Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk By Nearly Half

Date:
September 12, 2006
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Consumption of Vitamin D tablets was found to cut the risk of pancreatic cancer nearly in half, according to a study led by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard universities.

Consumption of Vitamin D tablets was found to cut the risk of pancreatic cancer nearly in half, according to a study led by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard universities.

The findings point to Vitamin D's potential to prevent the disease, and is one of the first known studies to use a large-scale epidemiological survey to examine the relationship between the nutrient and cancer of the pancreas. The study, led by Halcyon Skinner, Ph.D., of Northwestern, appears in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study examined data from two large, long-term health surveys and found that taking the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin D (400 IU/day) reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 43 percent. By comparison, those who consumed less than 150 IUs per day experienced a 22 percent reduced risk of cancer. Increased consumption of the vitamin beyond 400 IUs per day resulted in no significant increased benefit.

"Because there is no effective screening for pancreatic cancer, identifying controllable risk factors for the disease is essential for developing strategies that can prevent cancer," said Skinner.

"Vitamin D has shown strong potential for preventing and treating prostate cancer, and areas with greater sunlight exposure have lower incidence and mortality for prostate, breast, and colon cancers, leading us to investigate a role for Vitamin D in pancreatic cancer risk. Few studies have examined this association, and we did observe a reduced risk for pancreatic cancer with higher intake of Vitamin D."

Skinner, currently in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and his colleagues analyzed data from two long-term studies of health and diet practices, conducted at Harvard University. They looked at data on 46,771 men aged 40 to 75 years who took part in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and 75,427 women aged 38 to 65 years who participated in the Nurses' Health Study. Between the two studies, they identified 365 cases of pancreatic cancer. The surveys are considered valuable for their prospective design, following health trends instead of looking at purely historical information, high follow-up rates and the ability to enable researchers like Skinner to incorporate data from two independent studies.

Pancreatic cancer is a rapidly fatal disease and the fourth-leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. This year, the American Cancer Society estimates that 32,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed. About the same number of people will die this year from the disease. It has no known cure, and surgical treatments are not often effective. Except for cigarette smoking, no environmental factors or dietary practices have been linked to the disease.

In addition to Vitamin D, the researchers also measured the association between pancreatic cancer and the intakes of calcium and retinol (Vitamin A). Calcium and retinol intakes showed no association with pancreatic cancer risk, although retinol is an antagonist of Vitamin D's ability to influence mineral balances and bone integrity.

For that reason, further research is necessary to determine if Vitamin D ingestion from dietary sources, like eggs, liver and fatty fish or fortified dairy products, or through sun exposure might be preferable to multi-vitamin supplements, which contain retinol.

The potential benefits of vitamin D for pancreatic cancer were only recently established by other laboratory studies. Normal and cancerous pancreas tissue contain high levels of the enzyme that converts circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the vitamin's active form. Other studies have shown an anti-cell proliferation effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, potentially inhibiting tumor cells.

"In concert with laboratory results suggesting anti-tumor effects of Vitamin D, our results point to a possible role for Vitamin D in the prevention and possible reduction in mortality of pancreatic cancer. Since no other environmental or dietary factor showed this risk relationship, more study of Vitamin D's role is warranted," Skinner said.

Skinner's colleagues in the study include Dominique Michaud, Edward Giovannucci, Walter Willett and Graham Colditz of Harvard, and Charles Fuchs of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Vitamin D May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk By Nearly Half." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060912100027.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2006, September 12). Vitamin D May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk By Nearly Half. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060912100027.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Vitamin D May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk By Nearly Half." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060912100027.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins