Common vitamin lowers skin cancer risk–are you getting enough of it?

On Tuesday, I suggested you get some healthy exercise outside in Nature. For one, spending time out in the sun is good for your mind and body. And during the summer, as the sun begins to rise higher in the sky, it’s an ideal time to help boost your vitamin D levels. Sunlight also helps support proper functioning of the eye and the pineal gland. It even supports hormonal functions and sleep cycles, and lowers blood pressure.

Of course, photophobic dermatologists and public health experts warn Americans against spending any time in the sun because they say it causes skin cancer.

Science shows it’s not that simple.

First, 91 percent of so-called skin cancer growths never metastasize, never invade, and never cause death. Plus, they are easily detected and easily removed. Truthfully, doctors shouldn’t even call these growths “cancer.”

Plus, as I’ve explained before, low sunlight exposure and low vitamin D levels actually raise your skin cancer risk. Low vitamin D also raises your risk of developing most other cancers, as well as Type II diabetes, dementia, depression, heart disease, kidney disease, and neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis.

On the flip side, more sunlight exposure and higher vitamin D levels lower your skin cancer risk and all the other aforementioned diseases.

Melanoma is the only truly dangerous form of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer does metastasize and does cause death. But it makes up just 9 percent of all skin cancers. Yet the skin cancer industry makes it seem like all skin cancer is as deadly as melanoma. And they exaggerate the dangers of sun exposure as a contributing factor.

(Plus, new research links higher vitamin D levels with less dangerous, less invasive malignant melanoma skin cancers when they do occur, as I’ll explain in an upcoming Daily Dispatch.)

The good news is…most skin growths don’t cause real harm…no matter what your dermatologist says. Plus, new research out of Australia shows vitamin B3 also lowers your risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer.

For this study, researchers from the University of Australia followed 386 men and women between the ages of 30 and 91 years with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer. The patients took either 500 mg of nicotinamide or a placebo twice daily for one year.

(Nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3. I report on its benefits for hearing in the June 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. Nicotinamide has many advantages over niacin, another form of B3. High doses of niacin can result in skin flushing, headaches, and low blood pressure. Overall, nicotinamide is a safe, inexpensive, and widely available supplement. Of course, I always recommend you get your B3 as part of a daily vitamin B complex–which includes all eight of the B vitamins–to cover all your bases.)

Researchers for this study examined patients for new skin cancers every three months. They found men and women who took vitamin B3 developed 23 percent fewer new, non-melanoma skin cancer growths compared to the placebo group.

Participants who took B3 daily also had 11 percent fewer actinic keratoses, scaly skin patches that are precursors to skin cancer, at the three-month mark. And after six months, they had 20 percent fewer of these precancerous patches than the placebo group.

As you can see, vitamin B3 went right to work protecting the skin. But its benefits disappeared after treatment stopped. So, clearly you need to keep taking the supplements to continue the protective benefits.

People with suppressed immune systems, such as organ transplant recipients who take immune suppressing drugs, have skin cancer rates up to 50 times higher than those with normal systems. So researchers should consider giving vitamin B3 to immunosuppressed men and women in a future study.

Other research shows nicotinamide can provide skin cells with more cellular energy. Plus, it enhances cellular DNA repair and boosts the immune system.

This approach to skin cancer prevention would be a great example of  “complementary” medicine. (As would giving Coenzyme Q10 to men and women who still take statin drugs.) But regardless of the science, big pharma doesn’t seem to want to talk about reducing the toxic side effects of the drugs they sell.

Bottom line?

This study provides more evidence behind three of my long-standing recommendations:

  1. 1. Make sure to get some sun exposure outdoors.
  2. Take a daily B vitamin complex supplement.
  3. Take a daily vitamin D3 supplement.

I recently upped my recommendation for vitamin D3 intake to 10,000 IU daily. And I’ll tell all about my reasoning in tomorrow’s Daily Dispatch. So stay tuned.


“Vitamin Supplement Linked to Reduction in Skin Cancer Risk,” U.S. National Library of Medicine ( 5/13/2015