Vitamin D may strongly reduce cancer risk

vitamin D fish oil

Vitamin D, which can be found in liver and fish oils, is essential for calcium absorption and prevention of rickets in children and senior adults.

Recently, researchers find that vitamin D may also help reduce cancer risk. The finding is published in PLOS ONE.

The study was conducted by GrassrootsHealth in California, University of California San Diego, and Creighton University. GrassrootsHealth is a consortium of scientists, institutions and individuals committed to solving the worldwide vitamin D deficiency epidemic.

Researchers focused on the effects of vitamin D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D) in women aged 55 years and older across a broad range of vitamin D concentrations.

They collected data from two cohort studies. One was the Lappe cohort study, which included 1,169 participants; and the other was the GrassrootsHealth cohort study, which included 1,135 participants.

Cancer incidence (all invasive cancers except skin cancer) over a multi-year period was recorded and compared in different vitamin D concentrations.

The result showed that cancer incidence was lower at higher concentrations of vitamin D. Women with concentrations >= 40 ng/ml had a 67% lower risk of cancer than women with concentrations < 20 ng/ml.

Researchers suggest that higher concentrations of vitamin D (>= 40 ng/ml) are associated with lower risk of all invasive cancer combined.

However, it is also important to know that ultra-high concentrations of vitamin D (> 125 ng/ml) may produce side effects.

People can obtain vitamin D daily in several ways, including diet, sunlight exposure, and vitamin D supplementation. Food rich in vitamin D includes oily fish, mushrooms, fish roe, tofu, cereals, dairy product, pork, and eggs.

Citation: McDonnell SL, et al. (2016). Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations ≥40 ng/ml Are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study. PLOS ONE, 11: e0152441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152441.
Figure legend: This image is for illustrative purposes only.