Flawed Study Seeks To Discredit Value Of Vitamin D In Preventing Prostate Cancer

Life Extension Update Exclusive

June 3, 2008

Flawed study seeks to discredit value of vitamin D in preventing prostate cancer

Flawed study seeks to discredit value of vitamin D in preventing prostate cancer

On May 27, 2008, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a population-based analysis of the relationship between prostate cancer risk and serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level in aging men.

The results of this population-based study prompted the study authors to conclude that vitamin D does not reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and furthermore that higher circulating levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Given the study’s surprising results, and the fact that other studies show that high levels of the active form of vitamin D have strong anti-cancer effects as well as inhibit the growth and invasion of prostate cancer cells, Life Extension’s scientific team conducted a detailed review of the study.

In this rebuttal, Life Extension meticulously dissects the various flaws in this government-funded study. For those who don’t want to read these technical details, the following is all vitamin D supplement users need to know:

    Only 6.3% of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the study were ingesting at least 1,000 IU of dietary vitamin D daily (only 49 men out of the total of 781 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the trial were ingesting at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D in the diet every day). Furthermore, the vitamin D blood levels of the study subjects were so low over-all that it is likely most of these study subjects took no supplemental vitamin D whatsoever.
    Therefore, the results of this study have no relevance to men who are taking the recommended amounts of vitamin D to achieve optimal blood ranges.

The headline hungry media reported on this study as if it showed there to be no value in taking vitamin D supplements, when in fact it appears that the study subjects were not optimizing vitamin D supplementation.

As you will read, there are numerous other flaws that rendered the findings from this study utterly meaningless. Due to its publication in a government-funded journal, this study will dissuade many aging American men from taking vitamin D, which is great news for pharmaceutical companies who sell drugs to treat the multiple degenerative diseases caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Continue Reading

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Health Concern Life Extension Highlight

Prostate cancer

The old expression of "cross one bridge at a time" is valuable in approaching life's problems. In the various arenas encountered by the patient, partner, and physician in dealing with prostate cancer, this philosophical approach is sound advice. The crux of integrative or holistic medicine is the realization that fixing one aspect of health affects multiple areas--everything is interconnected. This is especially true for prostate cancer (PC)-related issues.

Bone integrity in a man with PC is often ignored until the patient is symptomatic. Not until recently have the issues of osteoporosis and its relationship to PC come to the medical forefront. Not only is bone integrity of vital consequence in the matter of PC spreading to the bone, but also in the realization that bone loss through resorption can lead to bone pain, compression of the bones of the vertebral column, and fracture of a weight-bearing bone in the hip or other bones affecting function. Such complications demand immediate attention and the need for surgical and/or radiation treatment. Frequently, the patient requires strong pain-killing medications. Such adverse occurrences clearly detract from the quality of life of the PC survivor, his family, and friends. Putting out this new fire also diverts attention away from the primary issues of control and eradication of the PC.

We know that the main danger in PC is its ability to metastasize to the bone. The bone is a favored place when PC cells metastasize. Stephen Paget discussed this in 1889 in his essays on The Seed and the Soil:

When a plant goes to seed, its seeds are carried in all directions; but they can grow only if they fall on congenial soil.

Paget recognized this inclination for cancer of the breast to spread to the bone. The same proclivity is found in PC. PC and breast cancer are brother/sister diseases, strikingly alike in a multitude of ways. Most physicians consider the bone a static tissue, but it is exactly the opposite. The bone is constantly undergoing change in a process called remodeling. Bone tissue is formed and lost in the processes of bone formation and bone resorption.

Life Extension magazine June, 2008 issue now online!

Life Extension magazine June, 2008

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Dayna Dye
Editor, Life Extension Update
954 766 8433 extension 7716