Vitamin D supplementation for older healthy adults has been much debated. Recent attention has been focused on its potential for reducing the risk for and severity of COVID-19, but there is an older argument, boosted by recent evidence, for taking vitamin D to reduce deaths from cancer.
The recent data come from three meta-analyses published in 2019 that show a consistent and significant 13% reduction in cancer mortality with vitamin D.
Impressed with these data, a group of German researchers has proposed that all patients older than 50 years receive vitamin D supplements.
If all persons older than 50 in Germany were given a daily dose of 1000 IU of vitamin D, almost 30,000 cancer deaths a year could be prevented, and Germany’s annual costs for cancer care would be slashed by more than €250 ($300) million, says the team.
Their article was published in Molecular Oncology on February 4.
“I was surprised by the magnitude of the effect that could be achieved with something as cheap as vitamin D, which costs almost nothing,” lead author Tobias Niedermaier, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, told Medscape Medical News.