Higher levels of Vitamin D may lower risk of cancer

 10 Apr 2016 - 9:25

Higher levels of Vitamin D may lower risk of cancer

San Diego: Many scientists around the world have been carrying out experimental studies at different levels in order to find out an effective and cost-efficient intervention that can be used to prevent cancer.

In such an effort, researchers at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have found that cancer risk may fall with higher levels of Vitamin D, sometimes called the ‘Sunshine’ vitamin because sunlight is a source of it.

If the findings of the latest study are to be believed, a person can lower his/her risk of cancer by just soaking up the sun or taking a supplement.

According to the UCSD researchers, higher levels of vitamin D, specifically serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, in our blood can predict a reduced risk of cancer.

The researchers included all invasive cancers except skin cancer in their research.

"We have quantitated the ability of adequate amounts of vitamin D to prevent all types of invasive cancer combined," stated Dr. Cedric Garland.

It was Garland and his late brother Frank who had linked vitamin D deficiency with some cancers in 1980. At the time, they had noted people living at higher latitudes were more likely to get bowel (colon) cancer because they have less access to sunlight and hence are more deficient in vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body through sun exposure.

Since then, the researcher duo has determined vitamin D deficiency links to other cancers, such as cancers of breast, lung and bladder.

They conducted the latest study to determine what quantity of vitamin D in blood is required to effectively reduce cancer risk.

For the new study, Garland and co-researchers pooled database from two different types of study: one a clinical trial that included 1,169 women and the other a prospective cohort study involving 1,135 women. By combining the two studies, they obtained a larger sample size and a greater range of blood serum levels of the specific type of Vitamin D.

They found, women with 40 ng/ml or greater of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D had a 67 percent lower risk of cancer than those who had 20 ng/ml of vitamin D level or less.