In a new study, researchers found that taking vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of developing advanced cancer.
The research was conducted by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
For many years, researchers have been trying to pin down the tantalizing connection between vitamin D and cancer.
Studies have found that people who live near the equator, where exposure to sunlight produces more vitamin D, have lower incidence and death rates from certain cancers.
In cancer cells in the lab and in mouse models, vitamin D has also been found to slow cancer progression.
But the results of randomized clinical trials in humans haven’t yielded a clear answer.
The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), which concluded in 2018, found that vitamin D did not reduce the overall incidence of cancer, but hinted at a decreased risk of cancer deaths.
In the study, the team focused on the connection between taking vitamin D supplements and the risk of metastatic or fatal cancer.
They found that vitamin D was associated with an overall 17% risk reduction for advanced cancer.
When the team looked at only participants with a normal body mass index (BMI), they found a 38% risk reduction, suggesting that body mass may influence the link between vitamin D and decreased risk of advanced cancer.
These findings suggest that vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing advanced cancers.
The team says vitamin D is a supplement that’s readily available, cheap, and has been used and studied for decades.
The findings, especially the strong risk reduction seen in individuals with normal weight, provide new information about the relationship between vitamin D and advanced cancer.
One author of the study is Paulette Chandler, MD, MPH.
The study is published in JAMA Network Open.
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