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Insufficient vitamin D levels associated with aggressive prostate cancer

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.
March 2 2016. On February 22, 2016, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published an article by Dr Adam Murphy and colleagues at Northwestern University that reported an association between insufficient serum vitamin D levels and aggressive prostate cancer, which is associated with a less favorable chance of survival in comparison with nonaggressive disease.
The current study utilized data from a larger study involving 1,760 residents of the Chicago area, among whom 190 men underwent radical prostatectomies due to prostate cancer. Blood samples collected prior to surgery were analyzed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
Eighty-seven men had indications of aggressive disease at the time of their surgeries. Having an insufficient vitamin D level of less than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) was associated with a 2.64 times greater adjusted risk of adverse pathology compared with higher levels of the vitamin. The finding could aid in the prediction of which men would be appropriate candidates for active surveillance (otherwise known as “watchful waiting”), which is an option for patients with nonaggressive disease.
“Vitamin D deficiency may predict aggressive prostate cancer as a biomarker,” commented Dr Murphy, who is an assistant professor of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine urologist. “Men with dark skin, low vitamin D intake or low sun exposure should be tested for vitamin D deficiency when they are diagnosed with an elevated PSA or prostate cancer. Then a deficiency should be corrected with supplements.”
“It’s very hard to have normal levels when you work in an office every day and because of our long winter,” Dr Murphy observed. “All men should be replenishing their vitamin D to normal levels.  It’s smart preventive health care.”

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