The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention perhaps has been known for more than 50 years. Although excessive sun exposure has been documented to increase the risk of skin cancer, research conducted starting as early as 1936 has proved this population of patients with skin cancer to be at a lower risk for other types of cancer. Sun exposure has been correlated with decreased incidence of certain types of cancer such as cancers of the prostate, breast, and colon. Individuals residing in the U.S., which lies in the northern latitudes, have a risk for cancer incidence which is two to three times higher than the risk of cancer incidence of people living in sunnier, equatorial parts of the world.40 This intriguing observation by Apperly40 was followed by several epidemiological studies that demonstrated an inverse relationship between 25-(OH)D3 levels and cancer risk and mortality.41,42
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