Post a commentBy Stephen Daniells, 28-Jun-2011
Related topics: Research, Minerals, Vitamins & premixes, Cancer risk reduction, Skin health
Women who take supplements of vitamin D and calcium may be at a reduced risk of developing skin cancer, suggests new data.
The sunshine vitamin plus calcium may have skin benefits
Vitamin D and calcium supplements were associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of melanoma in women at high risk of developing this life-threatening skin cancer, researchers from Stanford University report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Led by Jean Tang, MD, PhD, the researchers analyzed data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a randomized clinical trial involving 36,282 postmenopausal women who received either placebo or 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium carbonate per day.
“Our results include the first positive cancer-reducing effect seen from the calcium plus vitamin D trial,” said Teresa Fu, MD, a co-author of the study.
Shining light on the sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors – D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Both D3 and D2 precursors are transformed in the liver and kidneys into 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active ‘storage’ form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), the biologically active form that is tightly controlled by the body.
D and the big C
The link between vitamin D intake and protection from cancer dates from the 1940s when Frank Apperly demonstrated a link between latitude and deaths from cancer, and suggested that sunlight gave “a relative cancer immunity”.
Since then there have been numerous studies suggesting associations between vitamin D and lower risks of certain cancers.