Vitamin D fortification of foods for cancer prevention – healing practice

Vitamin D-fortified foods could prevent many cancer deaths

Because of the multiple health benefits of Vitamin D some countries in Europe have already become one systematic fortification of foods decided with vitamin D. This also affects the cancer deathslike a current statistical model calculations of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) indicates.

The systematic fortification of foods with vitamin D could more than hundred thousand cancer-related deaths per year in Europe, the DKFZ reports on the new study results of the research team Professor Dr. Hermann Brenner. These were published in theEuropean Journal of Epidemiology“.

Vitamin D supplements reduce cancer mortality

A good vitamin D supply protects against infections, strengthens the bones and muscles. Previous meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials have also shown that taking vitamin D supplements Reduces death rates from cancer by about 13 percentthe researchers report.

It has also already been proven that Vitamin D fortified foods increase vitamin D levels in a manner similar to taking Vitamin D preparations, according to the research team. (see: Cancer: Vitamin D-fortified foods could reduce mortality)

In addition, for example in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland or Australia, the fortification of foods such as milk, yoghurt, orange juice or breakfast cereals with a Extra portion of vitamin D been common practice for a long time. According to the DKFZ, however, most other nations have not yet done so.

Effect of systematic vitamin D accumulation

In the current study, the effect of a systematic vitamin D fortification of foods on cancer mortality in Europe or in the countries of the European Union (EU).

To do this, the researchers first collected information about the Vitamin D supplementation guidelines from 34 European countries and identified the Number of cancer-related deaths and life expectancy in each state.

Prevented cancer deaths calculated

These data were combined with the results of the studies on Influence of vitamin D administration on cancer mortality rates linked so that the number of in the countries with food fortification prevented cancer-related deaths could be calculated.

It is estimated that the current vitamin D accumulation prevents this 11,000 cancer deaths in the European Union and 27,000 cancer deaths in all European countries considered per year, reports the research team.

130,000 cancer deaths preventable

Furthermore, the researchers also calculated how many more cancer deaths could be preventedif systematic vitamin D fortification in food were introduced in all European countries.

“According to our model calculations, if all the countries we looked at fortified foods with adequate amounts of vitamin D, around 130,000 or around nine percent of all cancer deaths in Europe could be prevented”so Professor Brenner. This corresponds to a gain of almost 1.2 million years of life.

The numbers illustrate the immense potential that an improvement in vitamin D supply for the cancer prevention could have.

Good vitamin D supply important

A large part of the population, especially the elderly, show low vitamin D levelswhich are associated not only with an increased risk of cancer but also with an increased risk of numerous other diseases.

That is the case here Potential of systematic vitamin D fortification better use of food in the future. In addition to the intake of vitamin D through food, an adequate supply can also be achieved through sun exposure be ensured.

The Cancer Information Service of the DKFZ advises going outdoors when the sun is shining two to three times a week for about twelve minutes with the face, hands and parts of the arms and legs uncovered and without sun protection. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of medical specialist literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Tobias Niedermaier, Thomas Gredner, Sabine Kuznia, Ben Schöttker, Ute Mons, Jeroen Lakerveld, Wolfgang Ahrens, Hermann Brenner: Vitamin D food fortification in European countries: the underused potential to prevent cancer deaths; in: European Journal of Epidemiology (published 06.05.2022),
  • German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ): Vitamin D fortification of food – potential also for cancer prevention (published May 23, 2022),

Important NOTE:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

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