Every day science discovers a new piece of the big puzzle that represents the link between lifestyle and health. And from today we are aware of a very important piece of information on the health of our skin. In fact, as has emerged from a recent scientific research, the intake of vitamin D seems to protect against the risk of cellular degeneration such as melanoma. The study was published in the journal Melanoma Research by a group of Finnish scientists from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital (Kanasuo et al, Melanoma Research, 2022).
Vitamin D, properties and benefits
Vitamin D plays a fundamental role in our body. This vitamin, in fact, protects the immune system, bones and heart. Not only that, vitamin D also has an anticancer action. However, although much is known about the benefits of vitamin D, its action on skin health was not known to date. Previous studies, in fact, had focused on the link between skin tumors and a product deriving from the metabolism of vitamin D, calcidiol, but always with contradictory results. This is because calcidiol cannot be considered a valid indicator of vitamin D in the body, which can be metabolized in active forms, and therefore useful for health, or inactive forms. The study we are talking about today aims to shed light on this topic.
Vitamin D and skin cancer, the study
Scientists recruited 498 people, all adults between 21 and 75 years old and considered at risk of developing skin damage caused by the sun, actinic keratosis and skin cancers. Study participants underwent dermatological checkups and indicated whether they used to take vitamin D in the form of supplements. What emerged is that regular intake of vitamin D as a supplement reduced the risk of developing melanoma compared to those who do not take this vitamin. But even occasional vitamin D consumers have been shown to have a reduced risk of developing melanoma. However, vitamin D did not show protection against photoaging, UV-induced skin damage such as actinic keratosis and other types of skin cancer.
Vitamin D is essential for the health of our body, we have discussed it in previous articles and today's study also proves it. Vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, such as fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs and dairy products. But the natural source of vitamin D par excellence is the sun, which stimulates the synthesis of this vitamin in the skin. Hence the importance of exposing yourself to the sun, always with due precautions, without exaggerating and not in the central hours of the day. As indicated in today's research, vitamin D can also be taken as a supplement. In this case, however, always ask your doctor for advice before starting any treatment as even the excess of vitamins, as can happen in case of do-it-yourself intake, can be harmful.