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  • 2009

Vitamin D for cancer prevention ? A global perspective

Published on

22 July 2009

Higher serum levels of the main circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), are associated with substantially lower incidence rates of colon, breast, ovarian, renal, pancreatic, aggressive prostate and other cancers, as suggested by a new publication.

The authors combined epidemiological findings with newly discovered mechanisms suggesting a new ‘seven phase’ model of cancer development: disjunction, initiation, natural selection, overgrowth, metastasis, involution, and transition. Vitamin D metabolites are thought to prevent disjunction of cells and are beneficial in other phases.

As suggested by the researchers, an increase of the minimum year-round serum vitamin D level from 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three-quarters of deaths from these diseases in the United States and Canada, based on observational studies combined with a randomized trial.

“The time has arrived for nationally coordinated action to substantially increase intake of vitamin D and calcium”, the authors added. (1)


  1. Garland C. F. et al. Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective. Annals of Epidemiology, 2009; 19(7):468–483.

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