Gastric cancerVitamin D levels

There is no evidence of a link between levels of vitamin D in the blood and rates of gastric cancer.

An observational study in China1 did not find a link between levels of vitamin D in the blood and gastric cancer.

However, in a study in which ten studies were pooled, “Subgroup analysis by race showed that among Asians, but not Caucasians, lower concentrations of 25(OH)D (<25 nmol/L) were associated with a statistically significant decreased risk of upper (gastrointestinal) GI cancer (reference: 50-<75 nmol/L) (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% confidence interval: 0.31, 0.91; P trend = 0.003). Never smokers with concentrations of <25 nmol/L showed a lower risk of upper GI cancers (odds ratio = 0.55, 95% confidence interval: 0.31, 0.96)2.” 

This contradicts the findings from ecological studies. However, a single measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] loses prognostic value after a few years3. This study had an average follow-up period of 6.63 years, during which time serum 25(OH)D levels change seasonally and due to lifestyle changes.

Page last edited: 22 August 2011


  1. Chen, W. Dawsey, S. M. Qiao, Y. L. Mark, S. D. Dong, Z. W. Taylor, P. R. Zhao, P. Abnet, C. C. Prospective study of serum 25(OH)-vitamin D concentration and risk of oesophageal and gastric cancers. Br J Cancer. 2007 Jul 2; 97 (1): 123-8.
  2. Abnet, C. C. Chen, Y. Chow, W. H. Gao, Y. T. Helzlsouer, K. J. Le Marchand, L. McCullough, M. L. Shikany, J. M. Virtamo, J. Weinstein, S. J. Xiang, Y. B. Yu, K. Zheng, W. Albanes, D. Arslan, A. A. Campbell, D. S. Campbell, P. T. Hayes, R. B. Horst, R. L. Kolonel, L. N. Nomura, A. M. Purdue, M. P. Snyder, K. Shu, X. O. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of esophageal and gastric cancer: Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers. Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Jul 1; 172 (1): 94-106.
  3. Grant, W. B. Effect of interval between serum draw and follow-up period on relative risk of cancer incidence with respect to 25-hydroxyvitamin D level; implications for meta-analyses and setting vitamin D guidelines. Dermato-endocrinology. 2011; 3 (3):