One of the greatest contributors to human understanding of vitamin D, researcher Dr. Frank C. Garland, passed away on Tuesday, August 17 at UCSD Thornton Hospital after a nearly year-long illness. He was 60 years old. Science, and the rest of us, have lost a great researcher.
Dr. Garland, along with brother Dr. Cedric Garland, were the first to make the connection between vitamin D deficiency and cancer, igniting the interest of the scientific community. Today, there is evidence of as many as 20 different cancers that are responsive to vitamin D and more may be found.
For his work in the area of vitamin D and cancer prevention, Dr. Garland received the Arnold-Rikli Prize for Advancement in the Field of Photobiology. In 2006, the International Journal of Epidemiology re-published, in its original form, the 1980 article by the Garlands concerning vitamin D and cancer prevention entitled Do sunlight and vitamin D reduce the likelihood of colon cancer?
A memorial video by Carole Baggerly (made when he was still alive) and a donation link to the Frank C. Garland Cancer Prevention Fund can be found at http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ His videos on Vitamin D research can be found on YouTube.
The Garland brothers are seminal researchers showing the ability of Vitamin D to prevent cancer of the colon, in opposition to the conventional wisdom that sunlight is primarily a cause of cancer. In fact it is protective (although sunburn will cause problems.) Their research dates from the 1980s. but has taken decades to penetrate the anti-sunshine fog. Because of Garland’s research, Carole Baggerly first raised her hand at a scientific conference, asking, “What can we do to get the message out?” This led to John Cannel’s Vitamin D Council and the UCSD-associated Grass Roots Health Net and a movement that may be the biggest contribution to public health of any. Subsequent study has shown that Vitamin D not only protects against cancer but many other diseases as it is a necessary hormone not easily available in food.
Thanks to Dr. Garland we now know that if we can get Americans to increase their Vitamin D3 levels to 50-80 ng/ml, we can virtually eliminate Type 1 diabetes, reduce breast and corectal cancer deaths by 75%, reduce psoriasis by 65%, significantly reduce MS, heart attacks, diabetes, fibromyalgia, pain, bone loss, and significantly reduce adverse outcomes in pregnancy and childbirth.
Obituary in the LA Times.