Vitamin D and cancer

18 November 2015  |  Editor

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Vitamin D and cancer prevention

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Vitamin D has been eagerly studied by those interested in cancer prevention. DNA expression appears to be at the very heart of whether cells become cancerous or not, and there are endless studies examining the relationship between vitamin D and various kinds of cancer. One shows, for example, that vitamin D deficient women have a 222% greater risk of developing breast cancer; another that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with a 40% increased risk of colorectal cancer20; another that there is a significantly increased risk for prostate cancer.

What is of perhaps even greater interest, however, is the research beyond cancer prevention, looking at vitamin D’s potential ability to help reduce tumours once they are already there. One study suggests vitamin D as an effective therapy for neuroblastoma patients; and a Mexico study demonstrates the anti-proliferative effect of vitamin D on breast cancer cells. Another study shows that vitamin D deficient women with breast cancer were 94% more likely to have metastases, and showed a shorter life expectancy rate24 than those with acceptable levels of vitamin D. 

Much of this is attributed to vitamin D’s role in apoptosis, or the process of natural cell death. Cancer cells are often described as being unable to die, and so there is always much interest when a new substance is found that can help to promote this. Vitamin D in its hormone form can trigger the expression of genes that promote apoptosis, and so extinguish cells that the body no longer has a need for. It can also trigger the expression of genes that are involved in detoxification as well as antioxidant genes. A further study looks at the hormonal ability of vitamin D to reduce progesterone and estradiol levels in women, thus providing another clue to why it might be effective in reducing the incidence of breast cancer. Countless more look at vitamin D’s role in still further aspects of cancer and its progression.

We have a number of articles about different aspects of Vitamin D and the vital roll it plays. Click of any link below to look at that subject or, below the links, click to bring up a printable PDF document covering all of the subjects by the excellent Nutrigold company, which also incorporates references.