Friday, June 27, 2008

Lack of 1 Vitamin May Cause Cancer

This will make you drink your milk and seek out the sunshine every day. A deficiency of vitamin D--a relatively common occurrence--could significantly increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, according to researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York.

And when people with vitamin D deficiencies get cancer, they have a far greater chance of developing numerous complications known to occur in cancer patients. Led by Dr. Donald L. Trump, the team indicated that the risk has shown up in epidemiological data, basic science research and clinical trials.

The good news is that the opposite appears to be true: Aggressive vitamin D supplementation can serve as a preventive and therapeutic cancer agent, although large-scale trials must be conducted to prove the hypothesis. And that's exactly what the Roswell Park Cancer Institute is now doing by testing high-dose calcitriol (vitamin D) replacement in individuals with a high risk of lung cancer.

While the data strongly suggest that calcitriol and other vitamin D supplements have a role in the suppression of established cancer, questions remain about optimal dose, schedule and formulation of the calcitriol compound. The study findings were presented to the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles, Calif.

This isn't the first study to make such a claim. In December 2005 a University of California, San Diego team found that high doses of vitamin D reduced the risk of developing some common cancers by as much as 50 percent, reports the BBC News. After reviewing 63 studies, the researchers determined that vitamin D can help prevent breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer. The downside: Too much vitamin D can hurt the kidneys and liver.

The No. 1 natural source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, but it is also obtained from oily fish, fortified milk, fortified cereal, margarine, meat and vitamin supplements.
--From the Editors at Netscape



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