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03 December 2013 09:36
Vitamin D could reduce women's chances of developing breast cancer, an expert claims
Every woman over the age of 20 should take Vitamin D daily to lessen their risks of developing breast cancer, a health expert has claimed.
Professor Kefah Mokbel, surgeon at the private London Breast Clinic, estimates that at least 1,000 lives each year could be saved if the "sunshine vitamin" was freely available on the NHS.
He is calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to make this change, which he claims would cost just 12p per woman per day.
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Prof. Mokbel has already started giving out the pills to female patients at his private clinic, but he believes all women should receive them - even those who have been not been diagnosed with the condition.
The professor said: "My estimate is that at least 1,000 lives could be saved by supplementation a year."
Vitamin D helps build and retain healthy bones. In addition, it is vital for the immune system and regulating how cells divide.
Both are vital to combating cancer.
Vitamin D deficiencies may raise the risk of chronic diseases - including osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers and multiple sclerosis - and infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even seasonal flu.
Proof that Vitamin D supplements may fight breast cancer is growing. Five years ago, Canadian research found breast cancer patients with high Vitamin D rates were around half as likely to die from the illness as those with a severe deficiency.
Norwegian and German research have made comparable conclusions.
Strong sunlight helps the skin make Vitamin D.
All people need 15 minutes' daily exposure to maintain healthy rates. Oily fish and eggs are also profitable sources, particularly in winter when the body's levels are scarce.
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