Doctors have known that low levels of vitamin D are linked to certain kinds of cancers as well as to diabetes and asthma, but new research also shows that the vitamin can kill human cancer cells.
Researchers took human breast cancer cells and treated them with a potent form of vitamin D. Within a few days, half the cancer cells shriveled up and died.
The vitamin's effects were even more dramatic on breast cancer cells injected into mice. After several weeks of treatment, the cancer tumors in the mice shrank by an average of more than 50 percent. Some tumors disappeared.
Similar results have been achieved on colon and prostate cancer tumors in mice.
Vitamin D Helps Prevent Heart Disease, Diabetes
Further, middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43 percent, according to researchers.
A systematic literature review of the relationship between vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders looked at 28 studies including nearly 100,000 participants.
The studies revealed a significant association between high levels of vitamin D and a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
All studies included were published between 1990 and 2009, with the majority published between 2004 and 2009. Half of the studies were conducted in the United States, eight were European, two studies were from Iran, three from Australasia and one from India.