Vitamin D reduces pancreatic cancer risk

Regular vitamin D intake can slash the likelihood of getting pancreatic cancer by half, researchers have said.

A study has revealed that people who take vitamin D tablets are only half as likely to get pancreatic cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death from cancer, as those who do not.

According to the researchers, who have published their findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, people need only take the US recommended daily allowance of vitamin D (400 IU per day) in order to reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer by 43 per cent.

The finding could lead to new preventative measures and possibly even methods of cancer treatment, researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago said.

"Because there is no effective screening for pancreatic cancer, identifying controllable risk factors for the disease is essential for developing strategies that can prevent cancer," said Halcyon Skinner, one of the lead researchers.

"Vitamin D has shown strong potential for preventing and treating prostate cancer, and areas with greater sunlight exposure have lower incidence and mortality for prostate, breast and colon cancers, leading us to investigate a role for vitamin D in pancreatic cancer risk."

Fish, eggs and liver provide good sources of vitamin D, and the human body naturally produces the vitamin when the skin comes into contact with sunlight, although many people do not receive enough sunlight to produce the required amount.


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