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The BMI of a patient should be taken into account when determining their vitamin D status, according to researchers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). In a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting earlier this month, the researchers found that obese cancer patients had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared to non-obese patients.
"Currently, the dietary recommendations for vitamin D do not take into account a patient's BMI," said Carolyn Lammersfeld, national director of nutrition for CTCA and a principal investigator in the study.
The study consisted of 740 cancer patients seen at CTCA from January 2008 to June 2008 and found that obese cancer patients - with a BMI of 30 or greater - had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared to non-obese patients.
The researchers concluded that BMI should be taken into account when assessing a patient's vitamin D status and more aggressive vitamin D supplementation should be considered in obese cancer patients.
The exact nature of the relationship between vitamin D and obesity is unclear, as various studies have shown conflicting results. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a greater risk of cancer in many studies and vitamin D tests are increasingly recommended to monitor health.
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