CancerVitamin D

Is there a role for vitamin D in cancer prevention?

Cancer-related considerations didn’t figure prominently in the new Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Here’s what we know, according to the IOM.

  • Despite biologic plausibility and widespread enthusiasm, evidence that vitamin D reduces cancer incidence and related mortality is inconsistent and inconclusive.
  • The available research doesn’t establish a cause–effect relationship.
  • New studies assessing moderate-to-high-dose vitamin D supplementation for cancer prevention are in progress and should provide additional information within 5 to 6 years.

The bottom line?

Although future research may demonstrate clear benefits of vitamin D related to cancer and other nonskeletal health outcomes, and possibly support higher intake requirements, the existing evidence falls short.

3/28/11 22:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.