Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with different cancer types, such as breast, lung, colon, and bladder cancers.
Researchers originally discovered an association between vitamin D deficiency and cancer in 1980. In previous studies, researchers explored the links between this deficiency and different cancer types, such as breast, lung, colon, and bladder cancers.
In a recent study published in PLOS ONE, researchers evaluated different levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream in order to see which levels were associated with a lesser cancer risk.
Researchers measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], which occurs in the bloodstream.
Data was gathered from a randomized clinical trial of 1169 women and a prospective cohort study of 1135 women. Both groups were taken from previous studies.
Through combining data from different types of studies, researchers were able to get a greater sample size and range of blood serum levels of 25(OH)D.
It was found that women with 25(OH)D concentrations of 40 ng/ml lessened their risk of cancer 67% more than women with levels of 20 ng/ml.
"These findings support an inverse association between 25(OH)D and risk of cancer and highlight the importance for cancer prevention of achieving a vitamin D blood serum concentration above 20 ng/ml, the concentration recommended by the IOM for bone health,” said Cedric Garland, DrPH, in a press release.
Researchers did not state that there is a singular method to optimize their findings. Increasing 25(OH)D could be achieved through sunlight exposure, diet, or supplementation.
It is also said that an effort to increase 25(OH)D concentrations to at least 40 ng/ml would reduce the likelihood of developing cancer and would decrease associated deaths.
"Primary prevention of cancer, rather than expanding early detection or improving treatment, will be essential to reversing the current upward trend of cancer incidence worldwide," Garland said. "This analysis suggests that improving vitamin D status is a key prevention tool."