People who regularly take a vitamin D supplement increase their longevity by 7 per cent, researchers have discovered.
And the reason could be because the vitamin offers natural protection against most cancers, and stops cancer cells from proliferating. It may also boost the immune system and the function of the blood vessels.
Even one tablet a day, with a potency of 600 IUs, offers protection against a range of diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
The importance of vitamin D supplementation has been made by researchers from France's International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the European Institute of Oncology. They analysed 18 studies, which involved 57,311 participants, and those who regularly took a standard vitamin D vitamin every day had a 7 per cent lower risk of death than those who did not.
Vitamin D can be found in milk and yoghurt, eggs, fatty fish and yeast, and the body naturally produces it when exposed to sunlight.
But researchers say it is "a great idea" to increase your intake by supplementing.
(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2007; 167: 1709-10).