Vitamin D Researcher Frank C. Garland Passes Away

Frank Garland, an epidemiologist and cancer researcher who studied the effects of Vitamin D in fighting cancer, has died. He was 60. Photo care of Kim Edwards.

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 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, boneĀ  loss, and significantly reduce adverse outcomes in pregnancy and childbirth.

Obituary in the LA Times.

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