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High Plasma Levels of Vitamin D Protects Against Bladder Cancer

High levels of vitamin D are associated with protection against bladder cancer, according to a multidisciplinary study coordinated by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, the conclusions of which were published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute.

The authors of the study took blood samples from more than 2,000 individuals — including patients with bladder cancer and control subjects free from the disease — in 18 Spanish hospitals, making this the largest study carried out to-date in this field. Individuals with the highest levels of 25(OH)D3, a stable form of vitamin D in the blood, showed the lowest risk of suffering bladder cancer. These results indicate that high levels of this vitamin are associated with protection from bladder cancer or, similarly, that low levels are associated with a higher risk of suffering from it.

According to the study, this protective effect is also more obvious in those patients with more aggressive cancers. In these patients high levels of vitamin D were found to protect against the cancer metastising.

The research suggest that an increase in the dietary or supplementary intake of this vitamin, or via a controlled increase in sun exposure, might be beneficial for the patient in terms of prevention and treatment.

Recent studies associate vitamin D levels with other types of cancer like breast or colon cancer. Despite this research, it is still not clearly understood which molecular routes are used by this vitamin to exercise its protective effect, or the role it plays in other types of tumours.

A. F. Amaral et al. Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 and Bladder Cancer Risk According to Tumor Stage and FGFR3 Status: A Mechanism-Based Epidemiological Study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djs444

Categories: Nutritional News