Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sunlight Exposure Decreases Risk of Advanced Breast Cancer

Vitamin D has been suggested as cancer preventative in past studies but now there is a study that links sunlight exposure and therefore, Vitamin D production, directly to a decreased risk of breast cancer.

A study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology states that researchers found that women with high sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer - cancer that has spread beyond the breast. The findings were only observed in women with naturally light skin color and only applied to advanced disease, suggesting that Vitamin D may be important in slowing the growth of breast cancer cells. The effect was not seen in women with darker skin color, possibly because dark-skinned individuals produce less Vitamin D than light-skinned people with the same amount of sun exposure.

The study correlates with previous studies showing that frequent sun exposure lowered the risk of breast cancer. However, researchers do not advise sun-bathing as a prevention for breast cancer due to the increased risk of skin cancer that may result. Instead they suggest that supplementing Vitamin D in the diet through multivitamins, fatty fish and fortified foods like milk may be the safest way to achieve adequate levels of Vitamin D.

Exposure to sunlight may decrease risk of advanced breast cancer by half

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