More about Vitamin D and Cancer

More Information Regarding the Value of Vitamin D to Humans: Vitamin D and Cancer

No use to belabor the fact that cancer is everywhere nowadays. Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t call or write informing of another friend or acquaintance who has cancer. The treatment then starts–which so many who’ve gone through it have informed me that it is much worse than the disease. So in the main-because of the latter–I would hope that we all could keep from having to go through such an ordeal.

The growth of cancer deaths since the beginning of the last century are pretty
amazing. At the turn of the 20th Century, cancer was not even in the top ten killers of humans; now it is numero uno–and shows no sign of relenting from its murder spree.

People relate all sorts of things to the proliferation of cancer in the modern
world, from working too hard, to the use of plastic, to a diet of fast food, to
synthetic chemicals and fertilizers, to stress, and on and on-and this even though
there are few to no studies connecting the above to cancer.

But we rarely hear anyone tie humans staying inside more often (some, almost all the time, getting nothing but a slight bit of passive sunlight), which automatically lowers Vitamin D levels, to the proliferation of cancer. Yet there are oodles of studies showing a tight link between low levels of Vitamin D and cancer. (studies show that deformed genes brought about by race-mixing, inbreeding, and exposure to radiation also cause cancer, as well as other diseases; some evidence show that these genes can be corrected with Vitamin D supplementation and certain obtainable enzymes, such as the Wobenzymes many of us take).

Indeed, two grassroots organizations are now focusing on Vitamin D as a preventive measure for cancer. There are already over 800 studies (see below for a few of the 800) supporting the fact that Vitamin D prevents a large percentage of several types of cancer. And not only does it prevent certain cancers, those with higher levels of Vitamin D when diagnosed with the types of cancer that it does not help to prevent have much higher survival rates.

Vitamin D has a protective effect against cancer in several ways, including:

1. Increasing the self-destruction of deformed cells (which, if allowed to
replicate, could lead to cancer).

2. Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells.

3. Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation).

4. Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous.

The Vitamin D Council, a nonprofit educational corporation based in California,
recently launched their “Vitamin D and Cancer” campaign, presenting 20 detailed summaries of the evidence. The summaries were prepared by epidemiologist Dr. William Grant, founder of the nonprofit organization, Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC). He also serves as the Science Director for the Vitamin D Council.

See to this site and select the type of cancer you want to review from the listing on the left:

According to the Vitamin D Council:

“Some researchers believe the link between vitamin D sufficiency and a decreased risk in cancer is promising. A randomized controlled trial found a 77 percent reduction in all-cancer incidence when the study group supplemented with 1,100 IU/day of vitamin D plus 1,450 mg/day calcium. Says Dr. Grant, “Based on various studies of UVB, vitamin D and cancer to date, it appears that global cancer burden can be reduced by 15-25 percent if everyone had vitamin D blood levels above 40 ng/ml.”

Some of the facts presented in these summaries include:

1. Geographical studies have found reduced risk in mortality rates for 20 types
of cancer in regions of higher solar UVB doses.

2. Observational studies have found that the risk of breast, colon, and rectal
cancer fall as vitamin D blood levels rise at least up to 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L).

3. Those with higher vitamin D blood levels at time of cancer diagnosis have
nearly twice the survival rate of those with the lowest levels.

4. Higher UVB exposure early in life is associated with reduced risk of breast
and prostate cancer.

So we may conclude that it is a fact that both supplementation with Vitamin D3 and moderate exposure to sunlight throughout life are definite ways to prevent many forms of the most horrible of horrid diseases: cancer.

A Few of the Over 800 Studies Carried Out on the All-Important Vitamin D

All showed Vitamin D supplementation had various positive effects, as does the
Vitamin D (which turns into D3) which the sun synthesizes in humans.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Giovannucci E, Willett WC, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Estimation of optimal serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for multiple health outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):18-28. Review.

Cannell J, Hollis B, Zasloff M, Heaney R. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D
deficiency. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Jan;9(1):107-118.

Cannell JJ, Hollis BW. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):6-20.

