Vitamin D has been known to be helpful for the immune system.
Now, a new study suggests that vitamin D can also help you decrease your chances of having cancer.
Officials say the four-year study included 2,303 healthy postmenopausal women 55 years and older from 31 counties in Nebraska.
According to the researchers, participants were randomly assigned to take either 2000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 and 1500 mg. of calcium or identical placebos daily for 4 years.
Researchers said that women who were given vitamin D3 and calcium supplements had 30 percent lower risk of cancer.
They added that the difference in cancer incidence rates between groups did not quite reach statistical significance.
Researchers found that blood levels of vitamin D, specifically 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), were significantly lower in women who developed cancer during the study than in those who remained healthy.
“This study suggests that higher levels of 25(OH)D in the blood are associated with lower cancer risk”, said principal investigator Joan Lappe, PhD, RN, Creighton University Criss/Beirne Professor of Nursing and Professor of Medicine.
“The study provides evidence that higher concentrations of 25(OH)D in the blood, in the context of vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation, decrease risk of cancer” she added.
Officials say the study's results contribute to a growing body of scientific findings, including results of a similar randomized controlled clinical trial preceding this one in Nebraska women, that indicate that vitamin D is a critical tool in fighting cancer.