The “sunshine vitamin” protects against the deadliest tumours that are most likely to spread – and be fatal. The finding sheds light on why those who live near the equator are less prone. All Britons are advised to take the supplements – because of our long, dark winters. Vitamin D is produced through the skin’s exposure to sunlight. Lab experiments on cells in mice have shown it slows cancer progression. Randomised clinical tests in humans were inconclusive but the VITAL (Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial) suggested it reduced deaths, while not the number of cases.
The fresh US study shows those on the supplements with a normal body mass index were 38 per cent less likely to develop advanced cancer. Overall risk fell by 17 per cent. Author Dr Paulette Chandler, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said: “These findings suggest vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing advanced cancers.
“Vitamin D is a supplement that’s readily available, cheap and has been used and studied for decades.
“Our findings, especially the strong risk reduction in individuals with normal weight, provide new information about the relation-ship between vitamin D and advanced cancer.”
Around half of the UK population is deficient in Vitamin D.
It can also be found in oily fish, egg yolks or fortified foods such as cereals.
The supplement has also been recommended as having some benefit in fighting coronavirus, leading some shops to sell-out.