November 27, 2014

Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to aggressive prostate cancer

The Benefits of Vitamin D

A great amount of research present the multiple benefits of Vitamin D. For example, Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus, helps build bones and brings many more benefits to other tissues in the body, including kidneys, intestines and parathyroid glands. In fact, past reasearch found a link between a low level of Vitamin D and numerous health problems.

Vitamin D and Prostate Cancer

One of the most important positive effect of Vitamin D is the potential to protect against cancer. More precisely, Vitamin D can help prevent tumour growth by blocking cancer cells from spreading. New findings published in the Clinical Cancer Research Journal suggest that a low level of Vitamin D in men may be associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. In fact, the lower the Vitamin D level, the more aggressive the prostate cancer.

The study was conducted in Chicago on 275 European-American men and 273 African-American men between 2009 and 2013. The men were aged between 40 and 79 years and were undergoing an initial prostate biopsy. In both groups, low Vitamin D levels were associated with a more advanced and aggressive prostate cancer. The results were even greater for African-American men.

Moreover, the study also indicates that African-American men with a Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The study found no link between low Vitamin D levels and prostate cancer diagnosis in European-American men.

One explanation for the higher risk in African-American men is the darker skin color. Indeed, the color of the skin affects the amount of Vitamin D absorbed from the sun; the darker the skin, the less it can absorb.

Vitamin D sources

The sun is the most important source of Vitamin D, however it is also present in some types of food like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, fish liver oils, cheese and egg yolks. Vitamin D is often added in some foods like breakfast cereals, orange juices and milk. There are also Vitamin D supplements available for people with a deficiency.

Future Research

Further research is needed to study the association between low levels of Vitamin D and the increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. However, the findings support a multitude of past studies addressing the importance of Vitamin D on the general wellness and health.

For more information regarding Vitamin D and it’s association with prostate cancer, contact PROCURE or refer the following sections:  About the disease, Risk Factors, Treatments, Diet, Questions for my doctor.

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