Vitamin D Deficiency and All Cancer

This is a huge presentation from GrassrootsHealth: Dose-Response of Vitamin D and a Mechanism for Prevention of Cancer, by Cedric F. Garland, Dr.P.H., Edward D. Gorham, M.P.H., Ph.D., Sharif B. Mohr, M.P.H., and Frank C. Garland, Ph.D.

There are a ton of slides here, so I’ll highlight a few of what I consider the most notable. First up, placebo vs. intervention. I’d call that significant.

Picture 1

Babes: protect those awesome boobies, wouldja — not to mention you very lives? Get your vitamin D levels above 30.

Picture 2

Smile. You’ve been duped by the “experts” and “authorities.” But at least they’ve got their grants from the drug companies. I’m sure that’ll work out for you in the end.

Picture 4

Here’s one of a great many of similar slides on various cancers illustrating the same thing. Get your level up to 30 and you reduce your risk by half. Get it up to 60-70 and you virtually eliminate your risk.

Picture 6

And here’s the mother load. Above 50, and your associative risk of cancer drops to 25%. For women, the real outlier is breast cancer. Get it above 60-70, sweethearts, and good luck. A high amount of fat in your diet isn’t going to hurt, either.

Picture 7


  1. Monica on December 31, 2008 at 08:38

    Wow, Richard. This is SO telling. I'm now starting to re-think my assumption that the military pollution upstream from us as a kid (dumped in our stream and seeping into our well) was solely responsible for my mother's THREE cancers at age 25. Why? Because her pregnancy diet was obviously horrible since I've had 8 teeth removed due to a tiny palate. She was obviously low in fat soluble vitamins when I was born, about 5 years before she came down with all of these cancers, one of them Hodgkin's lymphoma (lymphomas very prevalent in our family). She also had another rare type of liver cancer not often seen, according to the docs.

    The fact is that your body can handle all types of environmental insults with proper nutrition. One of the tribes Weston Prices studied (the ones in the Outer Hebrides) and one of the tribes mentioned by Stephan — can't remember whether it was the Kuna or Kitavans — were exposed to a TON of smoke. They did not appear to suffer any ill effects from it.

    I do a lot of medical writing on COPD (emphysema). I'm now wondering whether higher vitamin D levels wouldn't be able to prevent a lot of those COPD cases we see as a "result" of smoking. It's something I've never come across in the medical literature despite reading many, many papers on COPD — since there is some preliminary evidence that vitamin D3 supplementation in pregnancy can prevent asthma (another western disease on the rise). I can say for certain that ALL of the medical literature I've seen on COPD is focused on oxygen therapy and drugs. Some are beginning to talk about "chemoprevention" by developing new drugs tailored to the genetics of the individual (only 15-20% of smokers ever develop COPD) to prevent the disease. I've seen maybe a couple of papers discussing vitamin supplementation. AS usual, the conclusions are "The beneficial effects of vitamin supplementation are not proved."

    *sigh* But there's no money in vitamin D3 supplements… the best chemoprevention there probably is. And of course there is no "proof" in the form of a double blind, placeboed trial when the researchers don't want to conduct one.

  2. Stephan on December 31, 2008 at 09:53


    This is terriffic, thanks for posting all this. I've never seen so much vitamin D epidemiology in one place.

  3. Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2008 at 10:44

    From what I've been gathering, there has been lots of non-industrial populations who smoked without the western-style diseases associated with it. 70% or thereabouts of Kitavans smoke, and about the same for Massai.

    I have long speculated that smoking is not the root cause of these diseases, but that inflammatory factors like grains and vegetable oils are. The smoking sets off the disease, and with deficiencies like vitamin D, the body can't deal with the damage.

    Just speculation though. Of course, with the politicized anti-smoking gravy train worldwide, now, this kind of speculation would go over like a lead balloon. Few care about facts, anymore.

  4. Ricardo Carvalho on January 5, 2009 at 15:06

    Dear Richard, your blog is better than ever! Love to see these studies' references telling what we allways knew after all: a paleolithic lifestyle is what we were made for!

  5. Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2009 at 15:17

    Thanks, Ricardo. I'm sure I would be able to say the same thing about yours, were I able to read it.

