Friday, May 22, 2009

Vitamin D may Stop Cancer in Early Stages

Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego suggest that cancer in its earliest stages may be linked to low levels of Vitamin D, versus genetic mutations. The link between low Vitamin D levels and cancer may be related to loss of communication between cells, which in turn allows cancer to become aggressive. Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels may stop cancer in its early stages.

Lead researcher and epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine explains, “The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels. 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."

The new view that low levels of vitamin D can lead to cancer rather than genetic mutations is dubbed DINOMIT. The proposed view of how cancer develops may have important implications for cancer prevention and treatment.

According to Dr. Garland, 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.” The study suggests that by ensuring that Vitamin D levels are not low, it may be possible to stop cancer in its earliest stages.

Maintaining vitamin D levels can be accomplished by supplementing with vitamin D3 at 2000 IU/day, and perhaps help with cancer prevention by keeping communication between cells intact. Dr.Garland suggests, “Vitamin D may halt the first stage of the cancer process by re-establishing intercellular junctions in malignancies having an intact vitamin D receptor."

More research is needed to establish how vitamin D and calcium could reduce cancer risk and improve outcomes for patients with breast, colorectal and prostate cancer, but for now Dr. Garland suggests annual testing for Vitamin D levels.

Source: University of California San Diego

Cedric Garland, Dr. P.H., discusses the expected vitamin D serum level for cancer prevention. Series: Vitamin D Deficiency - Treatment and Diagnosis [2/2009] [Health and Medicine] [Professional Medical Education] [Show ID: 15767]