Study: Vitamin D prolongs life for cancer patients

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have calculated that if all Germans over 50 years of age took a vitamin D supplement, 30,000 cancer deaths could be avoided each year and their cumulative life expectancy could be increased by 300,000 years. In addition, health care costs could be reduced. The study is published in the journal Molecular Oncology.

Three meta-analyses of large clinical trials found that vitamin D intake was associated with a reduction in mortality from all cancers by about 13%.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the elderly and especially in cancer patients. German scientists have calculated that taking this drug will save tens of thousands of euros on procedures. Calculations are based on daily intake of 1000 units of vitamin D at a cost of 25 euros per person per year and the cost of treatment for cancer. A 13% reduction in mortality in absolute terms yields 30,000 cases, and the total cost of treatment is 1.15 billion euros. Compared to the cost of vitamin supplements, the annual savings would be 254 million euros.

Experts believe that it is necessary to reduce vitamin D deficiency in the elderly population. For example, this is done in Finland, where the vitamin has been added to food for many years. Scientists also recommend spending more time outdoors in sunny weather, at least 2-3 times a week for 12 minutes, with open face and hands.

Feb. 15, 2021, 12:46 p.m.

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