Cherniack EP, Florez H, Roos BA, Troen BR, Levis S. Hypovitaminosis D in the
elderly: from bone to brain. J Nutr Health Aging. 2008 Jun-Jul;12(6):366-73.

DeLuca HF. The vitamin D story: a collaborative effort of basic science and
clinical medicine. FASEB J. 1988 Mar 1;2(3):224-36. Review.

Grant WB, Garland CF, Holick, MF. Comparisons of estimated economic burdens due to insufficient solar ultraviolet irradiance and vitamin D and excess solar UV
irradiance for the United States. Photochem Photobiol. 2005;81:1276-86.

Grant WB, Holick MF. Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):94-111.

Holick MF. High prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and implications for health.
Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Mar;81(3):353-73.

Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jul 19;357(3):266-81.

Jablonski NG, Chaplin G. The evolution of human skin coloration. J Hum Evol. 2000 Jul;39(1):57-106.

Lips P. Vitamin D physiology. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;92(1):4-8.

Lucas RM, McMichael AJ, Armstrong BK, Smith WT. Estimating the global disease burden due to ultraviolet radiation exposure. Int J Epidemiol. 2008

Martins e Silva J. [Brief history of rickets and of the discovery of vitamin D]
Acta Reumatol Port. 2007 Jul-Sep;32(3):205-29. Portuguese. (very interesting with some text in English)

Norman AW. Minireview: vitamin D receptor: new assignments for an already busy receptor. Endocrinology. 2006 Dec;147(12):5542-8.

Rajakumar K, Thomas SB. Reemerging nutritional rickets: a historical perspective. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Apr;159(4):335-41.

Schwalfenberg, G., Not enough vitamin D: health consequences for Canadians. Can Fam Physician, 2007. 53(5): p. 841-54.

Stumpf WE. Vitamin D and the digestive system. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2008 Apr-Jun;33(2):85-100.


Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, Giovannucci E, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Fracture prevention with vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2005 May 11;293(18):2257-64.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Baron JA, Burckhardt P, Li R, Spiegelman D, Specker B, Orav JE, Wong JB, Staehelin HB, O’Reilly E, Kiel DP, Willett WC.
Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of
prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1780-90.

Brown SE. Vitamin D and fracture reduction: an evaluation of the existing
research. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):21-33.


Abbas S, Linseisen J, Slanger T, Kropp S, Mutschelknauss EJ, Flesch-Janys D,
Chang-Claude J. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of post-menopausal breast cancer–results of a large case-control study. Carcinogenesis. 2008

Boscoe FP, Schymura MJ. Solar ultraviolet-B exposure and cancer incidence and
mortality in the United States, 1993-2002. BMC Cancer. 2006 Nov 10;6:264.

Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED, Lipkin M, Newmark H, Mohr SB, Holick MF. The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. Am J Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):252-61.

Garland CF, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Gorham ED, Garland FC. What is the dose-response relationship between vitamin D and cancer risk? Nutr Rev. 2007 Aug;65(8 Pt 2):S91-5.

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Rimm EB, Hollis BW, Fuchs CS. Stampfer MJ, Willett WH.
Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and cancer incidence and
mortality in men. JNCI 2006; 98:451-9.

Grant WB. An estimate of premature cancer mortality in the U.S. due to inadequate doses of solar ultraviolet-B radiation. Cancer. 2002 Mar 15;94(6):1867-75.

Grant WB, Garland CF. The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing
risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in
age-adjusted cancer mortality rates. Anticancer Res. 2006 Jul -Aug;26(4A):2687-99.

Ingraham BA, Bragdon B, Nohe A. Molecular basis of the potential of vitamin D to prevent cancer. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008;24:139-49.

John EM, Koo J, Schwartz GG. Sun Exposure and Prostate Cancer Risk: Evidence for a Protective Effect of Early-Life Exposure. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16 1283-1286.

Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91.

Moan J, Porojnicu AC, Dahlback A, Setlow RB. Addressing the health benefits and risks, involving vitamin D or skin cancer, of increased sun exposure. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 15;105(2):668-73.

