D reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer by 50%
25, 2014 - Vitamin D has protective effects against cancer; its
therapeutic properties have been identified
in fighting prostate cancer as well. It was also shown that in areas of strong sunlight incidence (corresponding to the
occurrence of new cases of cancer in a population
during a given period) of the
prostate, breast and colon cancer, as well the corresponding rates of mortality,
are much less prevalent than in areas where people are
less exposed to the sun.
The beneficial effects of vitamin D
in pancreatic cancer have
sometimes been mentioned.
Several in vitro studies have shown
that normal and cancerous pancreatic tissue contains high levels of the
enzyme converting the inactive form of vitamin D to its active form. Other studies have also demonstrated an
inhibitory effect of cell proliferation.
But this research is one of the first to use
two large epidemiological studies on the
relationship between vitamin D and pancreatic cancer as well as prostate cancer, say the members of the Halcyon Skinner team at Northwestern University.
They have indeed examined data from
two large health surveys at the University
of Harvard, including 46,771 men
aged 40-75 years and 75 427
women aged 38-65 years.
They found that regular intake of vitamin
D consistent with current recommendations in the United
States (400 IU / day) reduced by
43% the risk of pancreatic cancer. Less consumption, less than
150 IU per day, reduces this risk by 22%, while a high intake, higher than the
recommended daily dose, has no
effect, the authors report.
"As there is no effective screening for
pancreatic cancer, identifying
controllable risk factors for the disease is essential for developing strategies to prevent
this cancer," said Dr. Skinner.
Besides vitamin D, the
researchers also measured the association between
pancreatic cancer and intakes of calcium
and retinol (vitamin A), but have not found a
Further work is needed to determine whether the
nature of the vitamin D (in the
form of dietary supplements or natural
form, via eggs, liver, fatty fish or fortified dairy products, or through exposure
important to the sun) influences
the evolution of the risk of pancreatic