Vitamin D for Skin Cancer Defense
For women at high risk of melanoma, taking a combination of calcium and vitamin D may significantly reduce chances of developing the disease. That’s the finding from a recent study from the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which included more than 36,000 women ages 50 to 79.
Looking at data from a previous clinical trial involving 36,282 adult females, researchers found that those who had a history of non-melanoma skin cancer and took supplements containing calcium and vitamin D for seven years developed 57 percent fewer melanomas (compared to women with similar skin-cancer histories who did not take calcium and vitamin D during the seven-year period). However, the supplements did not appear to reduce melanoma risk among women without a history of non-melanoma skin cancer.
Although it’s not known how calcium and vitamin D might protect against melanoma, the study’s authors note that vitamin D controls how rapidly skin cells replicate.
Vitamin E May Fight Stroke Damage
Vitamin E may shield the brain from damage suffered during a stroke, a recent animal-based study from the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism suggests.
For the study, 20 dogs received either a placebo or a capsule containing mixed tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E widely available in supplements) every day for 10 weeks. After inducing stroke in the dogs, researchers took brains scans of the animals and examined the scans for damaged tissue. Twenty-four hours after the stroke, lesions in brains of dogs given vitamin E were 80 percent smaller (compared to the lesions in the untreated animals).
Although it’s too soon to tell whether vitamin E could have the same effect on human brains, the study’s authors suggest that preventive use of vitamin E may benefit people who have experienced a “ministroke” (a temporary stoppage of blood flow in the brain). The authors note that undergoing a ministroke is considered the top risk factor for suffering a major stroke.