Because cancer represents the second leading cause of death in the US and represents a major public health burden, there is interest in interventions which could reduce its incidence. There has been some evidence that vitamin D may protect against cancer, so a group of researchers at the University of Nebraska recently published an article in the JAMA describing the effects of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on cancer development in healthy postmenopausal women. The study enrolled over 2300 women, lasted 4 years, and examined the development of all cancer types except for skin cancers. Unfortunately, the investigators were unable to demonstrate a significant reduction in the development of cancer in the women who were prescribed calcium and vitamin D.
Even though vitamin D supplementation does not appear to reduce the risk of cancer, it remains important in the prevention of bone loss, particularly in overcast climates like we have in WV.