ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Add your Article

Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk

"We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000-8,000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases -- breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes," study co-author Dr. Cedric Garland, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego, said in a university news release.

Garland admitted that he was surprised that the levels required were so much higher than the 400 IU a day needed to vanquish rickets in the 20th century.

Vitamin D supplements often come in pills or capsules containing 1,000 or 2,000 international units. But 4,000 to 8,000 IU a day is still much lower than the range considered safe by the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, the researchers noted.

The study -- which also involved the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha -- was based on a survey of several thousand people who took supplements ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 IU per day. The volunteers also underwent blood tests to determine the levels of vitamin D metabolites circulating in their blood.

Some studies suggest that only 10 percent of people in the United States have the appropriate level of the vitamin D-related form in their blood to prevent disease linked to a deficiency of the vitamin. These people tend to work outdoors, where their vitamin D levels are boosted through sun exposure.

Last year, a National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee announced that 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D appears safe for adults and kids aged 9 and up.

The IOM's recommended minimum daily level is 600 IU, however, and the Institute noted there were preliminary signals that there might be some harms associated with consuming high levels of vitamin D daily, even at amounts under the recommended upper safe limit.

Garland and his colleagues suggested that 4,000 IU a day is a safe level.

"Now that the results of this study are in, it will become common for almost every adult to take 4000 IU/day," Garland predicted in the news release. "This is comfortably under the 10,000 IU/day that the IOM Committee Report considers as the lower limit of risk, and the benefits are substantial."