Vitamin D and cancer

Over the past couple of years, a tremendous amount of new research has come out extoling the benefits of Vitamin D. Previously thought to be a simple vitamin, research is now showing that it has tremendous ramifications on our health. It's long been known to help keep bones strong and prevent things like rickets. However, evidence is mounting that it is an essential nutrient for warding off cancer, tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes, colds, flu etc.

This NBC news video gives a good summary of why we should all pay attention to Vitamin D.

Colon cancer patients who are deficient in Vitamin D are twice as likely to die from the cancer

In addition, here are two rather long but very compelling videos that discuss the importance of Vitamin D for cancer patients:

  1. Vitamin D fights cancer -- and That's not all
    A large study of around 1200 post-menopausal women shows that those who took 1100 IUs of Vitamin D and 1.4grams of Calcium for 4 years had a 60% less chance of getting cancer compared to a placebo group. The principal investigator was Joan Lappe, a professor of nursing and medicine at Creighton University, Nebraska.

  2. Here's a good general overview of the recent excitement surrounding Vitamin D
    The fast-paced publication of reports extolling the virtues of vitamin D is astounding. William B Grant PhD of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, says there is compelling evidence that low vitamin D levels lead to increased risk of rickets (soft bones), osteoporosis (loss of bone), 16 cancers (including prostate, breast, colon, ovary, Hodgkin’s lymphoma), as well as psoriasis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and susceptibility to tuberculosis. [Journal Cosmetic Dermatology 2: 86-98, 2003]. Also note the section on Vitamin D and heart disease.

  3. Sun exposure may protect against non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a case-control study
    Strong statistical evidence for an inverse association between sun exposure and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Increasing evidence that vitamin D may protect against cancer makes UV-mediated synthesis of vitamin D a plausible mechanism whereby sun exposure might protect against NHL

  4. Do sunlight and vitamin D reduce the likelihood of colon cancer?
    (Originally published 1980. Republished 2006) It is proposed that vitamin D is a protective factor against colon cancer. This hypothesis arose from inspection of the geographic distribution of colon cancer deaths in the U.S., which revealed that colon cancer mortality rates were highest in places where populations were exposed to the least amounts of natural light--major cities, and rural areas in high latitudes. The hypothesis is supported by a comparison of colon cancer mortality rates in areas that vary in mean daily solar radiation penetrating the atmosphere. A mechanism involving cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is suggested. The possibility that an ecological fallacy or other indirect association explains the findings is explored.

  5. Fascinating article on Vitamin D and cancer treatment
    They found that early stage lung cancer patients with the highest vitamin D input (from summer season and high intake from diet) lived almost three times longer than patients with the lowest input (winter season and low intake from diet). Three times longer is a huge treatment effect.

  6. This fellow (Dr. Mercola) sells lots of products. But his marketing is usually based off real science. He talks about Vitamin D and its relationship with cancer and autoimmune diseases. The product he refers to is undoubtedly the indoor UV lamp he sells on his site.

  7. Study Sees Link Between Vitamin D, Breast Cancer Prognosis
    Women with the lowest levels of vitamin D (deficient) had nearly double the risk of their disease progressing, and a 73% greater risk of death compared to women with adequate vitamin D. The findings were statistically significant, and were not affected by factors including age, weight, tumor stage or tumor grade

  8. The effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on the growth of soft-tissue sarcoma cells as mediated by the vitamin D receptor
    This study demonstrates the existence of VDR in soft-tissue sarcoma cells and suggests a correlation between the level of VDR in cells and the degree of growth inhibition caused by 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 which may potentially serve as an alternative form of therapy for soft-tissue sarcoma.

    The growth of prostate cancer cells can be halted by combining a form of vitamin D, available only by prescription, with low doses of an over-the-counter painkiller, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found. The combination reduced prostate cancer cell growth in a laboratory dish by up to 70 percent, according to the findings, published in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer Research.