How Vitamin D Can Help To Prevent Cancer

How Vitamin D Can Help To Prevent Cancer

With the weather finally heating up, the big question is what is healthy when it comes to the sun? As we know, too much UV radiation can damage DNA in your skin cells and can cause cancer. However, there are also many benefits to the right amount of exposure!

Vitamin D is widely known to promote calcium absorptions in the gut, ensure appropriate bone growth and now, lower chances of cancer.

A Research study carried out by a team in Japan from the National Cancer Centre concluded that people with higher levels of Vitamin D had a 22% lower chance of being diagnosed with Cancer. There was also strong statistical evidence that people with high vitamin D levels were 55% less likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer. Another report from Michigan State University stated that if taken for more than three years, Vitamin D may add years to life for those who are currently suffering from cancer.

Although statistics may be low it is important to maintain the intake of vitamin D for general health! With summer approaching its important that you get outside and soak in the sun! But also be mindful of wearing sunscreen and keeping hydrated in the heat.



Here a few tips to make sure you’re getting the right about of Vitamin D:

  • You need at least 15 minutes of sun exposure between 10 am – 3 pm several times a week, whether that’s opting to walk to the shops or just sitting outside on your break, a small amount of such each day does a world of good. People with darker skin will need to spend more time in the sun as higher levels of melanin can inhibit vitamin D production.
  • As well as the sun you can also absorb vitamin D through food. Meals containing oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and egg yolks contain a high amount of vitamin D.
  • Supplements are also another option to increase your intake of vitamin D and are easy to purchase from your nearest supermarket. Vegan supplements are also available which can be found in speciality health stores or online.
  • Always make sure you are wearing sun cream and staying hydrated whenever you are out. Check out our recent re-post of the article ‘SPF, UVA, UVB: Sun Cream Explained’ to understand why suncream is so important and which type you should be using!


Stay safe and soak in that vitamin D peeps!


Cancer Prevention & Exercise: Is there really a link?

Cancer Prevention & Exercise: Is there really a link?

Exercising can play a vital role in reducing the chances of cancer developing. Physical activity is classed as anything that requires more energy and uses more muscles than resting does. As we all know exercise has lots of positive effects on the body, some of which can be linked to the reduction in the risk of developing cancer.

Exercising not only helps to prevent obesity and decreases the effects on the body obesity causes such as insulin resistance, it also helps to improve the function of the immune system.

Exercising also reduces the levels of hormones in the body, these hormones can be linked to the cause of cancer.

Higher levels of hormones such as Oestrogen can be linked the cause of breast cancer. Lowering levels of hormones such as Oestrogen and Insulin can help prevent chances of developing cancer. A lower percentage of body fat also means your body will produce less Oestrogen also reducing the risk of developing cancer.

It is recommended that adults take part in 150 minutes of exercise a week, about 30 minutes a day.

So how can you be more active?

Here are a few ideas to get you moving more:

  • Get off the bus or tube a stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Join a local sports group that meets weekly
  • Make the most of the lighter summer evenings a go for brisk walk
  • Gardening

There a lots of fitness apps and videos available for free making exercise fun and easy without even leaving the comfort of your home such as Strava, 7 Minute Workouts and the 30 Day Fitness Challenge!

Let us know how you keep fit or any other tips for making exercise fun by tweeting @theVPcharity

How can choosing the right skincare help to prevent cancer?

How can choosing the right skincare help to prevent cancer?

Makeup and skincare is designed to help us feel amazing and enhance our natural beauty, but do you know what you’re actually putting on your skin?

Some chemicals used in cosmetics can be potentially harmful and even contribute to the cause of cancer. While studies into these findings are ongoing there is evidence to suggest that these chemicals should be avoided.

Some chemicals in cosmetic products are considered to be hormone disruptors, these can affect how oestrogen and other hormones in the body work by either blocking them or mimicking how they work this disrupts the body’s normal hormonal balance. Oestrogens stimulate breast cell growth and production. This can contribute to the production of damaged cells and potentially increase the likelihood of mutations which may lead to breast cancer, it is best to limit exposure to chemicals that can act like oestrogen.

What you can do to keep yourself looking great on the outside while also looking after what’s going on on the inside?

Check the labels!

