Enjoy some sunshine to lower your cancer risk.
A dose of sunshine could prevent the risk of cancer by a fifth, research suggests.
A study of 34,000 adults found those with high levels of Vitamin D had a 20 per cent lower chance of cancer.
Although the vitamin is found in some foods, including oily fish, eggs and fortified cereals, as well as in supplements, the main source is sunshine.
It is known to protect against bone and muscle disease, and has been associated with lower risks of some chronic illnesses
However, too much time in the sun is linked to a higher risk of skin cancer, with NHS advice to mimimise exposure between 11am and 3pm.
The new research published in BMJ tracked 34,000 men and women for an average of 16 years, dividing them into four groups, depending on their vitamin D levels.
Overall, those in the top group were a fifth less likely to get any form of cancer, compared with those with the lowest vitamin D readings.
Adults with the highest levels of vitamin D saw their chances of liver cancer fall by 55 per cent, with a 36 per cent lower chance of prostate tumours, and 22 per cent lower risk of breast cancer.
Across all the cancers examined, the difference between the highest and lowest groups was 20 per cent.
Researchers from the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo, Japan, concluded: “Higher vitamin D concentration was associated with lower risk of total cancer.
“These findings support the hypothesis that vitamin D has protective effects against cancers at many sites.”
Cancer charities urged caution over the findings.
Sophia Lowes from Cancer Research UK said the evidence was mixed. :
She said: “It’s not clear whether being deficient in this vitamin just reflects poor general health rather than having a direct impact on cancer risk. Enjoying the sun safely, while taking care not to burn and increase skin cancer risk, should help most people get enough vitamin D in summer.”
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