Scientists from the Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu University and elsewhere found vitamin D supplementation strongly reduces the risk of cancer death.
Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones.
Together with calcium, vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break.
Your body needs vitamin D for other functions too. Your muscles need it to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body.
Your immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
The two major forms are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is largely human-made and added to foods, whereas vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin of humans and is also consumed in the diet via the intake of animal-based foods.
Studies have repeatedly shown that vitamin D3 is superior at raising levels of vitamin D in the body.
These findings were supported by a recent review of the evidence which found that vitamin D3 supplementation increased vitamin D levels in the body better than vitamin D2.
In the study, researchers aimed to examine whether vitamin D supplementation is associated with lower death risk in adults.
They did a systematic review of published human studies. A total of 52 studies with more than 75,000 people were included in the review and analyses.
The researchers found vitamin D supplementation was not linked to all-cause death risk, heart disease death, non-heart-disease death, or non-cancer death.
But vitamin D supplementation strongly reduced the risk of cancer death.
In further analyses, the team found that all-cause death risk was much lower in vitamin D3 supplementation than in trials with vitamin D2 supplementation.
Based on these findings, the researchers suggest that vitamin D supplementation alone is not linked to all-cause death risk in adults.
But vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of cancer death by 16%. Large clinical studies are needed to determine whether vitamin D3 supplementation is associated with a lower all-cause death risk.
The research was published in The BMJ and conducted by Yu Zhang et al.
If you care about cancer, please read studies that artificial sweeteners are linked to higher cancer risk, and how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blackcurrants can reduce blood sugar after meals and results showing the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.
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