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Monthly Vitamin D Supplement May Not Cut Cancer Risk

High-dose monthly supplementation doesn't reduce risk of cancer among middle-aged and older adults

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation may not prevent the risk of cancer among adults aged 50 to 84 years, according to a study published online July 19 in JAMA Oncology.

Robert Scragg, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues conducted a post-hoc analysis of data from the Vitamin D Assessment study, which recruited participants from family practices and community groups. A total of 5,110 participants aged 50 to 84 years were randomized to receive vitamin D3 (2,558 adults; initial bolus dose of 200,000 IU followed by monthly doses of 100,000 IU) or placebo (2,552 adults) for a median of 3.3 years; 5,108 were included in the primary analysis.

The researchers found that the mean follow-up 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was consistently more than 20 ng/mL higher in the vitamin D versus the placebo group in a random sample of 438 participants. The primary outcome of cancer (328 total cases of cancer) occurred in 6.5 and 6.4 percent of participants in the vitamin D and placebo groups, respectively, for an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.01 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.25; P = 0.95).

"High-dose vitamin D supplementation prescribed monthly for up to four years without calcium may not prevent cancer," the authors write. "This study suggests that daily or weekly dosing for a longer period may require further study."

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