New research suggests obese cancer patients tend to have lower levels of vitamin D, and doctors should take the weight status of such patients into consideration when establishing their vitamin D supplementation needs.
The study of 740 cancer patients was conducted by scientists from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and found that those with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 — which is a common measure of obesity— had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared to their non-obese counterparts (BMI lower than 30.
According to Carolyn Lammersfeld, national director of nutrition for CTCA and a principal investigator in the study, the current dietary recommendations for vitamin D which do not take into account a patient’s BMI need to be rewritten.
Scientists are becoming increasingly alarmed as studies show the average blood levels of the vitamin appear to have decreased in the U.S. population between 1994 and 2004.
This is happening at a time when a growing body of research points to vast health benefits of vitamin D that include not only bone health, but also a possible protective effect from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.
Consequently, health practitioners are suggesting supplementation in excess of the previous recommendations of 200 IUD. Some health practitioners advocate taking as much as 2,000 IUD a day.