Extra exposure to the sun could reduce the risk of developing ovarian, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers.
Professor Rachel Neale of the QIMR Berghoffer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane says previous research has shown that UV rays lowered pancreatic cancer risk 30 to 40 percent more than those who lived in areas with lower ambient UV rays.
“We certainly are not hand on heart saying this is definitely true, in these types of epidemiological studies we are always very cautious about saying something is casual, but we do see an association between UV exposure and some cancers,” Neale said. “We have tried to adjust for other factors that might influence their risk of cancer and the association remained.”
Neale is currently recruiting 25,000 Australians over the age of 60 to participate in a vitamin D study. The body produces vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight.
A study recently published in the journal BMJ found that people with low levels of vitamin D are 35 percent more likely to die of heart disease and 14 percent more likely to die from cancer, Fox News reported. The study also found an overall greater mortality risk.
A study led by researchers at Stanford University found a positive correlation between high vitamin D levels and lower risk of diabetes, stroke and hypertension. Vitamin D boosts the immune system, which could be why it is associated with a lack of cancer.
Dr. Jennifer Landa, the Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD, recommends getting tested using the 25-OH vitamin D test; taking a D3 supplement if deficient; and trying to catch a few rays for a couple minutes every day.
Neale says it may be insufficient to rely on supplements alone. She says a person may not achieve the full benefits of vitamin D from a supplement.
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