Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Supplemental vitamin D may reduce the risk of certain cancers

Researchers suggest that improving vitamin D status could reduce cancer incidence and mortality. Since it is difficult to get adequate vitamin D from foods alone, scientists suggest that a vitamin supplement may help raise vitamin D intakes to protective levels.

A recent published report concluded that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature cancer deaths annually. The research team reviewed 63 studies on the relationship between vitamin D and certain types of cancer worldwide between 1966 and 2004. The majority of studies found a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status and lower risk of cancer, especially in cancers of the colon, breast, prostate and ovary. Vitamin D is found in milk, as well as in some fortified orange juice, yogurt and cheeses, usually at around 100 international units (I.U.) a serving. Researchers suggested that people might want to consider a vitamin supplement to raise their overall intake to 1,000 I.U.s per day. Taking more vitamin D could be especially important for people living in northern areas, which receive less vitamin D from sunshine.

Source: The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention, Cedric F. Garland, Frank C. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Martin Lipkin, Harold Newmark, Sharif B. Mohr and Michael F. Holick, American Journal of Public Health, Vol 96, No. 2 252-261 February (2006).