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Vitamin D Supplementation Tied to Reduction in Advanced Cancer

On stratification by BMI, significant reduction found in incident metastatic or fatal cancer in normal weight, not overweight/obese

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Vitamin D supplementation is associated with a reduction in the incidence of advanced cancer, with the strongest reduction seen among those with normal weight, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Paulette D. Chandler, M.D., M.P.H., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted follow-up on the possible reduction in cancer death seen in the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial to examine whether vitamin D reduced the incidence of advanced cancer and possible modification by body mass index (BMI). The primary outcome for this analysis was a composite incidence of metastatic and fatal invasive total cancer.

The researchers found that participants randomly assigned to vitamin D versus placebo had a significant reduction in advanced cancers (metastatic or fatal; 1.7 percent of the 12,927 randomly assigned to vitamin D versus 2.1 percent of the 12,944 randomly assigned to placebo; hazard ratio, 0.83). On stratification by BMI, the reduction in incident metastatic or fatal cancer was seen for the vitamin D arm among those with normal BMI (BMI <25 kg/m2: hazard ratio, 0.62), but not among those with overweight or obesity.

“Our findings, along with results from previous studies, support the ongoing evaluation of vitamin D supplementation for preventing metastatic cancer — a connection that is biologically plausible,” Chandler said in a statement. “Additional studies focusing on cancer patients and investigating the role of BMI are warranted.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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