Vitamin D could improve cancer survival rates

30 April 2014

Cancer patients with higher levels of vitamin D tend to have better survival rates and remain in remission longer compared to those with a deficiency, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Hui Wang, one of the authors of the research, said: "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.”

He added that the findings suggested it may influence the prognosis for those diagnosed with breast and colorectal cancer, as well as those with lymphoma.

Vitamin D is produced naturally when the body is exposed to sunlight and it can be absorbed from certain foods. It also helps us to absorb the calcium and phosphorus needed for healthy bones.

The meta-analysis looked at 25 different studies that measured vitamin D levels in cancer patients at their time of diagnosis. Researchers discovered ten nmol/L increase was associated with a four per cent hike in survival among people with the disease.

Mr Wang believes it is important that everybody monitors their vitamin D levels, considering it is linked to other illnesses across the world. 

"Physicians need to pay close attention to vitamin D levels in people who have been diagnosed with cancer,” he added.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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