A report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Dr. Ting-Yuan David Cheng and colleagues from the Public Health Sciences Division demonstrates that increased vitamin D intake is associated with a lower lung cancer risk in never-smoking persons. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and a considerable public health burden. While smoking cessation is considered an effective strategy for cancer prevention, additional approaches are sought to help prevent the over 300,000 worldwide lung cancer deaths a year that are not attributable to tobacco use. Near half of lung cancer cases are not attributable to smoking.
“This study provides new evidence that vitamin D obtained from diet and vitamin supplements is associated with a lower risk of lung cancer,” states Dr. Cheng, noting that it is important “because it gives us clues that insufficient vitamin D intake may be a new risk factor of lung cancer and we may be able to use vitamin D to prevent lung cancer in population.”
A recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center also suggests vitamin D may be able to stop or prevent cancer. Some of previous studies linked low levels of vitamin D to a higher incidence of cancer and worse survival. Researchers are looking at using vitamin D to help prevent lung cancer from returning and spreading after surgery. Also, according to numerous studies, higher intake or blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Current recommendations call for 600-800 IU of vitamin D daily, depending on age.