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vitamin d

Body, Health Prevention

The Link: Vitamin D and Cancer

October 7, 2011
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Photo: Field Notes/Flick

We’ve known Vitamin D is important to overall health but scientists are discovering an even greater link between a lack of the vitamin and autoimmune diseases and cancer.

New research reveals a molecular interaction between more than 200 genes (including those associated with multiple sclerosis, Chron’s disease, colorectal cancer and Type 1 Diabetes) and Vitamin D.

Besides sun exposure, certain foods provide Vitamin D. According to the National Institutes of Health, foods that naturally have Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, cheese, egg yolks and certain mushrooms. Milk is also usually fortified with Vitamin D.

Think you’re getting enough of the vitamin? A recent estimate finds almost half of the population is deficient in Vitamin D.

The current recommended daily Vitamin D intake is 200 international units for those up to age 50 but many experts believe these numbers are too low and some recommend as many as 2,000 international units per day to prevent disease.