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Vitamin D Can Slow Cancer Progression, Study Concludes

December 17, 2009 by  

Vitamin D can slow cancer progression, study concludesA recent study conducted by The Mayo Clinic suggests a strong link between vitamin D levels and cancer progression in lymphoma patients.

Researchers studied 374 patients who were recently diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, half of whom had insufficient levels of vitamin D.

Patients who were deficient in the vitamin had a 50 percent greater risk of cancer progression and a two-fold greater risk of death compared to those with optimal levels of the compound.

"While these findings are very provocative, they are preliminary and need to be validated in other studies," said endocrinologist Matthew Blake. "However, they raise the issue of whether vitamin D supplementation might aid in treatment for this malignancy, and thus should stimulate much more research," he added.

The study reinforces previous findings that suggest that vitamin D is critical to the maintenance of overall health. It can be found in many dietary sources including eggs, fortified milk and fish as well as inexpensive dietary supplements. In addition, some 15 minutes in the sun three times a week in the summer may help replenish vitamin D levels.

Recent studies have also found that vitamin D may provide protection from high blood pressure and several autoimmune diseases.

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  • toby

    There is now data on vitamin D affecting progression rates of breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. In terms of prevention there are data on almost every type of cancer and the data is growing by the day. has a lot of good information.

  • oldbill

    The study does not conclude if vitamin D deficiency is causal or coincidental.

    Judging from the surface area of our skin, it would seem logical that we are designed to run around naked, for twelve hours a day, in the bright sunlight. We aren’t born with clothes or sunscreen on.

    Coincidental, cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and chronic illnesses have soared over the past 50 years as the Medical community has recommended we stop eating salt, sugar, fat meat, and slather on the sunscreen. What a shock!

    • Paul

      The actual and formal recommendations of the American College of Dermatology are to apply 1 ounce of “sunscreen” every two hours. Works out to 1/4 pound a day, each and every day rain or shine summer or winter. There is a good write-up that echoes some of what you were saying here there is also some general vitamin D info there as well.

    • s c

      Bill, the AMA crowd has not done much to motivate people to reduce sugar intake. In fact, you don’t have to look around very long to find many MDs who are not above telling their diabetic patients to continue drinking soda that contains nutrasweet (or other artificial sweeteners).
      Because artificial sweeteners can cause the human pancreas to shut down, I fail to understand how or why they can justify telling their patients to ‘go ahead’ and suck up that nasty stuff. I suspect that MDs are routinely ‘persuaded’ to believe everything they’re told by Big Pharma and its main pimp, the FDA.
      I would like to assume that MDs do look at current medical research (occasionally), but as they still consider artificial sweeteners “safe,” I have to wonder what it takes for a patient to get the benefit of new research, as opposed to an MD relying on information that was valid/safe when they were in medical school. This is 2009, and what was true ‘then’ no longer applies.
      It makes a case for the idea that money and silence are higher priorities for the medical crowd than healthy patients.

  • toby

    old bill said the study did not define if vitamin D levels were causal or coincidental. The same relationship has now been shown in many conditions plus we have lab data demonstrating a mechanism of action. It is also worth noting that the pharma industry spenT billions trying to produce analogues of vitamin D as the anti cancer activity of vitamin D was recognised by them many years ago. Unfortunately for the industry the biochemistry of vitamin D outsmarted them. In short there is no advantage to being deficient, so even if you are not convinced about the causal relationship, correcting a deficiency is not a bad thing. The question we should all be asking is why dont we have definitive studies answering the basic questions when the anticancer data on vitamin D has been growing for 30 years and we have been funding NCI with billions of $-but then I think we all know the answer to that one!

  • s c

    In a way, maybe hell has frozen over. If they ‘get it’ at the Mayo clinic, then it should be asked why it is that most American MDs still refuse to make the connection between good health and supplements.
    Whoever is responsible for instilling in future American MDs the idea that they know everything should be held up to permanent public ridicule. Arrogance in American medical schools is so strong and runs so deep that we may never see the day when MDs are forced to admit that natural substances tend to be SAFE, while prescription drugs tend to be DANGEROUS.
    Anyone who doesn’t yet know that common sense and real science aren’t priorities with the AMA crowd will soon get a rude, world-class awakening.

    • Suzanne

      Doctors aren’t taught nutrition in medical school. That’s the answer — plain and simple. Most of them, unless they choose to learn it on their own, can’t even keep themselves healthy because they were only taught how to prescribe drugs.

      The answer to almost all health issues is a healthy diet (grass fed meats, raw dairy, organic fruits and vegetables, organic non-glutenous grains, some fermented foods every day and no junk (packaged products with excitotoxins like MSG and HFCS in them) with food-based supplements.

  • Ted Hutchinson

    Anyone with a cancer diagnosis or even a family history of cancer may be interested to know that a 25(OH)D status is associated with least incidence of chronic illness.
    This is an entirely natural level and most people will attain in this region if every day they take 1000iu of Vitamin D3 for every 25lbs they weight.
    Grassrootshealth D Action are a charity offering 25(OH)D testing by post at cost price and it’s worth getting tested after 2~3 months to check the amount of vitamin D3 you are taking is adequate.
    Up to 10,000iu/daily vitamin D3 is known to be safe as it takes over 40,000iu/daily for serveral months to raise status to the level at which adverse events have been recored.

  • Karl Schwartz

    Re: Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Inferior Outcomes in DLBCL

    Conclusions from abstract:

    1) Approximately 50% of all DLBCL patients in this northern US latitude population are vitamin D deficient at the time of diagnosis and treatment.

    comment => That part is not surprising since vitamin D deficiency is equally common in the general population as described here: “Vitamin D inadequacy has been reported in approximately 36% of otherwise healthy young adults and up to 57% of general medicine inpatients in the United States and in even higher percentages in Europe. Recent epidemiological data document the high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy among elderly patients and especially among patients with osteoporosis. ” Source:

    2) Vitamin D deficient patients [in these samples] have an inferior event-free and overall survival compared to patients with vitamin D levels within the normal range.

    comment => This part is intriguing and begs the questions: A) is this in part coincidental, or B) does higher-risk DLBCL decrease serum levels of vitamin D – making it a useful marker to identify high-risk DLBCL? (i.e., is it influenced by a genetic factor in these patients) … or C) does having a deficiency in Vitamin D contribute to resistance to treatment, which might be remedied in part with supplementation? — The latter possibility has to be asked cautiously in a clinical trial — with careful monitoring to avoid the known risks of vitamin D supplementation in lymphoma survivors.

    Conclusion: Expect that the Vitamin industry to exploit this report to promote the sale of vitamin D to lymphoma patients, despite the known risks of Vitamin D supplementation in this population … and the lack of data showing that supplementation could improve the outcome.

  • Gail

    The key is Vitamin D3..That is the essential D vitamin needed. Also essential is L arginine.
    There is years of researched material on this website with links for those of you that want to read concise, available information


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