It has been shown that you can reduce your risk of cancer with vitamin D by up to 60% in some cases. Vitamin D is created by the body when it is exposed to the sunlight’s UV rays. Studies completed have found that there are lower cancer rates among groups of people living in southern latitudes than northern ones.
Vitamin D helps regulate cell growth, which is a fundamental biological process that often goes wrong when someone develops cancer. Vitamin D has also been shown to interfere with the action of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF) that has been found to stimulate cancer cell growth by causing the cells to divide.
Who is at Risk?
People who are most likely to have a vitamin D deficiency are:
- those that spend little time outdoors
- those that wear clothing that covers most of their skin
- those that live in the northern latitudes
- those with darker skin
For people that fit into any of these categories, it is recommended that they supplement their natural vitamin D intake.
How Much Vitamin D?
Many doctors now recommend taking 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D daily to help prevent cancer. Though you can get vitamin D naturally from sun exposure, this poses a risk for skin cancers in many people, so it is recommended you take a supplement.
There are food sources such as oily fish, fortified milk, and fruit that boost your levels of vitamin D. However calcium in milk, and many other foods, blocks some of the absorption of usable vitamin D into the body. Eating several servings of fruit a day can help to keep your levels of vitamin D raised.