In a study from the University of Eastern Finland and elsewhere, scientists found fewer cases of melanoma were observed among regular users of vitamin D supplements than among non-users.
They found people taking vitamin D supplements regularly also had a considerably lower risk of skin cancer.
Vitamin D plays a key role in the normal function of the human body, and it may also play a role in many diseases.
The link between vitamin D and skin cancers has been studied abundantly in the past, but these studies have mainly focused on serum levels of calcidiol, which is a metabolite of vitamin D, and its association with skin cancers.
In the study, the team examined nearly 500 people with an increased risk of skin cancer.
These people were estimated to have an increased risk of a skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma.
Experienced dermatologists carefully analyzed the patients’ background information and medical history and examined their skin.
The dermatologists also classified the patients into different skin cancer risk classes, namely low risk, moderate risk and high risk.
Based on their use of oral vitamin D supplements, the patients were divided into three groups: non-users, occasional users and regular users.
Blood calcidiol levels were analyzed in half of the patients and found to correspond to their self-reported use of vitamin D.
The team found there were considerably fewer cases of melanoma among regular users of vitamin D than among non-users, and that the skin cancer risk classification of regular users was considerably better than non-users’.
They showed that the risk for melanoma among regular users was considerably reduced, more than halved, compared to non-users.
The findings suggest that even occasional users of vitamin D may have a lower risk for melanoma than non-users.
However, there was no strong association between the use of vitamin D and the severity of photoaging, facial photoaging, actinic keratoses, nevus count, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Other relatively recent studies, too, have provided evidence of the benefits of vitamin D in melanoma, such as the association of vitamin D with less aggressive melanoma.
The team says the question about the optimal dose of oral vitamin D in order for it to have beneficial effects remains to be answered.
If you care about skin health, please read studies about top signs of diabetic skin disease, and Mediterranean diet could help lower the skin cancer risk.
The study was conducted by Ilkka Harvima et al and published in Melanoma Research.
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