Go out in the sun to claim your share of Vitamin D

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Sydney, Jan 9 (UNI) The conventional wisdom --stay out of the sun to avoid getting skin cancer-- might need some reconsideration.

A study suggests that the health benefits of vitamin D, which is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunshine, could justify a modest increase in the amount of time we spend in the sun.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people with higher levels of vitamin D were more likely to survive cancers such as those of the colon, breast and lung.

The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that a lack of vitamin D in our diets may mean people are not getting the full benefits of the nutrient.

Scientists said sunscreens could be used but to increase vitamin D intake through foods such as milk, fish, cod liver oil and some cereals.

They said the amount of sun exposure it takes to produce enough vitamin D is always less than the amount it takes to tan or burn.

In a study published yesterday in the journal Circulation, scientists at the Harvard Medical School found a deficiency of vitamin D increased the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

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