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Vitamin D supplements linked to lower risk of advanced cancer

Vitamin D supplements linked to lower risk of advanced cancer

But it's too soon to recommend high-dose supplements expressly for this purpose.

Could taking a vitamin D supplement make it less likely that you will develop a cancer that spreads or is deadly? A study published online Nov. 18, 2020, by JAMA Network Open provides some evidence that this might be the case.

Among more than 25,000 men and women, those who were randomly assigned to take 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day for an average of 5.3 years were nearly 20% less likely than those who received a placebo to have an advanced cancer — defined here as one that metastasized (spread from the original tumor site) or proved fatal.

When researchers looked at the data in more detail, the risk reduction (a 38% decrease) was limited to people who were at a normal weight than among those at higher weights, says Dr. JoAnn Manson, one of the study's authors and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Puzzlingly, researchers didn't see a benefit in people who were overweight or obese, says Dr. Manson.

Hints of a benefit

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