Vitamin D Protects Against Cancer

by Savitha C Muppala on  May 16, 2008 at 8:29 PM Research News   - G J E 4
 Vitamin D Protects Against Cancer
A recent report by scientists from University of Rochester Medical Center, has revealed that by activating a particular gene to cause the expression of a key enzyme, Vitamin D can actually protect healthy prostate cells from harm.

"Many epidemiological studies have suggested the beneficial properties of Vitamin D.Our findings reflect what we see in those studies and demonstrate that vitamin D not only can be used as a therapy for prostate cancer, it can prevent prostate cancer from happening," said Yi-Fen Lee, associate professor of urology at the Medical Center and team leader of this study.

The most superior form of Vitamin D in the human body, 1,25-hydroxylvitamin D3, was employed along with Nonmalignant human prostate epithelial cells  during the study.

The research team narrowed down on one vital characteristic  about Vitamin D, capable of protecting cells from oxidative stress.

Researchers observed that during the normal metabolism in the cells, the reactive oxygen species (ROS)generated, can play an important role in cell signaling and can even destroy bacteria.

Radiation or exposure to chemicals can trigger enhanced levels of ROS which can potentially upset the DNA, causing cancer and expediting the process of ageing.

Lee found that Vitamin D is capable of connecting with a gene called as G6PD, to produce an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The activity of the enzyme is capable of cleaning the cells off ROS and offsetting the risks of cancer.

Lee said "If you reduce DNA damage, you reduce the risk of cancer or aging. Our study adds one more beneficial effect of taking a vitamin D supplement. Taking a supplement is especially important for senior citizens and others who might have less circulation of vitamin D, and for people who live and work areas where there is less sunshine. Vitamin D does not protect cancer cells from injury or damage, which is good."

This is not to be assumed as a blanket prescription for intake of Vitamin D. Infact, Vitamin D should not be consumed without medical advice.

Source: Medindia

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