Health Blogs | Wellness | Skin Cancer

Sunshine vitamin to prevent skin cancer?

September 7th, 2011 by LittleMissHealthy

Want to hear something weird?

Calcium and vitamin D supplements could be good for far more than your bones… this powerful nutrient combo has also been proving to have all sorts of benefits for women who are at risk of melanoma.
In a study at Stanford University, researchers reported that:

“Vitamin D and calcium supplements were associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of melanoma in women at high risk of developing this life-threatening skin cancer.”

The seven year study involved giving 36,282 postmenopausal women either placebos, or a combination of 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium carbonate a day. The study showed a significant result for women who had already had some form of skin cancer: those who took a calcium and vitamin D supplement every day experienced 57 percent fewer melanomas compared with the women who didn’t take the supplement.

Apparently, these findings are in line with lots of other research that has shown that vitamin D (which helps control how quickly cells replicate) has the potential to inhibit the growth of many different types of cancer cells (including colon, breast, and prostate).

As contrary as it may sound, given that UV from the sun’s rays has been proven to be a direct cause of skin cancers, there has been a definite link between vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) and protection from cancer. In the 1940s, scientist Frank Apperly noticed that people living in sunnier latitudes had lower cancer-death rates, and suggested that sunlight gave a relative cancer immunity, and since then, numerous studies have tended to agree that vitamin D can often be associated with lower cancer risks.

Being smart in the sun

As someone who has had a dodgy mole scare in the past, I am so glad I’ve now gotten into the habit of taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement. Just remember, it’s important to keep sun-safe this summer, too.


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Tags: Wellness, skin, Melanoma, Skin Cancer

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