Recent studies have highlighted how vitamin D can be effective in boosting everything from immune system health to exercise ability, and now researchers are exploring its effect on cancer risk.
According to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, healthy levels of vitamin D can protect consumers against the risk of cancer. They also found that for those already struggling with certain types of cancers, having healthy levels of vitamin D can lead to better health outcomes.
Seeing health improvements
The researchers analyzed several previous studies that have linked vitamin D levels and overall cancer risk.
Their work revealed that the supplement is effective in protecting consumers from cancer because of the role that vitamin D plays in the immune system. Those who respond the best to vitamin D -- meaning they require the lowest doses to reap the largest benefits -- are likely to be the most protected against cancer.
However, varying levels of vitamin D could make consumers more susceptible to certain kinds of cancer.
The researchers learned that both prostate and breast cancer were greatly affected by vitamin D levels. Consumers with either strain of the disease who also had low vitamin D levels had poorer health outcomes.
The researchers’ work also revealed that higher levels of vitamin D could help consumers prevent a diagnosis. Lymphoma, leukemia, and colorectal cancer were all less likely when vitamin D levels were in a healthy range.
Finding the right balance
While many consumers opt to take a vitamin D supplement as part of their daily regimen, the researchers explained that the vitamin affects everybody differently. Too much vitamin D has been linked with several side effects, including poorer bone health and kidney failure.
Incorporating more vitamin D can come with several health benefits, but it’s important that consumers are mindful of how the supplement can affect them.