(Nov. 7, 2006)–What if a pill could lower your risk of cancer by as much as 70%? Vitamin D may be that magic medicine. University of California San Diego researchers analyzed national cancer deaths between 1950 and 1969 and again between 1970 and 1994–when people began staying out of the sun and wearing more sunscreen. (Our bodies require sunlight to make vitamin D.) Their comparison suggests that getting enough D could drive down mortality rates of 16 types of cancer–including breast and ovarian–by anywhere from 2 to 70%.
“Hundreds of lab studies show that vitamin D can stop cancer cells from proliferating and promote the death of tumor cells,” says lead author William B. Grant, PhD. Experts now recommend that people get 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day in summer, and as much as 2,000 IU in winter when the sun is much weaker. Getting that amount from your diet is tough. Your best bet is to take 1,500 IU daily in supplement form.
by Sarí N. Harrar