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    Vitamin D for Prostate Cancer?

    Mens-healthAccumulating evidence suggests that chronic prostatic inflammation may lead to prostate cancer development. Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is highly expressed in the prostate and has been associated with inflammation and tu¬morigenesis. Researchers, led by Dr. Lambert, examined the relationship between GDF-15 and prostatic inflammation by measuring GDF-15 expression via immunohistochemical staining (IHC) in human prostatectomy specimens containing inflammation. To provide insight into a potential suppressive role for GDF-15 in inflammation, activation of NFkappaB (NFkB) was measured in PC3 cells. Researchers determined that an inverse relationship between GDF-15 and inflammation demonstrate a novel expression pattern for GDF-15 in the human prostate and suppression of NFkB activity. The researchers found that vitamin D up-regulates the expression of the GDF-15 protein, thereby suppressing inflammation by inhibiting NFkB, which has been shown to contribute to tumor formation and growth. According to Lambert “when you take vitamin D and put it on prostate cancer cells, it inhibits their growth.” While it hadn’t been proven to be an anti-cancer agent, they “wanted to understand what genes vitamin D is turning on or off in prostate cancer to offer new targets(1), Interestingly, back in 2005, Alex Vasquez postulated that a triad of vitamin D deficiency, fatty acid imbalance, and overconsumption of sugars (refined carbohydrates) are triggers of NFkB, the activation of which results in the up-regulation of genes which encode for the production of inflamma¬tory cytokines (TNF-a, IL-1, IL-6) and proinflammatory enzymes (iNOS, COX-2) and LIPOX, with “the clinical consequences of the burgeoning epidemics of metabolic and inflammatory diseases.”(2)
    (1) Farzaneh-Far R, et al. Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA, 2010 Jan 20; 303(3): 250.
    (2) O’Callaghan N , et al. Telomere shortening in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment may be attenuated with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation: A randomized controlled pilot study. J. Nutrition. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.09.013

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