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Nutr Rev. 2013 Sep;71(9):611-21. doi: 10.1111/nure.12047. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Clinical outcomes of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation in cancer patients.

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School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Results of recent studies suggest that circulating levels of vitamin D may play an important role in cancer-specific outcomes. The present systematic review was undertaken to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<25 nmol/L) and insufficiency (25-50 nmol/L) in cancer patients and to evaluate the association between circulating calcidiol (the indicator of vitamin D status) and clinical outcomes. A systematic search of original, peer-reviewed studies on calcidiol at cancer diagnosis, and throughout treatment and survival, was conducted yielding 4,706 studies. A total of 37 studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. Reported mean blood calcidiol levels ranged from 24.7 to 87.4 nmol/L, with up to 31% of patients identified as deficient and 67% as insufficient. The efficacy of cholecalciferol supplementation for raising the concentration of circulating calcidiol is unclear; standard supplement regimens of <1,000 IU D₃ /day may not be sufficient to maintain adequate concentrations or prevent decreasing calcidiol. Dose-response studies linking vitamin D status to musculoskeletal and survival outcomes in cancer patients are lacking.


25-hydroxyvitamin D; cancer; cancer-specific outcomes; cholecalciferol; vitamin D deficiency

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