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    […] Keep in mind that by sugar, I don't just mean sugar the white stuff. I mean sugar, all the processed foods and drinks (even fruit juice) that contain it, and things that get metabolized into glucose like starches and grains and all the products that contain them. A low sugar diet is one that focusses on meat, fowl, seafood, natural fats (animal, coconut, olive), non-starchy vegetables, moderate fruit focussed on berries, and maybe some nuts and high-fat dairy. Bottom line? Eat meat, fat, veggies. Be sure to get adequate vitamin D. […]

  8. mbarnes on September 9, 2009 at 05:57

    The data on vitamin D preventing cancer is now as extensive as the data on smoking causing cancer!! Take a look at for some good summaries of the data

  9. mbarnes on October 31, 2009 at 05:41

    Monica, you mentioned you think there is no double blind placebo study on vitamin D an cancer prevention–there is one! It was published in 2007 by Lappe and showed a 60-77% reduction in the incidence of cancer over a four year period. You can see a review of this and links to the study on
    As a result of this study the Candian Cancer Society started recommending that everyone take vitamin D to prevent cancer. It is amazing how little press coverage this received else where in the world

  10. Dan on November 1, 2009 at 20:36

    Perhaps not surprising Vitamin D is also linked to Alzheimer’s (which, has been nicknamed “Diabetes Type 3” by a few sources), and Parinson’s Disease, as well as Schizophrenia.

    Check out this article for some of those other Vitamin D odds and ends, with oodles of citations: Vitamin D, Diabetes, Neurcognitive Diseases, and Supplementation.

  11. mbarnes on November 4, 2009 at 19:20

    There is some interesting data suggesting that keeping your vitamin D level optimal will prevent colds, flu and in particular H1N1 (swine Flu).
    Here are links to two interesting articles:

    August 2009-Vitamin D3 deficiency and its role in influenza

    Sept 2009-More on Vitamin D3 and influenza

    If these links don’t work go to and click on ‘In the news” to find these updates.

  12. Thomas Stone on December 31, 2009 at 17:13

    Another great post Richard, thanks for sharing and explaining a few of the many great bits of wisdom one can get on Vit. D from the Grassroots Health website… an awesome resource.

    Regarding your speculations about smoking and cancer, no doubt Vitamin D nutrition are factors there, far more so than most would guess today. But when you look at a healthy pair of longs, all that really soft pink tissue… I also can’t imagine that tar and the gazillion chemicals in cigs are very good for it either! What the biggest “cause” of the cancer is… I’m open to debate.

    As an aside… your recent post led to me commenting that we had that in common, and now I see another — I too started out with a love of physics and cosmology, in my case leading to starting up at Univ. of Rochester as an Astrophysics major… only to ditch it after one year… and eventually majoring in philosophy instead. I have no regrets on that decision. :-)

    • Thomas Stone on December 31, 2009 at 17:13

      Typed too fast… my reference to the earlier post… I meant your Christmas time Pink Floyd one.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 31, 2009 at 17:48

        Maybe let me see what I can come up with tonight. I’m gonna have to think. Ah, I have and idea, not PF, but very classic and rare.

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  16. Tina on May 5, 2010 at 14:44

    Very informative, thank you. How much vitamin D would you recommend one take per day, or do we need a blood test to tell us where we’re at?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2010 at 15:33

      Best to have a test for 25-OH-D with a target of 50-80. Failing that, 2k IU of D3 per day as a minimum would be helpful. I take 6K and stay around 80 ng/ml, but everyone seems to respond differently.

      Most of the D researchers out there say that upwards of 10,000 IU daily is safe.

  17. Laurie D. on May 5, 2010 at 16:27

    I, too, take 6000 IU per day (gel tablets) unless I am going to be in full sun for a good part of the day. I’ve had my levels tested twice (once by Grassroots and every 6 months here on out) so far. One was 79, the other 80. I will probably cut back to 2000 during the summer, since I tend to be outside a lot then. I haven’t had a cold in a year; no other illnesses either. My mother died of breast cancer and my sister has colon cancer. I’m not taking any chances. As soon as I read the GrassrootsHealth info last summer, I started taking 6000 IU. My sister is on her third round of chemo – I showed her the exact same data from Grassroots and explained (I am an anatomy/physiology teacher). I convinced her to start taking 6000 IU and gave her lots of research to take to her doctor, including one that showed that Vitamin D supplementation augmented chemotherapy. His reply was that he didn’t like supplements. Ass. She’s still taking them.

  18. Lute Nikoley on May 5, 2010 at 21:09

    I used to take 6K, my last blood test had me at 90 for D. I cut back to 4K I.U.

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