22. September 2023

Vitamin D lowers inflammation marker levels in cancer patients

Vitamin D is of great importance as an essential component for the body and appears to play a significant role in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and many other diseases 1. More and more health-promoting effects of vitamin D have been scientifically demonstrated in recent years 2. Now, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has shown that daily intake of vitamin D significantly reduces the release of the inflammatory marker tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in patients with cancer or precancer 3.

In a previous study, the Cancer Research Center was already able to prove that the daily intake of vitamin D can reduce the risk of cancer by about 12% 4. To what extent vitamin D influences the progression of the disease in detail is still the subject of research. However, initial evidence suggests that vitamin D can alter inflammation-related signaling processes 5. The newly published meta-analysis from the DKFZ by the research group led by scientist Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner now shows that regular vitamin D intake significantly reduces the release of the inflammatory marker TNF-α, an important factor in inflammation-related carcinogenesis 3. For the systematic analysis in the course of the broad investigation, eight studies with a total of 592 participants suffering from cancer or its precursors were reviewed to elucidate the influence of vitamin D supplementation on relevant inflammatory biomarkers. Here, the results indicated a clear reduction in the inflammatory marker TNF-α when vitamin D was taken regularly 3. This evidence of the anti-inflammatory property vividly presents the immense importance of vitamin D for the patient, so that the issue of the health-promoting effects of vitamin D intake will become all the more important in the treatment and prevention of diseases in the future. In summary, all these research results and information once again underline the importance of regularly checking vitamin levels and ensuring an adequate supply of vitamin D.


  1. Wang H, Chen W, Li D, et al. Vitamin D and Chronic Diseases. Aging Dis. 2017;8(3):346. doi:10.14336/AD.2016.1021
  2. Charoenngam N, Holick MF. Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2020;12(7):2097. doi:10.3390/nu12072097
  3. Gwenzi T, Zhu A, Schrotz-King P, Schöttker B, Hoffmeister M, Brenner H. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory response in patients with cancer and precancerous lesions: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Clinical Nutrition. 2023;42(7):1142-1150. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2023.05.009
  4. Kuznia S, Zhu A, Akutsu T, et al. Efficacy of vitamin D3 supplementation on cancer mortality: Systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Ageing Res Rev. 2023;87:101923. doi:10.1016/j.arr.2023.101923
  5. El-Sharkawy A, Malki A. Vitamin D Signaling in Inflammation and Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications. Molecules. 2020;25(14):3219. doi:10.3390/molecules25143219


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