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Adequate Vitamin D Levels Are Linked to Better Cancer Survival

Vitamin D may be protective for many kinds of cancer.  A Chinese meta-analysis of 25 studies including more than 17,000 cancer patients found that those who had higher levels of vitamin D in their bodies at diagnosis were more likely to survive longer.

The clearest links were with breast cancer, lymphoma and colon cancer, but there were also suggestive associations between higher vitamin D blood levels and better survival from lung, stomach and prostate cancer. Leukemia and melanoma may also be less likely to kill patients whose vitamin D at diagnosis is adequate.

[Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, July, 2014]

This is not the first time that adequate vitamin D levels have been associated with better survival from serious health problems. Not long ago, a different meta-analysis revealed that people with low levels of circulating vitamin D were 14 percent more likely to die from cancer, and 35 percent more susceptible to cardiovascular death. To learn more about vitamin D, including information on the most common doses of supplements and the possible risks of taking too much, you can consult our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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