Linking High Vitamin D Levels and Prostate Cancer Risk

Categories: Spring 2015

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At a public conference on vitamin D sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Demetrius Albanes (National Cancer Institute) reported on medical literature suggesting that men with the highest levels of vitamin D may have an increased risk of prostate cancer. One meta-analysis he cited found a 1.17-fold increased risk of prostate cancer among men with the highest levels of serum vitamin D based on a review of 11,941 cases of men with prostate cancer.1 Dr. Albanes said a possible mechanism for the link could be the association between higher serum vitamin D levels and total testosterone, but further trials are needed to explore this.

Most reports from observational studies indicate a protective relationship between vitamin D and colorectal cancer. It is possible that the antiinflammation impact of higher vitamin D or detoxification of secondary bile acids may play a role in this. Other studies have shown that men with high levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of pancreatic cancer.

The 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test is the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body.

  1. J. Cancer Res. Clin. Oncol. 2014;140:1465-77

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