Study: Vitamin D supplements reduce cancer risk
Researchers have found that vitamin D was associated with an overall 17 percent risk reduction for advanced cancer. When the research team looked at only participants with a normal body mass index (BMI), they found a 38 percent risk reduction, suggesting that body mass may influence the relationship between vitamin D and decreased risk of advanced cancer.
"The findings suggest that vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing advanced cancers," said study author Paulette Chandler from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US. "Vitamin D is a supplement that's readily available, cheap, and has been used and studied for decades. Our findings, especially the strong risk reduction seen," Chandler added.
The researchers conducted the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) study, which was a rigorous, placebo-controlled study that took place over a span of more than five years. The VITAL study was designed to test the independent effects of vitamin D and Omega-3 supplements as well as to test for synergy between the two.
Participants were divided into four groups: vitamin D plus Omega-3s, vitamin D plus placebo, Omega-3s plus placebo, and placebos for both. Primary endpoints were major adverse cardiovascular events and the incidence of cancer. VITAL did not find a statistical difference in overall cancer rates, but researchers did observe a reduction in cancer-related deaths.