Vitamin D doesn't lower prostate cancer risk

May 27, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Vitamin D doesn't lower prostate cancer risk

New research has linked moderately high blood levels of vitamin D to increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

In this new study, published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 749 men with prostate cancer were compared to 781 peers who were disease free.

The relationship between vitamin D and prostate cancer risk was not linear. Men with moderate blood levels of the "sunshine vitamin" had the highest risk (96 percent) of advanced prostate cancer while those with lower or higher vitamin D levels had lower risk.

Overall risk of developing prostate cancer - that may not progress to advanced cancer - was not affected by vitamin D.  

This is not the first study to find that men with moderate - as opposed to low or high - levels of vitamin D are at increased risk of prostate cancer. Previous research in 2004 found that men with the moderately high blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop prostate cancer as compared to those with lower levels of the ellusive vitamin.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends getting 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day during the fall and winter months - but an effective dose for cancer prevention has not been established.  

Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, milk and fortified soy beverages, orange juice and margarine. (One 3-ounce serving of salmon provides 350 IU of vitamin D.)  Most multivitamins supply 400 IU of the nutrient and calcium pills offer 200 to 400 IU depending on the brand.

Please speak to your dietitian or doctor before starting a vitamin supplementation regime.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.