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Vitamin D protects against lung cancer unless there is excess vitamin A – July 2012

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin A, and lung cancer mortality in the US population: a potential nutrient-nutrient interaction.

Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Jul 25.
Cheng TY, Neuhouser ML.
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, M4B402, Seattle, WA, 98109-1024, USA, tcheng at fhcrc.org.

OBJECTIVE: Excess vitamin A may interrupt vitamin D-mediated transcription of target genes. This study investigated whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations were associated with lung cancer mortality, and whether this association varied by excess circulating vitamin A and vitamin A/?-carotene supplement use.

METHOD: We analyzed 16,693 men and women in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), 1988-1994. Lung cancer mortality (n = 258, 104 were former smokers and 23 were never smokers) were identified through National Death Index as of 2006. Serum 25(OH)D was measured by a radioimmunoassay. Vitamin A biomarkers including serum retinol, ?-carotene, and retinyl esters were measured by HPLC. Supplement use for the past month was obtained by self-report. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) were estimated by Cox proportional hazard models.

RESULTS: There was no association of serum 25(OH)D with overall lung cancer mortality.

Among nonsmokers, ?44 vs. <44 nmol/L of serum 25(OH)D was associated with a decreased risk (HR = 0.53, 95 % CI = 0.31-0.92, former/never smokers and
HR = 0.31, 95 % CI = 0.13-0.77, distant-former [quit ?20 years]/never smokers).

The associations were not observed among participants with excess circulating vitamin A (serum retinyl esters ?7.0 ?g/dL or the ratio of retinyl esters to retinol ?0.08) or vitamin A/?-carotene supplement users. However, statistical evidence to support effect modification of vitamin A was less clear.

CONCLUSIONS: Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were inversely associated with lung cancer mortality in nonsmokers.
The beneficial association was diminished among those with excess circulating vitamin A or vitamin A/?-carotene supplement users.

PMID: 22829430


  • No association of Vitamin D and ALL lung Cancer
  • Association of Vitamin D with lung cancers only for never smoked and smoked a long time ago
  • 69% less chance of getting lung cancer IF never smoked or smoked >20 years ago
    AND vitamin D level > 44 nmol
    AND retinyl esters < 7 micrograms/dl

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Pages listed in both of the categories Lung Cancer and Vitamin A

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