According to a new study vitamin D supplements could slow or even reverse the progression of prostate tumors which are less aggressive, or on a lower grade.
“We do not know as of now if vitamin D treats or prevents prostate cancer, but what it may do is keep lower-grade prostate cancers from expanding” said Bruce Hollis from the Medical University of South Carolina.
The results of the study were presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in Denver, US.
According to the researched shown at the world’s largest scientific society, in cases of less agressive prostate cancer, many urologists do not treat the disease, choosing instead to keep it under ”active surveillance”, said Hollis.
“Vitamin D decreases inflammation in tissues, which is a driver of cancer,” explained the researcher.
The scientists assigned 37 men who willingly had their prostate removed for the study in order to receive 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D or a placebo for 60 days before having the operation.
When the prostate gland was examined After their surgery, researchers examined their prostate gland and found that many who received vitamin D had improvements in their prostate tumors, while in the placebo group tumors remained the same or got worse.
“In greater than 60 percent of those taking it, vitamin D actually made the cancer better,” added Hollis.
He mentioned that in some cases the tumor regressed, while n others the cancer disappeared. It’s an encouraging result, even fi the study was small. A larger research is expected to be carried out in the next years.
These findings indicate that taking vitamin D could help reduce the need for a radical treatment in the case of low-grade prostate tumors.
“It’s premature to make any conclusions,” said Dr. Anthony D’Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He added that a larger study is needed and recommended that men should not start taking vitamin D supplements hoping to cure prostate cancer.
Vitamin D is produced by the body when it is exposed to sun. It is found in fatty fish or fortified dairy products. The data and conclusion of the study is considered preliminary until they will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Image Source: DR Magaziner