Vitamin D Deficiency Could Lead to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Vitamin D Deficiency Could Lead to Aggressive Prostate Cancer


At every turn, it seems that new research shows how important vitamins and nutrients are in keeping the male body healthy, especially when looking at the prostate. In recent years, there have been links to certain vitamin deficiencies and prostate cancer including the most recent research that shows that those with Vitamin D deficiency may be more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer.

The latest study was published in Clinical Cancer Research earlier this year, which is a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The study was published after researchers examined the spread of prostate cancer in the bodies of European American and African American men saw high levels in their prostate-specific antigen counts, or in their digital rectal examination test results.

The Study

Adam B. Murphy, M.D., MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Urology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill. said, “In our study, vitamin D deficiency seemed to be a predictor of aggressive forms of prostate cancer diagnosis in European-American and African-American men.”

Murphy went on to add that the supplementation of Vitamin D could a reliable preventive measure for prostate cancer or can even limit the progression of prostate cancer in already diagnosed patients.

The actual study, which was conducted between 2009 and 2013, 667 men between the ages of 40 and 79 were examined. These men were undergoing their first biopsy of the prostate in the Chicago area after getting their first high prostate specific antigen score and/or digital rectal examination results. At the time of recruitment into the study, their 25-OH D levels were measured and documented. Of those who initially enrolled in the study, 273 were African American and 275 were of European American descent. One hundred sixty eight men from each group were diagnosed with prostate cancer after their biopsy.

After analyzing the data, the European American men and African American men 3.66 times and 4.89 times higher chance of developing aggressive prostate cancer on the Gleason grade, and 2.42 times and 4.22 times of having a tumor stage T2b.

The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense, shows interesting results. There was not an association found between the diagnosis of prostate cancer and Vitamin D deficiency in European American males, there was some association found in African American men. The study also found that the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer in the men of each background was stronger for African Americans than European Americans. The belief behind this was that the skin color of the male would have a role in the matter. This will be covered more in the next topic.

Murphy added, ““Vitamin D deficiency seems to be important for general wellness and may be involved in the formation or progression of several human cancers. It would be wise to be screened for vitamin D deficiency and treated.”

Vitamin D – What is It and Why is it Important?

According to WebMD, Vitamin D is essential and vital to the human body. The easiest way to get more Vitamin D in your system is to expose your body to sunlight, but it can also be attained by consuming certain foods including egg yolks, fish liver oils and fish, as well as fortified grain and dairy products.

The vitamin is especially important to the body because it encourages stronger bones, especially for those still growing. The way Vitamin D works is by helping the human body use calcium from their natural diet. When you don’t have enough of the vitamin in the body, you will begin to feel aches and pain in the bone. Muscle weakness can also occur because of this deficiency, but these a lot of the times, these symptoms are too minor and subtle to think anything serious is wrong.

Those males with dark skin colors are most likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which has made many question whether Vitamin D deficiency could be a cause. This latest research allowed those who felt the two were linked the proof they needed. Those with darker skin colors are already at a high risk of suffering this deficiency because of their skin’s inability to produce the vitamin naturally.  

For those wondering how to calculate their Vitamin D levels, you would need to measure the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) in your blood. This is not something you can do on your own from the comfort of your bathroom, so these tests would need to be conducted by a medical practitioner. The normal range of 25-OH that should be found in your blood are from 30 to 80 nanograms per milliliter (nb/ml). 

>Learn more about the prostate gland

>Learn more about prostate massages


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