People regularly taking vitamin D supplements are more than 50% less likely to develop melanoma compared to those who don’t take vitamin D tablets, a new report has revealed.

A study by the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital has found that individuals frequently taking vitamin D supplements are less at risk of developing skin cancer, particularly melanoma.

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.

Prior research has detected a link between vitamin D supplements and a reduced risk of skin cancer. However, these studies have mainly looked at how serum levels of calcidiol prevent the development of skin cancer.

Main author Professor Ilkka Harvima said: “These earlier studies back our new findings from the North Savo region here in Finland.

“However, the question about the optimal dose of oral vitamin D in order to for it to have beneficial effects remains to be answered. Until we know more, national intake recommendations should be followed.”

During this investigation, the team of scientists examined the health of 498 adults, who were all then divided into three groups: non-users, occasional users and regular users.

They found that the participants using vitamin D supplements even on an occasional basis were more than 50% less at risk of developing melanoma compared to non-users.

The study has been published in the journal Melanoma Research.

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