According to study findings from Harvard researchers, a low vitamin D status, especially among people with dark skin, could up the risk of a number of cancers.
Dark skinned people are at greater risk of having a low vitamin D status, since dark skin produces less vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
Researchers assessed the dietary intakes of about 130 food and beverages items every four years using food frequency questionnaires during the 16 year study period.
After accounting for various risk factors, researchers found that dark skinned men had a significantly higher risk of total cancer incidence (30 percent), total cancer mortality (89 percent) than their white counterparts.
Poor vitamin D status further increased these numbers with a total cancer incidence of 57 percent and cancer mortality with a 127 percent increased risk.
Researchers do not conclude that vitamin D status is the cause of the cancers, but rather may be a contributing factor.
Findings were published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
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