Can low vitamin D cause cancer? You wonder! The fact is that a number of excellent scientific studies clearly show a low vitamin D may be linked to cancer. Low vitamin D is highly prevalent all over the world. There is a pandemic of low vitamin D. This may be one of the factors for the pandemic of cancer. The good news is that it is so easy to rectify your low vitamin D. Just take vitamin D supplement, that’s all. Its cheap and may not only prevent cancer but also osteoporosis, heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, asthma and other autoimmune disorders…….
Evidence For The Link Between Low Vitamin D And Various Cancers
Researchers from the University of California-San Diego, USA, published an excellent article (1) in the American Journal of Public Health in 2006. They analyzed scientific studies investigating the relationship between vitamin D level and cancer risk. These researchers found 30 studies on colon cancer, 13 studies on breast cancer, 26 studies on prostate cancer and 7 studies on ovarian cancer. In the majority of these studies, researchers concluded that people with a good level of vitamin D had a lower risk for developing these cancers.
Evidence For The Link Between Low Vitamin D And Colon Cancer
The sun exposure—vitamin D—cancer hypothesis was first proposed by Cedric and Frank Garland in an article (2) published in 1980, in International Journal of Epidemiology, to explain the geographical variation of colon cancer mortality rates in the United States for 1950–1969, highest in the Northeast and lowest in the Southwest
In 2005, an excellent study (3) was published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in which researchers concluded that individuals with 25 (OH) Vitamin D level of 33 ng/ml (82 nmol/L) or more had 50% lower incidence of colorectal cancer.
In another excellent study (4) from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA , was published in 2007 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, in which researchers pooled data from two studies: Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), a large ongoing study of male health professionals living in the United States, and the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS). Their analysis showed there was an almost 50% reduction in the risk of colon cancer, comparing the highest with lowest levels of 25 (OH) Vitamin D.
Another study (5) was published in 2007 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In this study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA , investigated if there was any association between vitamin D level and cancer mortality. A total of 16,818 participants in the Third NHANES (National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey) were followed from 1988-1994 through 2000. They found a convincing 72% risk reduction for colorectal cancer mortality for 25 (OH) vitamin D levels of 32 ng/ml (80 nmol/L) or higher compared with levels less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L). However, they did not find any risk reduction for any other cancer mortality.
Evidence For The Link Between Low Vitamin D And Breast Cancer
In a review (6) from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA, published in the Annals of Epidemiology in 2009, the author reported there was about 30% reduction in the risk for breast cancer, comparing the highest with lowest levels of 25 (OH) vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D intake was associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer, but not with prostate cancer.
A recent excellent study (7) comes from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was published in 2013 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This was a case-control study. There were 120 breast cancer cases and 120 controls, without breast cancer. Blood was drawn for 25 (OH) Vitamin D levels in all women. Researchers found that women with level of 25 (OH) vitamin D less than 10 ng/mL (25 nmol/L) had a 6-fold increased risk for invasive breast cancer as compared to women who had 25 (OH) vitamin D of ≥20 ng/mL (45 nmol/L)……..
Excerpts from my book “Power Of Vitamin D” available at amzon.com. Also available as kindle ebook, and Audiobook.
- Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED et al. The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. Am J Pub Health.2006;96(2):252-26.
- Garland CF, Garland FC. Do sunlight and vitamin D reduce the likelihood of colon cancer? Int J Epidemiol. 1980 Sep;9(3):227-31
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Vitamin D and prevention of colorectal cancer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Oct;97(1-2):179-94
- Wu K, Feskanich D, Fuchs CS, Willett WC, Hollis BW, Giovannucci EL. A nested case control study of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and risk of colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Jul 18;99(14):1120-9
- Freedman DM, Looker AC, Chang SC, Graubard BI. Prospective study of serum vitamin D and cancer mortality in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Nov 7;99(21):1594-602
- Giovannucci E. Vitamin D and cancer incidence in the Harvard cohorts. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Feb;19(2):84-8
- Yousef FM, Jacobs ET, Kang PT, Hakim IA, Going S, Yousef JM, Al-Raddadi RM, Kumosani TA, Thomson CA. Vitamin D status and breast cancer in Saudi Arabian women: case-control study.Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 May 22