Ng K, Meyerhardt JA, Kana Wu, Feskanich D, Hollis BW, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and survival in patients with colorectal cancer J Clin Oncol. Jun 20 2008: 2984-2991.

Nürnberg B, Schadendorf D, Gärtner B, Pföhler C, Herrmann W, Tilgen W, Reichrath J. Progression of malignant melanoma is associated with reduced 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels. Exp Dermatol. 2008 Jul;17(7):627.

Pilz S, Dobnig H, Winklhofer-Roob B, Riedmüller G, Fischer JE, Seelhorst U,
Wellnitz B, Boehm BO, März W. Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin d predict
fatal cancer in patients referred to coronary angiography. Cancer Epidemiol
Biomarkers Prev. 2008 May;17(5):1228-33.

Porojnicu AC, Dahlback A, Moan J. Sun exposure and cancer survival in Norway:
changes in the risk of death with season of diagnosis and latitude. Adv Exp Med
Biol. 2008;624:43-54.

Reichrath J, Nürnberg B. Solar UV-radiation, vitamin D and skin cancer
surveillance in organ transplant recipients (OTRs). Adv Exp Med Biol.
2008;624:203-14. Review.

Infectious diseases

Adams JS, Hewison M. Unexpected actions of vitamin D: new perspectives on the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Feb;4(2):80-90.

Aloia JF, Li-Ng M. Re: epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2007
Oct;135(7):1095-6; author reply 1097-8.

Bikle DD. Vitamin D and the immune system: role in protection against bacterial
infection. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2008 Jul;17(4):348-52.

Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, Garland CF,
Giovannucci E. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006

Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, Giovannucci E. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29.

Liu PT, Stenger S, Tang DH, Modlin RL. Cutting edge: vitamin D-mediated human
antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on the
induction of cathelicidin. J Immunol. 2007 Aug 15;179(4):2060-3.

Mookherjee N, Rehaume LM, Hancock RE. Cathelicidins and functional analogues as antisepsis molecules. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2007 Aug;11(8):993-1004. Review.

White JH. Vitamin D signaling, infectious diseases, and regulation of innate
immunity. Infect Immun. 2008 Sep;76(9):3837-43.

Autoimmune diseases

Adorini L, Penna G. Control of autoimmune diseases by the vitamin D endocrine
system. Nat Clin Pract Rheumatol. 2008 Jul 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Ascherio A, Munger KL. Environmental risk factors for multiple sclerosis. Part II: Noninfectious factors. Ann Neurol. 2007 Jun;61(6):504-13.

Cantorna MT, Mahon BD. Mounting evidence for vitamin D as an environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004
Dec;229(11):1136-42. Review

Munger KL, Levin LI, Hollis BW, Howard NS, Ascherio A. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2006 Dec 20;296(23):2832-8.

Cardiovascular disease

Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, Renner W, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Kinkeldei J,
Boehm BO, Weihrauch G, Maerz W. Independent Association of Low Serum
25-Hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Levels With All-Cause and
Cardiovascular Mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1340-1349.

Forman JP, Giovannucci E, Holmes MD, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Tworoger SS, Willett WC, Curhan GC. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of incident hypertension. Hypertension. 2007 May;49(5):1063-9.

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of
myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun

Martins D, Wolf M, Pan D, Zadshir A, Tareen N, Thadhani R, Felsenfeld A, Levine B, Mehrotra R, Norris K. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the serum
levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the United States: data from the Third National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun

Michos ED, Melamed ML. Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Jan;11(1):7-12.

Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, Astor B. 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and the risk of mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1629-37.

Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Boehm BO, März W. Low
Vitamin D Levels Predict Stroke in Patients Referred to Coronary Angiography.
Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2611-3

Pilz S, März W, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Dimai HP, Boehm BO, Dobnig H. Association of vitamin D deficiency with heart failure and sudden
cardiac death in a large cross-sectional study of patients referred for coronary
angiography. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Wang TJ, Pencina MJ, Booth SL, Jacques PF, Ingelsson E, Lanier K, Benjamin EJ,
D’Agostino RB, Wolf M, Vasan RS. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2008 Jan 29;117(4):503-11.


