Vitamin D

Vitamin D can drastically lower risk of cancer

Vitamin D
Photo: Hernán Piñera

Although we’ve been conditioned to avoid the sun at all costs, research shows the sun has its benefits.

A new study from Creighton University and University of California, San Diego, looked at 2,304 women and concludes that women with higher levels of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, are at lower risk of developing cancer.

Women with vitamin D levels over 100 nmol/L (40 ng/ml) had 67 per cent less incidence of invasive cancer compared to those with levels under 50 nmol/L (20 ng/ml).

For some context, one third of Canadians have levels under 50 nmol/L.

Dr. Robert Heaney, one of the study’s authors, noted the importance of sunlight in vitamin D absorption. While our ancestors spent a lot of time outdoors in direct sunlight, we now spend more time indoors and behind computer screens. Fortunately, taking advantage of the health benefits of vitamin D couldn’t be easier as it comes for free with spending time in the sun.

Dr. Reinhold Vieth is a scientific advisor for the Vitamin D Society and professor at the University of Toronto.