ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
Cats Can Trigger Eczema in Some Infants
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Maximize Your Run
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival

(HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of vitamin D are linked to less severe, less deadly melanoma lesions in people with skin cancer, new research suggests.

The findings provide more support for the idea that vitamin D is crucial to skin health. Many Americans, however, don't get enough of it, perhaps because they limit sun exposure and drink less milk than in the past.

"Although avoiding sunburn is very important in order to prevent melanoma, it is also important to avoid becoming deficient in vitamin D," said Dr. Julia A. Newton-Bishop, a dermatology professor at the University of Leeds in England and a study co-author. "This is especially important for melanoma patients in whom low vitamin D levels appear to be harmful."

Newton-Bishop and her research colleagues looked at the medical records of 872 people with melanoma and tried to link their vitamin D levels to the severity of their lesions and their likelihood of surviving without a relapse.

Those with higher levels of vitamin D in their bodies had less severe lesions -- the lesions were thinner -- and a lower rate of relapse, the researchers found.

The results are reported in the Sept. 14 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"The research suggests that low levels of vitamin D allow the melanoma tumors to grow better and, therefore, to be more of a threat to the patient," Newton-Bishop said.

It's not clear how food, sun exposure and supplements contributed to the higher levels of vitamin D in some people, although they did take more multivitamins and cod liver oil, she said.

Melanoma is the cause of most skin cancer deaths, even though it accounts for less than 5 percent of skin cancer cases. The best way to prevent melanoma is by avoiding excessive sun exposure.

To boosts levels of vitamin D, people with melanoma should take daily supplements, the authors concluded, and consume foods that contain vitamin D, such as fatty fish and some fortified cereals.

The study is provocative and "somewhat contrary to traditional thinking," said Dr. Adit Ginde, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. More work needs to be done to prove that vitamin D levels directly affect skin cancer development and to determine if increasing the levels will help people with melanoma, he said.

Vitamin D appears to be more than a cancer fighter. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, infections and poor overall health. And adults with low levels may suffer from lower bone mineral density.

But researchers have noticed that vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise in recent decades. An earlier study led by Ginde found that more than 75 percent of Americans don't have high enough vitamin D levels, with African-Americans and Latinos at especially high risk.

Vitamin D is naturally present in few foods, and some researchers recommend supplements containing as many as 2,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D for many people, and even more for those who are obese.

The current recommendations, however, are 200 to 600 units a day, depending on age.

SOURCES: Julia A. Newton Bishop, M.D., professor, dermatology, University of Leeds, England; Adit Ginde, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, surgery, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine; Sept. 14, 2009, Journal of Clinical Oncology Published on: September 27, 2009