Higher Vitamin D Levels Linked with Improved Prostate Cancer Survival

In an article published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (2016, Jan. 25), researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  document an association between higher serum levels of vitamin D and an increased chance of surviving prostate cancer. The current investigation included 1,000 participants in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study who were diagnosed with prostate cancer following enrollment. Just over 360 subjects died from their disease over 23 years of follow-up from the time of diagnosis. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and other factors were measured upon enrollment and questionnaires concerning diet and medical history were completed by all participants.  Among men whose vitamin D levels were among the top 20% of subjects, there was a 28% lower average adjusted risk of dying from prostate cancer compared to those whose levels were among the bottom 20%. The  effect was stronger among those who survived more than 3.3 years. If these conclusions are validated, vitamin D supplementation could eventually be considered for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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