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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer
A new study suggests that have low levels of vitamin D in your blood is connected to a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. For African Americans with low vitamin D levels were at an even higher risk.
This study was published in the Journal Clinical Cancer Research states that vitamin D plays an important part in how prostate cancer begins and spreads, although it doesn’t yet prove an actual cause-and-effect relationship between the two. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how vitamin D comes into play but they believe that taking extra vitamin D might possibly keep prostate cancer in check.
It’s well known that vitamin D plays an important role in how cells grow and the way that they develop. Vitamin D can control the growth rate of both cancer cells as well as normal cells. When vitamin D is put on cancerous prostate cells in a petri dish, their growth rate slows way down. It’s believed that not getting enough of this important vitamin may cause normal cell growth to goamiss.
Adam Murphy, M.D., MBA from the Deparment of Urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago believes that vitamin D is a steroid hormone that can affect the frown of both malignant and benign cells within the prostate. He also thinks that a deficiency of vitamin D seems to be a forecaster of developing very aggressive forms of cancer in both African American and European American males.
Some people call vitamin D the “sunshine vitamin” because when we are outside, our skin is able to convert sunshine into vitamin D. As we age, our vitamin D levels tend to drop. Also, a lack of vitamin D is a much more common occurance in regions that get less sunlight and for those with darker skin tones because they naturally block more sunlight. Find out 8 common diseases caused from a lack of vitamin D.
Researchers decided to test this theory on 667 men who lived in Chicago. The men were between the ages of 40 and 79 and had recently had abnormal prostate tests. Normal levels of vitamin D are somewhere in the 30 to 80 nanograms per milliliter. A deficiency would be considered anything 20 ng/ml or less. All the men who tested positive for cancer had vitamin D levels of about 12 ng/ml and they had much higher chances of having more aggressive cancers than those with normal vitamin D levels in their blood.
And for African American men the link seems even stronger. Black men with levels of less than 12 ng/ml were much more likely than those with normal vitamin D levels to test positive for prostate cancer. Generally speaking, black men are much more likely to be diagnosed with cancer of the prostate. Men overall have about a one in seven chance during their lifetime of developing cancer of the prostate. For black men, that risk is one in five. This is according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists are exactly sure if the lower vitamin D levels are what causes black men to have higher risks of prostate cancer and that more studies are needed to determine this. Read more about one spice that kills two types of cancer.