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Higher Vitamin D Levels Reduce Cancer Death Rates up to 52%

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a meticulous analysis of past trials showing that patients with colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma experienced a significantly reduced risk of mortality with higher serum vitamin D levels at diagnosis compared to those with low levels.*

Researchers selected 25 studies involving 17,332 cases of cancer for their meta-analysis.

Compared to lowest quartile, those with vitamin D levels in the top 25% range at the time of diagnosis had far better survival outcomes. For each of the following cancers, the risk of dying decreased by:

  • 37% for breast cancer patients
  • 45% for colorectal cancer patients
  • 52% for lymphoma patients

“By reviewing studies that collectively examined vitamin D levels in 17,332 cancer patients, our analysis demonstrated that vitamin D levels are linked to better outcomes in several types of cancer,” stated Dr. Hui Wang, MD, PhD, Professor of the Institute for Nutritional Sciences at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. “The results suggest vitamin D may influence the prognosis for people with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lymphoma, in particular.”

Researchers found the strongest links between vitamin D levels and survival in breast cancer, lymphoma, and colorectal cancer. There was less evidence of a connection in people with lung cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, melanoma, or Merkel cell carcinoma.

Editor’s Note: Meta-analysis shows 4% reduction in death for all causes for every 4 ng/mL increase in circulating 25-OH vitamin D levels within the range the researchers examined. Serum vitamin D levels in those who don’t supplement are often below 13 ng/mL. By increasing vitamin D intake to 10,000 to 15,000 IU a day, optimal serum levels of 50 to 80 ng/mL can be achieved.

Reference
* JCEM . 2014 Apr 29.