Daily vitamin D3 supplementation may reduce cancer death risk

Credit: Unsplash+

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It is known to play a role in maintaining bone health and regulating the immune system.

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the potential role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of cancer.

Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and it can also be obtained from certain foods or supplements.

In this article, we will discuss the findings of a study that investigated the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on cancer mortality in the general population and on prognosis in cancer patients.


The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) and individual patient data (IPD).

The study included 14 RCTs with a total of 104,727 participants, of whom 2015 died from cancer. The studies were divided into two groups based on their dosing regimen: daily dosing and bolus dosing.

Seven of the RCTs, including 90% of all study participants (n=94,068), provided IPD and were used to investigate effect modification by various factors.


The main meta-analysis of all 14 RCTs did not show a strong reduction in cancer mortality with vitamin D3 supplementation.

However, when the studies were divided by dosing regimen, the team found that daily dosing of vitamin D3 reduced cancer mortality by 12% compared to the placebo group.

The team then examined the effect modification by age, sex, body mass index, ethnicity, baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, adherence, and cancer-related factors.

However, no strong findings were found in meta-analyses of all trials.

Adults aged ≥ 70 years and people with vitamin D3 therapy initiation before cancer diagnosis appeared to benefit most from daily vitamin D3 supplementation.

The study also investigated the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on all-cause and cancer-specific survival of participants with cancer.

The results were found to be similar to those obtained in the general population for cancer mortality.


The main finding of the study was that vitamin D3 supplementation did not reduce cancer mortality in the general population.

However, the subgroup analysis revealed that daily dosing of vitamin D3 may reduce cancer mortality by 12%, especially for older adults and those who start vitamin D3 therapy before cancer diagnosis.

The study’s findings are in line with previous research that has been conducted on the topic.

Vitamin D has been found to have anti-cancer properties, but the evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend it for the prevention or treatment of cancer.

The results of the study suggest that vitamin D3 supplementation may have a modest benefit in reducing cancer mortality in certain populations.

The research is published in Ageing Research Reviews.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.