Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin D Test’

Scientists Now Admit Sunlight Can Prevent Skin Cancer

May 27, 2011

Since the 1980s, doctors and cancer charities have regularly warned the public against the potential health dangers of direct sunlight on skin. As a result, many people have stayed out of the sun completely, covered their bodies even in warm weather or covered themselves with UV protection products, all in the interest of lowering their risk of melanomas (skin cancer).

However, more recent findings indicate that this kind of sun avoidance may increase your risk of cancer.

The results of a study published in the British Journal of Cancer and Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2009 found people with higher levels of vitamin D, at the time they were diagnosed, were more likely to survive.

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institutes of Health, found that malignant melanoma patients with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood at the time they were diagnosed, were 30 per cent more likely to relapse from the disease than those with the highest levels. The researchers from Leeds also found that patients who have higher levels of vitamin D at diagnosis have thinner tumours.

Professor Julia Newton Bishop, study author at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Leeds, said: “It’s common for the general public to have low levels of vitamin D in many countries. Melanoma patients tend to avoid the sun as sunburn is known to increase the risk of melanoma. We use sunshine to make vitamin D in the skin, so melanoma patients’ levels of vitamin D may be especially low.

“Our results suggest that melanoma patients may need to get vitamin D by eating fatty fish or by taking supplements to ensure they have normal levels. But we are continuing to carry out research to find out the optimum level of vitamin D.”

Other studies have found that Vitamin D has a connection to a strong immune response in the body. In fact, Vitamin D may hasten the death of tumour cells.

Unfortunately, most people have low levels of Vitamin D, leaving them at higher risk for a host of diseases including breast cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, cervical cancer, rickets and osteoporosis.

To find out if you are deficient in Vitamin D, you need to have a blood test called 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D.  Unfortunately, many GPs refuse to do the test when asked by their patients.  However, the test is available privately and you can order it from

Source:  University of Leeds