Government to Fund Huge Vitamin D Study

June 29, 2009

In 2010, Boston will be home to a $20 million study on the effects vitamin D and fish oil have in reducing the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease in humans, reports the Boston Globe.

In 2010, Boston will be home to a $20 million study on the effects vitamin D and fish oil have in reducing the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease in humans, reports the Boston Globe. The project is being funded by NIH (Bethesda, MD), and will enroll 20,000 patients starting January of next year.

The intentions of the study are to analyze how vitamin D affects the average person, and specifically how it affects African American. Darker skin does prevent significant vitamin D absorption from the sun, so a quarter of the study’s patients will be black to evaluate this factor.

“African Americans have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency and a greater frequency of certain types of cancer,” said JoAnn Manson, MD, a lead researcher for the study. “I think that it will be of great importance to look at whether something as simple as taking a vitamin D supplement can narrow these health gaps.”

The study will use women over 65 and men over 60, all with no history of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Patients will be separated into four groups-one given pills of vitamin D and fish oil, one given placebos, and the other two given one placebo and one supplement.

More information on the study can be found at www.vitalstudy.org.