Vitamin D performs many important functions in the body, such as supporting bone health and bolstering the immune system. But, as Dr Chris explained on This Morning today, we are at risk of becoming vitamin D deficient during the winter months. That’s because vitamin D – famously branded the “sunshine vitamin” – is mainly absorbed through direct exposure to sunlight.
Supplementing with vitamin D during the winter months is therefore a “must” said Dr Chris.
As he explained, supplementing with the sunshine vitamin is even more important this winter because it can strengthen your defences against COVID-19 – the viral disease that is currently sweeping through the nation.
According to Dr Chris, being well stocked with vitamin D can ensure your immune system is in the best possible position to fend off the pathogen.
The benefits of supplementing with vitamin D do not stop there – it can also slash risk of cancer, said Dr Chris.
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She added: “Our findings, especially the strong risk reduction seen in individuals with normal weight, provide new information about the relationship between vitamin D and advanced cancer.”
To gather their findings, the researchers recruited 25,000 people and monitored them for more than five years.
The participants included men aged 50 or above and women 55 or older who did not have cancer when the trial began.
The test subjects were divided into four groups – the first group took a daily dose of vitamin D along with omega-3s; the second group took vitamin D plus a dummy placebo, the third consumed omega-3s plus placebo, while the fourth group only had placebos.
The initial results showed no statistical difference in overall cancer rates but a reduction in cancer-related deaths was observed.
In their secondary analysis, Dr Chandler and colleagues evaluated the risk of developing advanced cancer – late-stage and metastatic forms of the disease- among participants who did or did not take vitamin D supplements during the trial.
They also examined whether an individual’s body mass index played a role.
Among the participants, 1,617 were diagnosed with an invasive form of cancer – such as breast, prostate, colorectal, lung – over the next five years.