As the winter solstice approaches, the shortest day of the year signals the start of winter when sunlight hours fall to an average of just two a day.1 Bupa, the UK's leading healthcare company is urging people to take Vitamin D to reduce their risk of cancer as day-time no longer means sun-time.
Vitamin D helps protect against certain cancers such as breast, bowel, prostate and colon. For people to obtain enough Vitamin D naturally, they need either to expose their skin to lots of summer sun or eat large quantities of oily fish. Bupa's assistant medical director, Dr Virginia Warren said: "Natural ways to get enough vitamin D aren't realistic because our skin cannot make vitamin D from winter sunlight in the UK as it is too weak. In the summer, people are rightly concerned about risks of skin cancer. And nobody wants to eat four tins of mackerel every day to get their vitamin D from oily fish."
Now, after analysing years of independent research,2 Bupa says the only alternative is to take Vitamin D supplements to reduce the chance of developing cancer by 26 percent.3 People need to take at least 1,500 - 2000 international units (IU) a day, which equates to 3-4 high strength capsules (12.5 micrograms/capsule).
Dr Warren continues: "People have to act now to take preventative measures against cancer for their future long-term health. The old-fashioned view was to take a low daily dose of Vitamin D for healthy bones. Cancer is today's biggest killer and we need to protect our bodies from it as much as we can. Taking Vitamin D supplements are an effective, inexpensive and easy way of doing that."
-ends- For more information please contact: Michelle Gibb; Bupa Corporate Affairs; Tel: +44 (0) 20 7656 2667; Email: michelle.gibb at bupa.com
Notes to editors:
1 Based on average weather conditions for London via BBC Weather http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT003790
2 Research from Hypponen E & Power C Am J Clin Nut 2007;85:860-8, JNCI 2006;98:451-59, Oh et al (Am J Epidemiol 2007;165:1178-86), Skinner HG et al Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers and Prev 2006;15:1688-95, John E et al Jsteroid Biochem Mol Biol 2004;89-90:549-52, Lappe JM et al Am J Clin Nut 2007;85:1586-91
3 Giovannucci E et al Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JCNI) 2006;98:451-59
Bupa is a leading international healthcare company. Established in 1947, it has over ten million customers in more than 190 countries and employs over 52,000 people around the world.
Its main interests are health insurance, care homes for young disabled and older people, workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health coaching and healthcare services in the home.
While Bupa's largest and original business is in the UK, it has significant operations around the world including Sanitas in Spain, MBF, HBA, Mutual Community in Australia, IHI in Denmark and Health Dialog in the US. Bupa also has businesses in Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, China and Latin America. In addition, Bupa Care Services owns care homes in Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
Bupa has no shareholders. We reinvest our money to provide better healthcare for our customers, helping them to live longer, happier, healthier lives.
- - - - - -