Medical research in both the US and Europe suggests vitamin D benefits may include preventing cancer. Studies have shown that insufficient exposure to sunlight, resulting in a vitamin D deficiency, was directly linked to incidence of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, as well as to kidney and lung cancer. Click here for more information
Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because the body uses sunlight to manufacture it.
Studies done by Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) used information from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer to literally map the incidences of various forms of cancer throughout the world. The results showed that the areas with the lowest exposure to the sun’s UV rays have the highest incidence of several forms of cancer.
The researchers stressed that even after correcting for a host of environmental variables, including diet, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, weight, fertility and even average cloud cover, the association between low vitamin D levels and the incidence of breast, kidney, and other cancers remained strong.
“The Scotland Effect”: low vitamin D levels = high susceptibility
A number of UK research projects focusing on Scotland, which has the worst health records and highest premature mortality rates in Western Europe, have demonstrated remarkable correlations between low vitamin D levels and the incidence of a variety of diseases. A growing body of evidence points to a strong tie between poor health and low vitamin Dlevels in Scotland, attributed to both diet and lack of sunshine.
A five-year Cambridge study suggested that the “Scottish Effect” of high mortality and low general health was in large part due to the country’s lack of sun, which leads to low vitamin D levels. The study established a shortage of the “sunshine vitamin” as a factor in higher rates of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, several cancers, cardiovascular disease and other ailments.
Additional Cambridge studies last year tied lack of vitamin D to the discovery of what appears to be a genetic vulnerability to multiple sclerosis. The vulnerability, which is passed through families, appears to be initiated by a lack of vitamin D.
Researchers in Scotland are currently investigating the relationship between low levels of vitamin D in the diet and Scotland’s incidence of colorectal cancer.
Note: Coenzyme Q10 has also been identified as potentially important in the treatment and prevention of several types of cancer.