, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 428–429 | Cite as

In defense of the UVB–vitamin D–cancer hypothesis

  • William B. GrantEmail author
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Ronald Brown proposes the vitamin D– de–phosphorus–cancer hypotheses to replace the UVB–vitamin D–cancer hypothesis [1]. I will not evaluate his two hypotheses. However, I will defend the UVB–vitamin D–cancer hypothesis.

Brown cited ~17 papers reporting evidence that vitamin D fails to reduce the risk of cancer incidence and approximately four reporting that vitamin D does reduce the risk of cancer incidence. A quick search at (July 7, 2019) finds that there are 5372 publications with “vitamin D” and “cancer” in the title and/or abstract. Thus, Brown apparently selectively searched for papers that did not support the UVB–vitamin D–cancer hypothesis.

The strongest evidence for beneficial effects of agents generally comes from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Brown argued that vitamin D RCTs failed to support the UVB–vitamin D–cancer hypothesis based on statements reported in the abstracts. Journals such as the New England Journal of Medicinerestrict...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author received funding from Bio-Tech Pharmacal, Inc. (Fayetteville, AR).


  1. 1.
    R.B. Brown, Vitamin D, cancer, and dysregulated phosphate metabolism. Endocrine. (2019). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    W.B. Grant, B.J. Boucher, Randomized controlled trials of vitamin D and cancer incidence: a modeling study. PLoS ONE 12(5), e0176448 (2017). CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    W.B. Grant, A multicountry ecological study of cancer incidence rates in 2008 with respect to various risk-modifying factors. Nutrients 6(1), 163–189 (2014). CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research CenterSan FranciscoUSA

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