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“Game changer for vitamin D”: supplementation improves cancer survival


For more than a century, the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of several cancers has been the subject of discussion. A recent commentary highlighted the potential benefits of improving vitamin D levels to reduce cancer risk and improve survival rates. He points to the results of a study by Kanno et al., which found that some patients with an immune response against mutated p53, a protein associated with cancer growth, benefited from vitamin D supplementation. This suggests also that future research should take these factors into account and focus on vitamin D dosing to improve cancer outcomes.

“Game changer in vitamin D as it relates to cancer”

For over 100 years, sunlight and vitamin D deficiency have been thought to be associated with the risk of many deadly cancers, including colorectal, prostate and breast. Despite this, some scientists doubt whether this nutrient actually has a beneficial effect on reducing cancer risk, morbidity and mortality. This skepticism is reinforced by several randomized controlled trials casting doubt on the effectiveness of this nutrient.

Commentary on the effect of vitamin D on cancer

However, in a new commentary published in the journal Open JAMA NetworkMichael F. Holick, Ph.D., MD, professor of medicine, pharmacology, physiology, biophysics, and molecular medicine at the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine at Boston University, explores the controversy over whether There is some benefit to improving vitamin D status in reducing the risk of developing cancer and improving outcomes in terms of freedom from relapse and mortality.

He believes that the results of Kanno et al. This study supports the large body of associated evidence and clinical studies concluding that improving vitamin D status through vitamin D supplementation may be an effective strategy for improving survival outcomes in cancers, particularly tuberculosis. digestive, including colorectal cancer.

Factors influencing the effect of vitamin D on cancer

“We now recognize that there are various variables that can influence how vitamin D prevents and responds to cancer. For example, being a normal weight and taking vitamin D improves your ability to survive cancer. Other factors include the patient’s genetic makeup and how they use and break down vitamin D,” says Holick, corresponding author of the paper.

The study of Kanno et. Al. gives a more in-depth overview. The p53 gene produces the p53 protein to prevent cells from becoming malignant. Cancer intelligently mutates this gene and the mutated p53 protein helps the cancer grow and become immune to cancer treatment. Kanno and. al. found that patients whose immune systems were on alert and produced antibodies to control the production and release of this mutated p53 protein were more than 2.5 times more likely to improve their odds. to survive cancer if they also took 2,000 IU of the vitamin per day. D3 compared to patients who had antibodies but did not take vitamin D supplementation. Patients who did not produce antibodies experienced no survival benefit from taking the vitamin D supplement.”

Future Research Directions

Holick believes it would be interesting to conduct a retrospective analysis of serum p53 antibodies and immunohistochemical presence of p53 in histological samples of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancer studies that found no benefit when assessing the potential impact of vitamin D supplementation on improvement. cancer survival.

Most importantly, Holick believes that future studies evaluating vitamin D supplementation for prevention and improved cancer outcomes should now include not only many of the variables mentioned above, but also include a measurement of p53 antibodies in blood and the immunohistochemical presence of p53 in cancerous tissues. some samples.

Dosage and implications

According to Holick, it’s important to recognize that most studies that showed vitamin D3 supplementation improved cancer survival provided patients with at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D3. This amount of vitamin D3 significantly improves vitamin D status (serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D) up to a concentration above 30 ng/mL. This amount of vitamin D3 would not cause any toxicity.

“It is well documented that to achieve a circulating concentration of 25(OH)D above 30 ng/mL, a vitamin D intake of at least 2,000 IU per day is required, an amount that cannot be obtained by the diet alone but requires vitamin D. supplementation. Although vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, you cannot get enough vitamin D from exposure to the sun unless you expose more than 20% of your body’s surface area to the sun almost daily, as the Maasai do. and the Hazda in equatorial Africa,” Holick said.

Reference: “The Death D-Fying Vitamin D3 for Digestive Tract Cancers—The p53 Antibody Connection” by Michael F. Holick, August 22, 2023, Open JAMA Network.
DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.28883


Gn Health

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