A diet packed with Vitamin D combined with high levels of sunlight could reduce the risk of breast cancer in women by 43 per cent.
A new study of 70,000 women conducted over ten years revealed that a diet high in Vitamin D had no effect on its own. One theory is that consuming a diet rich in Vitamin D makes a difference only when there is already a sufficient amount produced from sun exposure. Therefore, when sun exposure is low, diet intake does not make any difference to risk of disease.
However, the study concludes that an increase in overall Vitamin D intake should be encouraged, including fortifying foods with it - a practice already under way in America. Laboratory studies have suggested that Vitamin D may have a number of anti-cancer effects and has been shown to slow the spread of cancer cells.
Researchers at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in France tracked 67,721 women aged 41 to 72 for a decade to see who developed breast cancer. Their diets and ultraviolet levels where they lived were then analysed to calculate the risks. At the end of the ten-year period 2,871 breast cancers had been diagnosed.