Research Says Vitamin D May Slow Prostate Cancer Growth
High-doses of vitamin D supplements could keep prostate cancer cells from proliferating, revealed one recent study funded by the Canadian Cancer Society.
Dr. Reinhold Vieth and his colleagues orally administered 400, 10,000, and 40,000 IUs of vitamin D daily to 66 men due for radical prostatectomy, a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the prostate gland to keep prostate cancer from spreading. The result: those who swallowed 40,000 IUs of vitamin D everyday had the highest levels of calcitriol, a hormone whose anticancer potential has been recognized due to anti-neoplastic or anti-tumor mechanism and its ability to initiate programmed killing of cancer cells (apoptosis). Calcitriol is known to lower Ki67 levels. Ki67 is a protein that indicates the severity of prostate cancer. The higher the Ki67 concentration, the more advanced a man’s prostate cancer is.
Calcitriol also lowers elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and inhibits the mutation of androgen receptors (AR), two biomarkers of prostate cancer. The hormone also cuts off prostate tumors’ blood supply, which keeps them from growing and spreading. But vitamin D doesn’t just jack up calcitriol levels. It also prevents prostate cancer cells from multiplying rapidly and metastasizing.
A Johns Hopkins report stated that there is a positive link between prostate cancer and vitamin D, and that men over 50 who have sub-optimal serum vitamin D levels are particularly more prone to it. Due to certain health and geographical factors some men may be hard-pressed at producing natural vitamin D via sunlight exposure. Johns Hopkins said that this shouldn’t be a problem at all, given the wide availability of vitamin D supplements in the market.
Not only is vitamin D supplementation a potent chemopreventive intervention. It’s also safer than conventional prostate cancer treatments. Side effects of mainstream prostate cancer therapies such as radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and oral intake of hormone-blocking meds include increased likelihood to develop blood clots, sexual dysfunction, and embarrassing uro-genital problems such as urinary incontinence.
Vieth remarked that vitamin D appears to restore the body’s self-regulating function, something that disappears in out-of-control situations like cancer. Prostate cancer patients now have greater hope because of the benefits of vitamin D. Just don’t forget to do so under the supervision and guidance of a health professional who’s well-versed in all forms of prostate cancer treatment.
To learn more about Vitamin D, check out this post.