Vitamin D deficiency linked to aggressive prostate cancer

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Lately, there's been a lot of controversy about Vitamin D recommendations, which in turn has led many to puzzlement on how much they should be taking.

Despite this great disagreement among experts and scientists, Vitamin D deficiency has now been linked to aggressive prostate cancer, according to a new study.

The study hints that Vitamin D may play a crucial role in how prostate cancer starts and spreads, although this does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“Vitamin D deficiency could be a bio-marker of advanced prostate tumour progression in large segments of the general population,” said Adam B. Murphy, Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

He said it would be wise for men to be screened for Vitamin D deficiency and treated although more research is needed. 

Rick Kittles, an associate professor in the department of medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) said: “This is the first study to look at Vitamin D deficiency and biopsy outcomes in men at high risk of prostate cancer”.

In the study, scientists examined data collected from more than 600 men between the ages of 40 and 79 from the Chicago area who had elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels or other risk factors for prostate cancer.

Each man was screened for Vitamin D deficiency before undergoing a prostate biopsy.

The authors were surprised to find that Vitamin D deficiency seemed to be a predictor of aggressive forms of prostate cancer diagnosis in African-American and European-American men.

“These men, with severe Vitamin D deficiency, had greater odds of advanced grade and advanced stage of tumours within or outside the prostate," Murphy added.

Unless it is severe, Vitamin D deficiency is fairly asymptomatic, so more effort needs to be put on screening.

The study has been published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

With Agency Inputs


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