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Vitamin D 'may help more than multiple sclerosis'

Vitamin D 'may help more than multiple sclerosis'
24th September 2009

Sunbathing warnings may be a little extreme, according to new research from a northern institution and an overseas partner.

Researchers at the University of Leeds worked with the US National Institutes of Health to find that vitamin D produced by the sun on the skin may help improve patient survival rates if they have skin and bowel cancer.

The intake of vitamin D has long been linked to improving the quality of life for those with diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis.

Professor Julia Newton Bishop, who worked on the project with the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, said: "It is common for people to have low levels of vitamin D in many countries. Melanoma patients tend to avoid the sun as sunburn is known to increase the risk of the disease [skin cancer]."

However, she warned against the excessive intake of the vitamin, stating that it had to be done in moderation.

According to the Food Standards Agency, vitamin D can be found in oily fish, eggs, margarine, breakfast cereals and powdered milk.

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