A few months ago we wrote about Vitamin D and its prostate cancer fighting power. To refresh your memory, researchers out the University of Colorado Cancer Center had found that vitamin D could help block a protein that causes prostate tumors to grow. They also found that inflammation may be the link between vitamin D and prostate cancer.
Now another team of scientists has found that taking vitamin D supplements might reduce the need for definitive prostate cancer treatments like surgery or radiation. The research suggests that taking these supplements, could slow or even improve low-grade prostate tumors by reducing inflammation.
Study: Vitamin D May Sustain Low-Grade Prostate Cancer
The team out of the Medical University of South Carolina, gave men undergoing surgery vitamin D supplements during the 60-day waiting period between biopsy and prostatectomy to see if this would affect their prostate cancer. The randomized study, separated 37 men into two groups. One group received 4,000 U of vitamin D daily, while the other was a placebo group that didn't receive any vitamin D supplement. Sixty days later, the men underwent prostate surgery and their prostates were looked at for any changes.
The results from the study seem very promising, in that they show improvement in the state of the prostate tumors in many of the men who received vitamin D. Alternatively, the tumors in the men of the placebo group either stayed the same or got worse. Furthermore, vitamin D caused changes in the expression of proteins associated with inflammation. We already know that cancer, especially in the prostate gland, is associated with inflammation. So in this study it looks like what Vitamin D is really doing is fighting inflammation, and through that improving the state of the prostate cancer.
Findings such as this have the potential to change the way we approach cancer treatment. Something as simple as Vitamin D supplementation, has the ability to reach many men inexpensively and effectively. If we could reduce the severity of prostate cancer with something as simple as a vitamin, what a wonderful world it could be!