WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Vitamin D may help protect against obesity-induced endometrial cancer, U.S. researchers suggest.
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington say their research looked at women genetically predisposed to develop endometrial cancer, but for now they advise women concerned about their risk to take vitamin D supplements or spend a few more minutes each week in the sun.
"This vitamin has shown many health benefits in addition to the promise suggested by our mouse study," lead investigator Leena Hilakivi-Clarke says in a statement. "Still, if these results are confirmed in women, use of vitamin D may be a wonderfully simple way to reduce endometrial cancer risk."
However, Hilakivi-Clarke notes in the case of endometrial cancer, vitamin D may only help protect against cancer that develops due to obesity.
The study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, finds 25 percent of obese mice fed a vitamin D supplemented diet developed endometrial cancer, while 67 percent of obese mice not treated with the vitamin developed cancer.
The vitamin D supplementation offered no protective effects for normal weight mice -- about 60 percent of whom developed cancer whether or not they took vitamin D, the study says.