Some People Are Overdoing It In Search Of Better Health
Vitamin D is having its day in the sun. In recent years, research has associated low blood levels of the vitamin with higher risks of everything from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to mood disorders and . The findings have not gone unnoticed. and screening tests have surged in popularity.
“Vitamin D testing is one of the top Medicare lab tests performed in the United States in recent years,” says Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. “This is really surprising for a test that is recommended for only a small subset of the population.”
Unfortunately, this vitamin D trend isn’t all blue skies. Some people are overdoing it with supplements. Researchers looking at national survey data gathered between 1999 and 2014 found a 2.8% uptick in the number of people taking potentially unsafe amounts of vitamin D that is, more than 4,000 international units per day, according to a research letter published in the June 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association . And during the same time period there was nearly an 18% increase in the number of people taking 1,000 IU or more of vitamin D daily, which is also beyond the dose of 600 to 800 IU recommended for most people.
Purpose Of This Summary
This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the use of nutrition and dietary supplements for reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer or for treating prostate cancer. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care.
How Do You Tell Others About Vitamin D
Mike and his dog Morkie
I tell others with or without cancer to see their doctor and first establish their baseline of D. Test once in the winter and once in the summer. I have lectured twice for my church and at an AARP event. All those old folks do not take vitamin D, only one person out of a hundred was taking vitamin D when I asked for a show of hands.
Don’t Miss: How Much Vitamin C Should I Take To Lighten Skin
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider About Cam
When considering complementary and alternative therapies, patients should ask their health care provider the following questions:
- What side effects can be expected?
- What are the risks related to this therapy?
- What benefits can be expected from this therapy?
- Do the known benefits outweigh the risks?
- Will the therapy affect conventional treatment?
- Is this therapy part of a clinical trial?
- If so, who is the sponsor of the trial?
- Will the therapy be covered by health insurance?
Dietary Vitamin D And Risk Of Prostate Cancer
The association between dietary vitamin D intake and prostate cancer risk has been examined in several epidemiologic studies.3Results of these studies are negative or conflicting however, limiteddata indicate a possible link. One study concluded that men in the U.S.have a 10-fold greater risk of developing prostate cancer compared withmen in Japan.10 The increased risk has been linked to thedifference in diet between American and Japanese men. Japanese men have ahigher consumption of fatty fish, and thus an increased amount ofvitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids dissociatevitamin D metabolites from binding proteins, thereby increasing activelevels of these metabolites in the blood.3 In another study, Ahn et al noted a reduced risk of prostate cancer with greater intake of supplemental vitamin D.11A 40% risk reduction occurred in patients receiving more than 600 IU ofsupplemental vitamin D versus those not receiving it. However, dietaryintake of vitamin D was not associated with adecreased or increased risk of prostate cancer.11
Questions And Answers About Vitamin E
There are eight forms of vitamin E: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols . Alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E used in dietary supplements, is found in greater amounts in the body and is the most active form of vitamin E. Most vitamin E in the diet comes from gamma-tocopherol. Food sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, and egg yolks.
- Vitamin E and selenium.
- Two placebos.
SELECT results published in 2011 showed that men taking vitamin E alone had a 17% increase in prostate cancer risk compared with men who did not take vitamin E.
Several factors may have affected study results, including the dose of vitamin E.
In the Physicians Health Study II and the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group, there was a higher number of strokes caused by a broken blood vessel in the brain in men who took vitamin E than in men who took a placebo.
Vitamin D And Prostate Cancer
Richard Martin and his team observed association between vitamin D and more aggressive cancers, which indicates the potential role for vitamin D manipulation to control the progression of prostate cancer
- Topic:Prostate cancer
Association of circulating vitamin D metabolite levels with incidence and progression of screen-detected prostate cancer.
Also Check: How To Check Vitamin D
Zinc Transporter And Prostate Cancer
Zinc homeostasis is likely maintained by the activities of a group of zinc transporters in the cell plasma membrane and intracellular organelles. At least ten ZnT and fourteen Zip family members have been identified in mammals, and their tissue expression, cellular localization and regulation are very different .
