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Women who get lots of vitamin D are less likely to develop breast cancer, suggests a pair of studies that add to the already strong evidence that the “sunshine vitamin” helps prevent many types of cancer.
High levels of vitamin D translated to a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer, one study found. Even modestly higher levels resulted in 10 percent less risk, which would translate to 20,000 fewer cases a year if it were true of all American women.
A second study, by Canadian researchers, found that women who spent time outdoors or got a lot of vitamin D — especially as teens — were 25 percent to 45 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than women with less of the nutrient.
The body makes vitamin D from sunlight, but sun exposure is controversial because of the risk of skin cancer. Many health experts see little harm in 15 minutes several times a week. In fact, Dr. Northrup says that suboptimal levels of vitamin D may be one of the reasons why breast cancer incidence is higher in northern latitudes than near the equator. Research has shown that women who have blood levels of vitamin D above 52 ng/ml have half the risk of breast cancer as those with lower levels. Most women have to take 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day (either from sunlight, eating fish, or supplementation) to get this level. Adequate vitamin D would also prevent scores of women from getting the brittle bones associated with aging.
It’s even estimated that additional exposure to vitamin D would save more than 23,000 American lives per year due to the reduction in cancer mortality.
“Though today we’re taught to be afraid of the sun, all of us, including children, need regular sunlight to be healthy,” Dr. Northrup explains. “Our inner wisdom knows this, and that’s why despite all the propaganda about the dangers of sun exposure, millions of people still flock to the beach. The sun just feels too good to be all that bad!”
The sun’s UV rays enable our bodies to manufacture vitamin D in the fat layer under the skin. Exposure to sunlight is a much more reliable predictor of vitamin D levels in your blood than your dietary intake.
Full-body exposure to sunlight on clear days at equatorial latitudes can easily provide the equivalent of 4,000 to 20,000 IU in less than 30 minutes in those with lightly pigmented skin. Those with darker pigmentation need more.

Source: Vitamin D Council.org