This sunshine vitamin is getting more and more prominence. An extremely important vitamin for immunity, vitamin D deficiency has earlier been associated with heart disease, auto immune conditions and fatigue. Now, it’s role in stopping the progression of low grade prostate cancer has been proven, as per a study conducted by the American Chemical Society.
In cases of low-grade prostate cancer, with Gleason scores of 6 and below being termed as less aggressive, many urologists do not treat the disease, but instead do what’s called “active surveillance.” The cure — meaning surgery or radiation — is probably worse than the disease, so they wait a year and then do another biopsy to see where the patient stands. However, in this controlled clinical trial, 37 men undergoing elective prostatectomies were assigned either to a group that received 4,000 U of vitamin D per day, or to a placebo group that didn’t receive vitamin D. The men’s prostate glands were removed and examined 60 days later.
Preliminary results from this study indicate that many of the men who received vitamin D showed improvements in their prostate tumors, whereas the tumors in the placebo group either stayed the same or got worse. Also, vitamin D caused dramatic changes in the expression levels of many cell lipids and proteins, particularly those involved in inflammation. As we know, cancer is associated with inflammation, especially in the prostate gland. And vitamin D is really fighting this inflammation within the gland. The new research suggests that vitamin D supplementation may improve low-grade prostate cancers by reducing inflammation, perhaps lessening the need for eventual surgery or radiation treatment. All those treated with vitamin D therapy already had normal levels of it, hence, in such cases, the RDA for vitamin D may be under question, as higher doses maybe required to treat or slow the progression of this cancer.