Vitamin D may help curb breast cancer progression, suggests a small study published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.
The authors reach their conclusion from a study of 279 women with invasive breast cancer. The disease was in the early stages in 204 women, and advanced in the remainder.
Serum levels of vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and calcium were measured in both groups of women.
The results showed that women with early stage disease had significantly higher levels of vitamin D and significantly lower levels of parathyroid hormone than did the women with advanced disease.
There was little difference in calcium levels between the two groups.
The authors say that the exact reasons for the disparity are unclear, nor is it known whether the low levels of vitamin D among those with advanced disease are a cause or consequence of the cancer itself.
But it is known that vitamin D treatment boosts the activity of certain key genes and dampens it down in others. One gene that is boosted is p21, which has an important role in controlling the cell cycle.
Does the advance of the cancer lower vitamin D? Or does the higher vitamin D cause cancer to develop more slowly so that people who have higher blood vitamin D tend to stay in early stage cancer longer and have a higher chance of getting diagnosed while still in earlier stages? My guess is the latter factor is at work because so much other research has demonstrated anti-cancer effects of vitamin D.
This study has shown that serum levels of 25(OH)D were markedly higher and that PTH levels were considerably lower in patients with early-stage breast cancer than in those with locally advanced or metastatic disease. The notably higher serum PTH in patients with metastatic disease than that in those with early-stage disease is presumably due to the lower vitamin D level, resulting in a lower serum calcium and therefore a rise in serum PTH. The raised PTH level can therefore account for the lack of any difference in serum calcium between these two groups. Epidemiological studies have previously shown that maintenance of adequate levels of vitamin D via exposure to sunlight is associated with a reduced incidence and mortality of breast cancer.
Also see my previous posts: Vitamin D Could Decrease Overall Cancer Risk 30% and Vitamin D Reduces Breast Cancer Risk and Vitamin D Reduces Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer and Fatty Fish In Diet Lower Kidney Cancer Risk.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2006 October 18 09:06 PM Aging Diet Cancer Studies|