When buying new products take a few extra minutes to look carefully at what is in your skincare and makeup. Check the ingredients list for Parabens. Parabens are chemical preservatives that are used to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. The parabens used most commonly in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben. They can penetrate the skin and act like very weak oestrogen in the body. Luckily there are EU regulations that limit the maximum concentration that companies can use of each preservative but the number of preservatives they can use in each product.

Check for Phthalates these are commonly used to hold color and reduce brittleness in nail polish and hairspray. They are a hormone disruptor whilst they don’t act exactly like oestrogen, they can disrupt the balance of other hormones that interact with estrogen, including testosterone. Phthalates are often trickier to identify as they can be hidden under the “fragrance/parfum” list.

An easy way of finding out what is in all of your favourite products is to visit websites and apps such as and Find your favourite products and they will rate your product and its ingredients list.




Top 10 ingredients to avoid in beauty products

Why Is Gut Health an Important Part of Overall Well-Being?

Why Is Gut Health an Important Part of Overall Well-Being?

Scientists have only recently discovered the real role of the gut in keeping us healthy and happy, but I believe we always knew. After all, the so-called ‘gut feeling’ can be extremely powerful and there are situations when it drives some of our most important decisions.

But it’s not just about intuition; the gut (or the microbiota) has a heavy word to say in terms of general health. Recent studies are showing a strong connection between the cells that make the immune and the gut microbiome. As a direct result, when the gut isn’t happy, your body’s defensive system is weakened, which can lead to all sorts of complications.

According to Hippocrates, “all disease begins in the gut”. While no one really paid attention to the father of modern medicine, today’s scientists already consider the gut microbiota as a second brain of the human body. This is because there are over 100 million nerve cells lining the entire Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. These cells are in charge with digestion, but they’re also on a direct communication line with the brain, sending signals about the overall health of the gut.

Also known as the Enteric Nervous System (or the ENS) these cells are also responsible for your general mood and well-being. They influence the mineral and vitamin absorption levels, toxin elimination, and even have a powerful effect on your mental health.

Mental Health

Scientists don’t have a clear understanding of how this system works, but people with bowel disorders (such as Celiac disease or leaky gut) seem to be more likely to develop depression and anxiety. It’s also believed that certain circulatory problems can be connected to an unhealthy gut.

According to research, when the gut is inflamed or irritated, the ENS sends signals to the Central Nervous System, which can end up in mood changes. Furthermore, these signals may also have a saying in the alteration of certain cognitive functions such as memory or thinking (it is believed Parkinson’s disease is influenced by the gut).

Finally, a recent study found that 90% of the serotonin in the body is produced by the digestive tract and not by the brain. In conclusion, a massive part of our serotonin production is influenced by the presence or absence of certain bacteria in the digestive tract.

General Appearance

A healthy gut also supports a healthy figure, keeps the skin well-nourished, and the hair strong and shiny. The diet has a strong influence on how we look in general, but the GI tract is the one that decides where the vitamins and minerals go.

If the GI tract isn’t happy or doesn’t support the right type of bacteria, your weight loss progress will slow down and the skin will have a frail, ashy aspect. Of course, there are other causes of abnormal weight gain and difficulty in keeping a healthy figure, but studies shown that the lack of certain bacteria can be detrimental.    

What to Do

As you can see, the gut microbiota is getting more and more important every day. So, to make sure you will continue to stay healthy and happy, you should pay a lot more attention to the type of food that goes into your GI tract.

For instance, the diet filled with sugary and fatty foods, highly processed and deep-fried, is damaging to the gut. While it’s true that the damage doesn’t happen instantly, such a diet can lead to serious health complications in time.

Specialists recommend avoiding processed foods for as much as possible and replacing them with whole foods. Also, fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickles, kimichi) and probiotics like Miso are the best to keep the gut happy.

Overall, it is important to analyse our lifestyle and understand the damages we produce to our own general well-being. If so many things depend on a healthy gut, isn’t it worth it to at least try to protect it?

Team VP top tip: Click here to see the top 10 areas to always consider when looking at your health and reducing your risk of cancer, provided by the “World Cancer Research Fund”.



The Good Gut

Stewart is a health expert and content manager at TheGoodGut. Believer in a spread of actual and factual information.