In a new study published February 22nd in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found a major link between low levels of vitamin D and aggressive prostate cancer. This study showed that low serum vitamin D blood levels in men may predict aggressive prostate cancer identified at the time of surgery.
This finding is significant because it can offer guidance to men and their doctors who may be monitoring the cancer rather than removing the prostate. The research team stated that “vitamin D deficiency may predict aggressive prostate cancer as a biomarker and that a deficiency should be corrected with supplements." Previous studies that showed this association were based on labs performed well before treatment. This study provides a more direct correlation because it measured D levels within a few months before the tumor was visually identified as aggressive during surgery.
This new study was part of a larger ongoing study of 1,760 men in the Chicago area investigating the association between vitamin D and prostate cancer. The recent study consisted of 190 men with an average age of 64 who had a radical prostatectomy to remove their prostate between the years 2009 to 2014. Eighty seven men of this group had aggressive prostate cancer. Those with aggressive cancer had an average vitamin D level of 22.7 ng/ml.
The researchers determined that all men should be assessing and supplementing accordingly to optimize their vitamin D levels. This is smart preventive health care. Since vitamin D is a biomarker for bone health as well as for the severity of many other chronic diseases, it would benefit everyone to have their levels routinely checked.
Most people should be taking vitamin D supplements, specifically during the winter months. However, I have found that vitamin D supplementation is really required year round. It is rare to have normal vitamin D levels when you work indoors in an office every day, no matter what time of the year it is. I find that most people need about 4000 IU daily to maintain normal, healthy levels, whereas a daily intake of 8000 - 10,000 IU is usually required to bring low vitamin D levels up to an optimal range.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN
Source: Y. A. Nyame, A. B. Murphy, D. K. Bowen, G. Jordan, K. Batai, M. Dixon, C. M. P. Hollowell, S. Kielb, J. J. Meeks, P. H. Gann, V. Macias, A. Kajdacsy-Balla, W. J. Catalona, R. Kittles. Associations Between Serum Vitamin D and Adverse Pathology in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy.Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2016; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2015.65.1463