The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention

Am J Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):252-61. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.045260. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Abstract

Vitamin D status differs by latitude and race, with residents of the northeastern United States and individuals with more skin pigmentation being at increased risk of deficiency. A PubMed database search yielded 63 observational studies of vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk, including 30 of colon, 13 of breast, 26 of prostate, and 7 of ovarian cancer, and several that assessed the association of vitamin D receptor genotype with cancer risk. The majority of studies found a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status and lower risk of cancer. The evidence suggests that efforts to improve vitamin D status, for example by vitamin D supplementation, could reduce cancer incidence and mortality at low cost, with few or no adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology

Substances

  • Vitamin D