Vitamin D has always played a big role in maintaining bone health, supporting the immune system, and nervous system.

Now, vitamin D also helps to prevent certain cancers such as liver cancer, a new study has found.

Men Have Lower Risk Of Liver Cancer Than Women

In the study, a group of researchers from Japan surveyed more than 33,736 men and women aged 40 to 70. The researchers asked participants to provide important data such as their medical history, lifestyle, and samples of blood so they could test levels of vitamin D.

After following participants for 16 years, the researchers have found that 3,301 men and women developed cancer. It also turned out that men, in general, have a lower risk of developing liver cancer as opposed to women.

Vitamin D Helps Fight Cancer, Heart Disease, And Osteoporosis

It isn't the first study, however, to prove that Vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer. A team of researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Northern California Division of Research also found that high levels of vitamin D may help women fight breast cancer.

"We found that women with the highest levels of vitamin D levels had about a 30 percent better likelihood of survival than women with the lowest levels of vitamin D," says Dr. Lawrence Kushi, lead author of the study.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, those who suffer from vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. In fact, there are more than 10 million adults over 50 who suffer symptoms from low levels of vitamin D.

Ways To Get Vitamin D

Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin D include beef liver, breakfast cereal, soft cheese, egg yolks, fatty fish, shitake mushrooms, and more. As far as beverages go, drinking a glass of soy milk or orange juice will help provide the body the vitamin D it needs.

Another way people can increase their levels of vitamin D is by exposing bare skin to the sun every day for about a half hour. The best time to expose skin to the sun is between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at least a few times per week.

Physicians highly recommend adults between the 19 and 50 should get at least 600 IU of vitamin D each day. Adults over 70, on the other hand, should get 800 IU vitamin D daily, says Kaiser Permanente.

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