A study from Northwestern University has found a link between aggressive forms of prostate cancer and low vitamin D levels
A recent study conducted in Chicago, including over 1 700 men, assessed the correlation between levels of vitamin D and prostate cancer.
The study has found that deficiency in vitamin D levels in men was able to predict whether diagnosed prostate cancer is of an aggressive form. Aggressive prostate cancer can be defined as a cancer that has spread beyond the prostate, with a high Gleason score (a scoring system used for prostate cancer). Cancers with a high Gleason score are considered more likely to spread beyond the prostate.
This finding is ground breaking, as previous studies that have assessed this association made us of blood samples that were taken before the initiation of treatment. However, in this study, the blood that was assessed for vitamin D levels was taken at a time point that was more relevant, approximately 2 months before the tumor was found to be aggressive. The correlation, therefore, is more direct than has previously been shown.
This finding is important, as it allows for the men and their physicians to decide on appropriate courses of treatment.
In regards to vitamin D levels, the authors of the study conclude that factors affecting vitamin D can include lack of exposure to sunlight, dark skin, and diet. They suggest that the majority of people living in Chicago should be taking vitamin D supplements.