May 30, 2009
New Theory On Vitamin D Cancer Protection Mechanism

UCSD epidemiologist Cedric Garland theorizes vitamin D prevents cells in the early stage of cancer from breaking off healthy communications with neighboring cells. Don't let those wayward cells withdraw from cellular society, become alienated, and sociopathic. Keep them involved with good neighbors that'll talk sense to them.

In studying the preventive effects of vitamin D, researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, have proposed a new model of cancer development that hinges on a loss of cancer cells' ability to stick together. The model, dubbed DINOMIT, differs substantially from the current model of cancer development, which suggests genetic mutations as the earliest driving forces behind cancer.

"The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels," said epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, who led the work. "In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over."

Reporting online May 22, 2009 in the Annals of Epidemiology, Garland suggests that such cellular disruption could account for the earliest stages of many cancers. He said that previous theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies.

"Competition and natural selection among disjoined cells within a tissue compartment, such as might occur in the breast's terminal ductal lobular unit, for example, are the engine of cancer," Garland said. "The DINOMIT model provides new avenues for preventing and improving the success of cancer treatment."

Garland went on to explain that each letter in DINOMIT stands for a different phase of cancer development. "D" stands for disjunction, or loss of intercellular communication; "I," for initiation, where genetic mutations begin to play a role; "N" for natural selection of the fastest-reproducing cancer cells; "O" for overgrowth of cells; "M" for metastasis, when cancer cells migrate to other tissues, where cancer can kill; "I" refers to involution, and "T" for transition, both dormant states that may occur in cancer and potentially be driven by replacing vitamin D.

My interpretation is that if this theory is correct then vitamin D intervenes at a fairly early stage of cancer development. The competition helps growth-promoting mutations to get selected for. That competition must be prevented at the earliest stage possible to reduce or delay the accumulation of growth-promoting mutations.

While there is not yet definitive scientific proof, Garland suggests that much of the evolutionary process in cancer could be arrested at the outset by maintaining vitamin D adequacy. "Vitamin D may halt the first stage of the cancer process by re-establishing intercellular junctions in malignancies having an intact vitamin D receptor," he said.

According to Garland, other scientists have found that the cells adhere to one another in tissue with adequate vitamin D, acting as mature epithelial cells. Without enough vitamin D, they may lose this stickiness along with their identity as differentiated cells, and revert to a stem cell-like state.

Garland suggests 2000 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation.

Garland said that diet and supplements can restore appropriate vitamin D levels, and perhaps help in preventing cancer development. "Vitamin D levels can be increased by modest supplementation with vitamin D3 in the range of 2000 IU/day," he noted.

That'll probably cut the risks of Alzheimer's and other diseases too.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 May 30 03:02 PM  Aging Diet Cancer Studies

Engineer-Poet said at May 30, 2009 9:50 PM:

Could the Scandinavian custom of nude sunbathing have evolved as a way to improve health?

Perhaps vitamin D supplementation should be eliminated in Europe, to force the liberalization of Islamic immigrants via the health consequences of traditional repressiveness.  Your women and children get rickets and die.  This place is obviously wrong for you; maybe you belong elsewhere?

Lono said at May 31, 2009 3:49 PM:


This is a most interesting and exciting theory - I find it quite compelling!


Stop being a racist d-bag and do something constructive for society.

And if you are really an engineer - stop being so dense - and study the REAL science behind 9/11 - you may find that your enemy is not as easy to stereotype as you think!

Ken said at June 16, 2009 3:32 AM:

Nigerian children get rickets, it's a nutritional disease caused by poor quality food in combination with phytic acid in unleavened bread ect. binding calcium. Paleolithic Diet Symposium.

Even Sweden has an excess of UV' which is why the synthesis of vitamin D switches off in Swedes after 20 minutes sunbathing just like everyone else.

Sunbathing was nowhere a 'tradition' before the twenties, something that doesn't give me much confidence that it's an analloyed benefit.
A pseudo-epidemic?.
Mad dogs and ....

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