This finding could lead to new drugs to fight cancer and other diseases, Autier said. "Vitamin D can reduce the proliferation of cells; the proliferation of cells is something you see in cancer," he said.
Autier believes people should take vitamin D supplements in the range of between 400 and 600 IUs daily. "There is no need to take more -- that's crazy," he said. "You have to be careful not to take a dose that's too high," he added.
And there's another way to make sure you get vitamin D, which is important to the uptake of calcium needed for healthy bones. That's to get a moderate amount of sun exposure each day, since the skin uses sunlight to produce its own vitamin D.
For more on vitamin D, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: Philippe Autier, M.D., International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., director, Vitamin D Laboratory, Boston University; Sept. 10, 2007, Archives of Internal Medicine
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