Vitamin D Prostate Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Following research and clinical trials findings, it would appear as though lower blood levels of vitamin D also may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. There are scientific opinions that link this possibility to lower exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light that many Americans experience day in and out, especially since UV light exposure can increase vitamin D in the body and the lack of it? well? High plasma levels of Vitamin D may also have a protective effect, based on certain other study results.

Vitamin D is necessary for normal bone formation and for retention of calcium and phosphorus in the body. It protects the teeth and bones against the effects of low calcium intake by making more effective use of calcium and phosphorus; it can be obtained from egg yolk, liver, tuna, and vitamin-D fortified milk; and it can manufactured in the body when sterols commonly found in many foods migrate to the skin and become irradiated by sunshine.

While the role of vitamin D in bone and mineral metabolism has been investigated extensively as shown above, its role in other tissues is less well understood. About Calcitriol and prostate cancer, keep reading. A certain drug, Calcitriol (which is actually a chemical substance called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, made from the synthesis of vitamin D), appears to be able to act as a differentiating agent in normal tissues and inhibit the growth of many cancer cell lines including LNCaP prostate cancer cells. It has also been shown that Calcitriol induces apoptosis of LNCaP cells, causing them to undergo the normal programmed cell death as normal healthy cells do.

Calcitriol, the principal active metabolite of vitamin D and a naturally occurring hormone, is generating quite a stir in the cancer research community, especially with respect to prostate cancer. It has further showed a significant anti-neoplastic activity in pre-clinical models of the cancer and many other tumor types in a way that has not been observed by many other treatments; plus the observations showed that anti-neoplastic effects were at concentrations substantially above normal physiological range. So, even if nothing else, the ability of the drug to induce apoptosis and inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells is not in doubt.

However, these are mere pre-clinical findings which have motivated several researchers to follow up on more clinical trials to examine how vitamin D will perform against raw prostate cancer, especially in the later stages of the disease when it is not considered treatable; but also in disease prevention, because being able to prevent the disease entirely certainly will be a step up from the pain, fear, and expense of prostate cancer treatment.

We wait with bathed breath and crossed fingers while the pollsters keep up their critical researches.

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