RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is the primary cause of serious lung infections during a baby's first months of life.
Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to childhood obesity, according to a University of Pittsburgh study that tracked 200 white, black, obese and non-obese patients from age eight through 18.
"The results showed strong associations between D vitamin deficiency and higher body mass index, higher fat levels, and lower levels of 'good' cholesterol," a report on the study's results said.
Convinced that adding vitamin D to your daily diet will help you stay healthier? You should be; a growing body of evidence substantiates it.
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