Submitted by Red on Sat, 2009-02-21 18:10

 Studies suggest that Vitamin D may play an important role in the prevention and potentially even treatment of many forms of cancer.   A recent four-year, randomized study at Creighton University following 1,179 healthy, postmenopausal women from rural eastern Nebraska, found that daily supplementation with only 1,100 iu of Vitamin D led to up to 77% fewer cases of all forms of Cancer:

Here's an easy to read summary article:

And the full study:

 Studies also suggest that Vitamin D levels may be an important predictor of cancer survival and even cancer relapse rates:

Here's an easy to read summary article:

And the cited summary articles:

  The slide found @ minute 26 in the following presentation by Dr David Feldman, MD at Stanford provides an excellent overview of some of the currently suspected mechanisms of anti-cancer activities of Vitamin D3. They are:

  1. Inhibits G1/G0 cell cycle arrest
  2. Stimulates apoptosis
  3. Stimulates differentiation
  4. Regulates tumor suppressors / oncogenes
  5. Regulates growth factors or receptors
  6. Is anti-angiogenic
  7. Inhibits invasion and metastasis
  8. Is anti-inflammatory

BTW, this is a great video on the importance of Vitamin D3, and it includes a very good discussion on the Vitamin D pathways in general. Towards the end (@ the 20 minute mark), it discusses Vit D3 in relation to cancer, including a nice up-to-date list of the suspected mechanisms involved as copied above.

 Below are a few supporting studies for each of the mechanisms of anti-cancer activity of Vit D3 discussed in the video above:

Inhibits G1/G0 cell cycle arrest:

 Stimulates Apoptosis:

Stimulates differentiation:


Regulates tumor suppressors / oncogenes:


Regulates growth factors or receptors:

 Is anti-angiogenic:

  Inhibits invasion and metastasis:


Is anti-inflammatory:

    Vitamin D3 has also been shown to have anti-cancer effects through other mechanisms: 

  1. Cancerous cells have been shown to require telomerase in order to survive (and avoid apoptosis) as the following article discusses:

"In 90 percent of cancers, no matter what caused the cancer to form, it needs telomerase activity to maintain the cell. Without telomerase, the cell will die." And Vitamin D3 has been shown to downregulate telomerase in several forms of cancer:



Here's another great video on Vitamin D3 and cancer.  Pay particular attention to the discussion on the potential involvement of Tight Junctions and Adherins in cancer development and progression starting @ minute 20:00:


Additional studies suggesting the role Vitamin D3 plays in cancer can be found on the Vitamin D Council page on Vitamin D and Cancer: