ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
CANCER
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
'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
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Add your Article

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