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News Brief on Vitamin D and Cancer

Posted by James on 04/06/2018 | Comment

Vitamin D can have protective effects against cancers at many sites, according to a recently published study in the BMJ.

This large prospective study cohort aimed to evaluate the association between pre-diagnostic circulating vitamin D concentration and the subsequent risk of overall and site-specific cancer in 40-59 year-old Japanese adults over the course of 16 years.

3,301 incident cases of cancer and 4,044 randomly selected subcohort participants were included in this study, and the incidence of overall or site-specific cancer was recorded and analyzed.

Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was inversely associated with the risk of total cancer and liver cancer. Although these findings are statistically significant, it is important to note that this study cannot prove causality.

In their closing remarks, Budhathoki et al. (2018) reported, “…although maintaining an optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration is important for the prevention of cancer, having a concentration beyond this optimal level may provide no further benefit. Future studies are needed to clarify the dose-response pattern and the optimal concentrations for cancer prevention.”

Budhathoki S, Hidaka A, Yamaji T, et al. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and subsequent risk of total and site specific cancers in Japanese population: large case-cohort study within Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study cohort. BMJ. 2018;360:k671

Written by Nicole Lindel ~ Nutrition Education Master’s Student at Columbia University