Knekt P, Laaksonen M, Mattila C, Härkänen T, Marniemi J, Heliövaara M, Rissanen H, Montonen J, Reunanen A. Serum Vitamin D and Subsequent Occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes. Epidemiology. 2008 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Pittas AG, Lau J, Hu FB, Dawson-Hughes B. The role of vitamin D and calcium in
type 2 diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2017-29.

Congestive heart failure

Zittermann A, Schleithoff SS, Götting C, Dronow O, Fuchs U, Kuhn J, Kleesiek K,
Tenderich G, Koerfer R. Poor outcome in end-stage heart failure patients with low circulating calcitriol levels. Eur J Heart Fail. 2008 Mar;10(3):321-7.

Periodontal disease and dental caries

Dale BA, Fredericks LP. Antimicrobial peptides in the oral environment: expression and function in health and disease. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2005 Jul;7(2):119-33.

Dietrich T, Joshipura KJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Association
between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and periodontal disease in the US population. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jul;80(1):108-13.

Dietrich T, Nunn M, Dawson-Hughes B, Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Association between
serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and gingival inflammation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):575-80.

East BR. Mean Annual Hours of Sunshine and the Incidence of Dental Caries. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1939 Jul;29(7):777-80.

The brain

McCann JC, Ames BN. Is there convincing biological or behavioral evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to brain dysfunction? FASEB J. 2008 Apr;22(4):982-1001.

The skin

Reichrath J. Vitamin D and the skin: an ancient friend, revisited. Exp Dermatol.
2007 Jul;16(7):618-25

Life expectancy

Autier P, Gandini S. Vitamin D Supplementation and Total Mortality: A
Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Sep

Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, Astor B. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the risk of mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1629-37.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at the population level

Binkley N, Novotny R, Krueger D, Kawahara T, Daida YG, Lensmeyer G, Hollis BW, Drezner MK. Low vitamin D status despite abundant sun exposure. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2130-5.

Nesby-O’Dell S, Scanlon KS, Cogswell ME, Gillespie C, Hollis BW, Looker AC, Allen
C, Doughertly C, Gunter EW, Bowman BA. Hypovitaminosis D prevalence and
determinants among African American and white women of reproductive age: third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):187-92.

Rovner AJ, O’Brien KO. Hypovitaminosis D among healthy children in the United
States: a review of the current evidence. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008

Vitamin D doses, requirements and considerations

Aloia JF, Patel M, Dimaano R, Li-Ng M, Talwar SA, Mikhail M, Pollack S, Yeh JK.
Vitamin D intake to attain a desired serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1952-8.

Gordon CM, Feldman HA, Sinclair L, et al. Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency Among Healthy Infants and Toddlers. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162[6]:505-512.

Hathcock JN, Shao A, Vieth R, Heaney R. Risk assessment for vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;85(1):6-18. Review.

Heaney RP, Davies KM, Chen TC, Holick MF, Barger-Lux MJ. Human serum
25-hydroxycholecalciferol response to extended oral dosing with cholecalciferol. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):204-10.

Hollis BW. Vitamin D requirement during pregnancy and lactation. J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec;22 Suppl 2:V39-44. Review.

Vieth R, Bischoff-Ferrari H, Boucher BJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Garland CF, Heaney RP, Holick MF, Hollis BW, Lamberg-Allardt C, McGrath JJ, Norman AW, Scragg R, Whiting SJ, Willett WC, Zittermann A. The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;85(3):649-50.

Vitamin D and dark skin

Egan KM, Signorello LB, Munro HM, Hargreaves MK, Hollis BW, Blot WJ. Vitamin D insufficiency among African-Americans in the southeastern United States:
implications for cancer disparities (United States). Cancer Causes Control. 2008

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Willett WC. Cancer incidence and mortality and vitamin D in black and white male health professionals. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Dec;15(12):2467-72.

Grant WB. Lower vitamin-D production from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance may
explain some differences in cancer survival rates. J Natl Med Assoc. 2006

Compiled by The Artful Dodger

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