The common supplement that could reduce your risk of all cancers

You can find it at any chemist or health food store but it seems not everyone has been harnessing the

You can find it at any chemist or health food store but it seems not everyone has been harnessing the benefits of Vitamin D. The naturally derived vitamin has now been found to help prevent cancer… that’s right: all cancers except skin.

Researchers suggest vitamin D could be an important tool for preventing cancer as a new study links low levels of vitamin D to a higher risk of developing cancer.

Published this week in the journal PLOS One, researchers from the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine report how they analysed the link between vitamin D and cancer to determine what blood level of vitamin D was required to effectively reduce cancer risk.

One of the authors, Cedric Garland, adjunct professor in the UCSD School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, says their study is the first of its kind.

“We have quantitated the ability of adequate amounts of vitamin D to prevent all types of invasive cancer combined, which had been terra incognita until publication of this paper.”

It was Prof. Garland and his late brother Frank who first linked low vitamin D with cancer in the 1980s. They found people who lived at higher latitudes and without sunlight had lower levels of vitamin D and were more likely to develop cancer.

Further studies by the Garland brothers and others have found links between low vitamin D and other cancers, including cancers of the breast, lung and bladder.

In the new study, Prof. Garland and colleagues wanted to find out what blood level of vitamin D effectively reduces cancer risk.

They looked at the results from two different types of study: one a clinical trial of 1,169 women and one a prospective study of 1,135 women. For some of their analysis, they kept the two data sets separate and compared them, and in another part, they combined the data to create a larger sample.

The researchers found that the rate of cancer incidence in the clinical study group (that had the lower vitamin D level) was higher than in the prospective study group.

They also found that cancer rates went down as vitamin D levels rose and women whose vitamin D level high had a 67% lower risk of developing cancer than women whose vitamin D level lower.

The researchers did not say what the optimum intake level of vitamin D should be and how it should be taken, whether through exposure to sunlight or as a supplement.

“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. This analysis suggests that improving vitamin D status is a key prevention tool”, Prof. Garland concluded.

Tell us: do you take Vitamin D tablets? What benefits have you seen?

  1. Dianna Warner  

    Just wondering, how much vitamin D and how often should you take it ?

  2. i had a full blood scan and was found to be short of vit d , doc put me on 3 vit d’s a day, its sposed to be the sunshine vitamin , daughter who gets more sun than the rest of the family was also short of vit d

  3. Doctors told me I’m low on Vit D, but I’m a real sun worshipper . Asked around and many friends have been told the same. Doctors go through phases of what to tell people, I’m sure! I take my supplement anyway – it can’t hurt.

    • Rose  

      If you wear a hat and sunscreen, you won’t get the vitamin D

  4. Disey  

    I take two (2) Caltrate with Vit D tablets every day – I was told I was low on Vit D also – comes from sitting in an office for 45 years without much sun in my life.

  5. Marilyn  

    I’m a volunteer in a D-health trial – 12 months into a 5 year study. We don’t know whether we’re taking Vitamin D or a placebo.The trial aims to understand what would happen to the health of the Australian population if they were to increase Vitamin D in the food supply. I have no side effects and am pleased to be making a tiny contribution to science.

  6. Josee King  

    i also take vitamin d and caltrate +, was low a few years ago but it corrected it, and i am one who is always in the garden or on the bicycle

  7. Pauline  

    No matter how long you spend in the sun you wont get enough vitD unless you are naked….there is not enough skin exposed……I take 3 vitD daily and my level is can take up to 5 x 1000 iu……..I am retired and most of my time in the garden…..

    • Narelle Ford  

      I don’t take vit D supplements and my levels are fine. But then I don’t wear sunscreen or a hat. I do spend quite a bit of times outdoors. I’m just saying this to show it is possible to have good levels without taking a supplement.

  8. Ivan  

    Yes, my wife and I are walkers everyday rain or shine but have been on Vit D with Ca and Mg for decades now and no problems with the levels of Vit D required and of course full blood checks every six months by our wonderful GP of decades as well insists as others have said we are not exposed enough to the sun in order to benefit from just that. So a supplement is the answer together with Ca and Mg. as well for strong bones as we age. We are both now in our seventies and we are grateful somehow.

  9. June Montgomery  

    I was diagnosed a number of years back with Vitamin D deficiency and now take 2 Vitamin D tablets a day.

  10. Terri Rice  

    Yes it is very important to gain natural vitamin D from the outside – even if the sun isn’t there – the rays are . However as we all get older we may need some extra help as after menopause for us ladies we suffer from lower bone density & therefore do need supplements. I have a yearly aclasta infusion organised usually through my G.P. Apart from that we just eat well with plenty of home cooked meals, veggies & fruit & the odd Hungry Jacks or Maccas when the ” want some junk food” genie rears its head – usually only once a fortnight – satisfying & keeps the junk food genie at bay !

  11. Kevin Kelly  

    Have been taking bit D3 each day for the last 3 years my arthritis has all but gone .At one time my wedding ring had to be cut off and enlarged now it is too big .Fingers Hands and Knees all back to normal.

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