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Study shines more light on benefit of vitamin D in fighting cancer
Date:8/21/2007

se in northern climates, has the potential to both prevent and possibly serve as an adjunct to existing treatments for cancer.

The work builds on previous studies by Garland and colleagues (Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular, February 2007) which found that raising the serum 25(OH)D levels to 55 ng/mL was optimal for cancer prevention. This is the first study to recommend optimal vitamin D serum levels which, Garland said, are high enough to provide the needed benefit but which have been found by other scientists to be low enough to avoid health risks.

This could be best achieved with a combination of diet, supplements and short intervals 10 or 15 minutes a day in the sun, said Garland. It could be less for very fair-skinned individuals. He went on to say that the appropriate dose of vitamin D in order to reach this level, could be very little in a lifeguard in Southern California or quite a lot for someone in Northern Europe who tends to remain indoors most of the year.

The serum level recommended by the study would correspond to intake of 2000 International Units per day of vitamin D3 for a meaningful reduction in colorectal cancer. The researchers recommend 2000 IU/day, plus, when weather allows, a few minutes in the sun with at least 40% of the skin exposed, for a meaningful reduction in breast cancer incidence, unless the individual has a history of skin cancer or a photosensitivity disease.

Garland also recommends moderate sun exposure and use of clothing and a hat when in the sun longer than 15 minutes.

This paper used worldwide data only recently available through a new tool called GLOBOCAN, developed by the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer. GLOBOCAN is a database of cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence for 177 countries. Previous studies from this core group have shown an association between higher levels of vitamin D3 or markers of vitamin D status a
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Contact: Kim Edwards
kedwards@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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