The sunshine Vitamin D has been hailed as a “key prevention tool” for all types of invasive cancers.
Higher levels of the vitamin in the blood show a measurable reduced cancer risk.
Two brothers at San Diego School of Medicine first made the connection between the vitamin and some cancers in 1980.
Cedric Garland and his later brother Frank noted that populations with less available sunlight were more likely to be vitamin D deficient and had higher rates of colon cancer.
In Dr Cedric Garland’s latest study, using blood tests, he says they have measured the “ability of adequate amounts of Vitamin D to prevent all types of invasive cancer combined”.
Vitamin D is produced by the body through exposure to sunshine.
Dr Garland believes that increasing Vitamin D in the general population would substantially reduce the incidence of cancer.
“Primary prevention of cancer, rather than expanding early detection or improving treatment, will be essential to reversing the current upward trend of cancer incidence worldwide,” say the researchers.
“This analysis suggests that improving Vitamin D status is a key prevention tool,” they stress.
The results of the study are published in the online issue of PLOS ONE.