New research has concluded that those who are deficient in vitamin D may be at a higher risk for developing bladder cancer.

A study conducted at the University of Warwick in association with University Hospital in Coventry, United Kingdom, has shown that bladder cancer cells respond to vitamin D, which can create an immune response to attack the cancer. Not having enough vitamin D may make it incredibly difficult for the body to fight off the cancer cells.

Dr. Rosemary Bland, lead author of the study, stated:

“More clinical studies are required to test this association, but our work suggests that low levels of vitamin D in the blood may prevent the cells within the bladder from stimulating an adequate response to abnormal cells.

As vitamin D is cheap and safe, its potential use in cancer prevention is exciting and could potentially impact on the lives of many people.”

Researchers presented their work at the Society for Endocrinology in Brighton, United Kingdom. Currently, the work has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal and therefore cannot be considered conclusive.

Most people get enough vitamin D simply by being outside a few minutes a day. However, in the winter months when people avoid the outdoors or if sunlight is lacking in their location, they may be at a greater risk for not having enough of the vitamin in their system.

Vitamin D can be obtained through supplements, but also through a healthy, well balanced diet. Foods that include high levels of vitamin D are fatty fish (particularly tuna, mackerel and salmon), beef liver, cheese and egg yolk. Many dairy products are fortified with high levels of vitamin D to ensure that you meet your daily allowance.

Low levels of vitamin D may also be the culprit of a variety of other issues, which people are urged to look out for. These include depression, seasonal affective disorder, bone weakness and frequent fractures, fatigue and trouble thinking clearly.

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