A new cohort study finds Vitamin D levels may have an effect on a person’s risk of developing cancer. An inverse association between blood levels of Vitamin D and the risk of developing liver cancer and total cancer.
Data from over 33,500 adults between the ages of 40 and 69 who participated in the Japan Public Health Centre-based Prospective (JPHC) study was used for this study. Participants were observed over a period of 16 years. During this study period over 3,300 new cases of cancer were reported. A sub grouping of over 4,000 participants was also studied.
Participants who were in the 3 highest groups of serum blood levels of Vitamin D showed a reduction of between 20% – 25% in the risk for developing all types of cancers and a reduction of between 30% and 55% in the risk for developing liver cancer. It was observed that after having reached a certain level of serum Vitamin D further risk reductions were not seen in the total cancer risk reductions; this is called a ceiling effect.
A significant inverse association between serum Vitamin D levels and pre-menopausal breast cancer were also seen, however the same association was not seen for prostate or lung cancers.
Further studies are needed to clarify the optimal amounts of serum Vitamin D levels needed for cancer prevention and to clarify the dose-response pattern.
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