Scientists have regarded vitamin D as a potent cancer fighter for decades, but there's never been a gold-standard trial - until now. A study by researchers at Creighton University in the US and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that women who supplemented their diets with 1000 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day had a 60 to 77 per cent lower incidence of cancer over a four-year period than women taking a placebo.
"The effect isn't limited to women," reveals Dr Joan Lappe, the lead study author. "Vitamin D helps the immune system function efficiently, causing the early death of cancer cells."
Use it: nature intended us to make vitamin D from the sun. But depending on where you live, the time of year and how much of an agoraphobe you are, you may not reach the optimal level of 80 nanomoles per litre of blood that way.
A blood test can provide a baseline. From there, Lappe recommends supplementing with 1100 to 2000IU of vitamin D in a stand-alone pill every day.
The vitamin is also found in sardines, salmon, shiitake mushrooms and reindeer meat - which may explain Santa's longevity, despite his odd working hours and beer belly.
Feb 4, 2013