Consuming vitamin D supplements may cut the risk of acquiring pancreatic cancer by nearly half according to a recent study led by researchers from Harvard and NorthWestern universities in the US.


The findings, appearing in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, come from the first known study to use large-scale epidemiological surveys (researchers analysed two large, long-term health surveys) to examine the relationship between the nutrient and pancreatic cancer.


The study found that taking the US Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin D (400 IU/day) reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 43%. Those who consumed less than 150 IUs per day experienced a 22% reduced risk of cancer. Increased consumption of the vitamin beyond 400 IUs per day resulted in no significant increased benefit.


Study leader Dr Halcyon Skinner said: “Because there is no effective screening for pancreatic cancer, identifying controllable risk factors for the disease is essential for developing strategies that can prevent cancer.”