A revolution is underway regarding cancer. Cancer has a new enemy: vitamin D. Although scientists have not made a definitive conclusion regarding Vitamin D’s ability to fight cancer, preliminary results are leaning towards that conclusion. See the excerpt below for further details.

Vitamin D status differs by latitude and race, with residents of the northeastern United States and individuals with more skin pigmentation being at increased risk of deficiency. A PubMed database search yielded 63 observational studies of vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk, including 30 of colon, 13 of breast, 26 of prostate, and 7 of ovarian cancer, and several that assessed the association of vitamin D receptor genotype with cancer risk.

The majority of studies found a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status and lower risk of cancer. The evidence suggests that efforts to improve vitamin D status, for example by vitamin D supplementation, could reduce cancer incidence and mortality at low cost, with few or no adverse effects.

Although vitamin d deficiency is known mainly for its association with fractures and bone disease, its newly recognized association with risk of several types of cancer is receiving considerable attention. The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer annually. This discovery creates a new impetus for ensuring adequate vitamin D intake in order to reduce the risk of cancer.

Source: “The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention.” By Cedric Garland. American Journal of Public Health. doi:  10.2105/AJPH.2004.045260