Vitamin D lowers
risk of breast, colon, and ovarian cancer
researchers on Wednesday urged people to take more vitamin D
to lower their risk of colon, breast, and ovarian
cancer, saying studies showed a clear link.
“Our suggestion is for people to increase their
intake” through diet or a vitamin supplement, said
lead researcher Cedric Garland said in a telephone
research team from the University of California, San
Diego–Moores Cancer Center reviewed 63 studies,
including several large long-term ones, on the
relationship between vitamin D and certain types of
cancer worldwide between 1966 and 2004. He said the benefit
of vitamin D was as clear as the harmful link between
smoking and lung cancer. “There’s
nothing that has this ability to prevent cancer,” he
said, urging governments and public health officials
to do more to fortify foods with vitamin D.
published its findings this week online in the American
Journal of Public Health. The paper concluded that
vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand
premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian, and
other cancers annually.
Vitamin D is
found in milk as well as in some fortified orange juice,
yogurt ,and cheeses, usually at around 100 international
units (IU) per serving. People might want to consider
a vitamin supplement to raise their intake to 1,000
IUs per day, Garland said, adding that it was well
within the safety guidelines established by the National
Academy of Sciences.
The authors said
that taking more vitamin D could be especially important
for people living in northern areas, which receive less
vitamin D from sunshine. African-Americans, who
don’t produce as much of the vitamin because of
their skin pigment, could also benefit significantly from a
higher intake, researchers said.
Some studies have
indicated that lesbians may be at a higher risk for
breast cancer than their age-matched heterosexual peers.
additional reporting by Advocate.com)