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Vitamin D and Cancer

Vitamin D is extremely important for regulating the growth of billions of cells, enhancing their communication, and modulating general cellular function. Aside from these roles, vitamin D also has potent anti-cancer properties that can help eradicate malignant cells in the body. There is very strong clinical evidence that vitamin D supplementation may help protect against various types of cancers in both men and women:
1. Majority of studies found a protective relationship between higher levels of vitamin D and lower risk of colorectal cancer. [254-275]
2. On the other hand, lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk of cancers of the colon, breast and prostate as well as other cancers. [276-279]
3. Adequate vitamin D levels can reduce bladder cancer risk and related death by 25%. [280-281]
4. Higher vitamin D levels also correlate with lower lung cancer risk and better prognosis. [282-287]
5. Higher vitamin D levels are also associated with lower risk of skin cancer. [288-289]
6. Sunlight exposure has been found to significantly reduce the likelihood of various types of cancers (bladder, brain, breast, colon, cervical, liver, lung, ovarian, pancreas, pleura, prostate, rectal, and thyroid cancer as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). [290-304]
7. In human cancer cell lines, vitamin D administration prevents cancer cell progression by inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis). [305-314]
8. Vitamin D has chemopreventive mechanism which can help eradicate cancer cells. [315]
9. In patients with lung cancer, vitamin D inhibits signaling pathways that promote spread of cancer cells (metastasis) and cell division. [316-319]
10. Vitamin D inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, which in turn prevents growth and reproduction of tumor cells. [320]
11. Vitamin D inhibits tumor angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), thereby preventing its progression. [321-326]
12. In palliative cancer patients, vitamin D supplementation is safe and effective in improving pain management (1 month after treatment) and decreasing infections (3 months after treatment). [327]
13. In postmenopausal women with breast cancer, vitamin D supplementation counters the detrimental effects of chemotherapeutics on bone health. [328-330]
14. In patients with leukemia and lymphoma, vitamin D replacement therapy improves survival. [331-335]
15. In men with low-risk prostate cancer, daily supplementation with 4000 IU of vitamin D for 1 year decreases the number of biopsy-positive cores (predictor of clinical outcome in prostate cancer). [336]
16. In men with prostate cancer, oral vitamin D supplementation at a dose of 40 000 IU reduces cancer cell proliferation marker Ki67. [337]
17. In patients with advanced breast and colorectal cancer, administration of the vitamin D analogue EB 1089 stabilizes the disease. [338]
18. In patients with advanced solid tumors, oral administration of the vitamin D3 analogue ILX23-7553 is associated with tumor growth inhibition. [339]
19. In breast cancer patients with bone metastases, high-dose (10,000 IU/day) vitamin D supplementation significantly decreases the number of pain sites over time. [340]
20. In women with breast and ovarian cancer, vitamin D supplementation could help maintain bone health and enhance cancer survival rate. [341]
21. Preliminary results from an ongoing clinical trial, the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL, show that vitamin D supplementation may help improve cancer symptoms and survival rate. [342]

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