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Vitamin D May Improve Survival Rates of Certain Cancers

A recent study suggests that people diagnosed with breast and colorectal cancer may have a better chance of surviving their illness and may remain in remission longer if they have higher blood levels of vitamin D at the time of their diagnosis.

For this analysis, researchers examined 25 studies that included 17,332 cancer patients. After examining the data, the researchers found a correlation between every 10 nmol/L increase in vitamin D levels and a 4% increase in survival rate.

The link between cancer-specific mortality and vitamin D levels was particularly strong for people with lymphoma and colorectal cancer. Improved disease-free survival for people with colorectal and breast cancer was also observed. Less of a connection was found for people with lung, gastric, prostate cancers, leukemia, melanoma, or Merkel cell carcinoma.

Researchers from Shanghai’s Institute for Nutritional Sciences as well as other Chinese universities and institutions conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 29, 2014, in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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