Dont Miss: Flomax No Ejaculate
Search Strategy And Selection Criteria
We conducted MEDLINE searches to identify epidemiological studies on the relationship between vitamin D and prostate cancer risk. To identify the studies of prostate cancer risk in relation to vitamin D, we searched using the terms prostate cancer and prostate cancer risk in combination with the following terms: epidemiology, incidence, prevalence, risk factors, vitamin D, sunlight exposure, ultraviolet radiation, geography, dairy, dietary, diet, micronutrients, nutrition, serum vitamin D, serum 1,252D3 and serum 25-dihydroxyvitamin D. We also searched the bibliography of the selected papers to identify relevant articles that we might have missed during the primary MEDLINE search. To be included in the review, a study must have been published in English, reported on data collected in humans with prostate cancer, had prostate cancer risk as the primary outcome measure, had vitamin D as one of the or the only risk factor measured as follows and had any of the following study designs . There were no restrictions according to age, ethnicity or stage of prostate cancer.
You May Like: Which Fruit Contains Vitamin B12
Why Are Cancer Researchers Studying A Possible Connection Between Vitamin D And Cancer Risk
Early epidemiologic research showed that incidence and death rates for certain cancers were lower among individuals living in southern latitudes, where levels of sunlight exposure are relatively high, than among those living at northern latitudes. Because exposure to ultraviolet light from sunlight leads to the production of vitamin D, researchers hypothesized that variation in vitamin D levels might account for this association. However, additional research based on stronger study designs is required to determine whether higher vitamin D levels are related to lower cancer incidence or death rates.
Experimental evidence has also suggested a possible association between vitamin D and cancer risk. In studies of cancer cells and of tumors in mice, vitamin D has been found to have several activities that might slow or prevent the development of cancer, including promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death , and reducing tumor blood vessel formation .
Almonds For Prostate Health: Just A Little Reduces Bph Symptoms
Recent research suggests beta-sitosterol found in almonds and other nuts may benefit benign prostatic hyperplasia .
In a six-month study of 200 men with BPH, 60 mg per day of a beta-sitosterol improved the symptoms of BPH and increased urine flow.
A follow-up study reported that these improvements in symptoms of BPH were maintained for up to18 months in the 38 participants who continued consuming beta-sitosterol after the study ended.
The best way to get the benefits of almonds for prostate health? You can get 60 mg of beta-sitosterol by enjoying two ounces of almonds.
Questions And Answers About Calcium
Calcium is a mineral that is needed for basic blood vessel, muscle, and nerve functioning, for sending signals from cell to cell, and for releasing hormones. It is the most common mineral in the body. The body stores calcium mainly in bone tissue.
The main sources of calcium are in foods and dietary supplements. About one-third of dietary calcium comes from milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt. Vegetable sources include Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Foods may have calcium added, such as fruit juices and drinks, tofu, and cereals.
See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using calcium.
Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
Studies must meet the following criteria for the two pathways addressed in the review.
Vitamin D-testosterone criteria
Participants: human or animalwith measures of vitamin D as the exposure and testosterone as the outcome
Exposures: any duration, frequency, and dose of vitamin D, including nutrition supplements, and sunlight exposure
Outcome: serum or plasma levels of total and/or free testosterone.
Testosterone-prostate cancer criteria
Participants: human or animalwith measures of testosterone as the exposure and prostate cancer as the outcome
Exposure: any duration, frequency, and dose of testosterone, including therapeutic use for non-cancerous conditions
Outcomes: incidence or prevalence of prostate cancer, number and size of tumour, measures of prostate cancer progression and prostate cancer-specific mortality
Observational studies and experimental studies will be eligible for the review.
The following studies will be excluded:
Studies investigating treatment effects of testosterone on prostate cancer
Cell culture and animal studies presenting cell line data only
Observational studies where the exposure is measured within 2years of the outcome to reduce the risk of reverse causality.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Organic Prenatal Vitamin
Level Of Certainty Of Evidence
The level of certainty of evidence provided from all studies will be assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system . GRADE classifies the confidence in an estimate into four levels: high, moderate, low, and very low. Estimates of effect can be either up or downgraded based on several of the following criteria:
Inconsistency of results
Potential Side Effects Of Zinc
Compared to other metal ions, zinc is relatively harmless. Only exposure to excessive amounts of zinc will result in toxicity. Zinc intoxication is an extremely rare event.
The human body usually contains anywhere between 2 to 3 grams of zinc, 90% of which is found in the muscles and bones. When zinc is ingested, it travels to the small intestine where it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Zinc toxicity interferes with the absorption of copper as well, leading to signs and symptoms of copper deficiency. These are the signs and symptoms of zinc toxicity:
There are three main ways in which zinc can enter the human body. These are:
- Through the Skin
- Oral Ingestion
Inhalation of zinc is typically only experienced by industrial workers, such as those in manufacturing. Inhalation of zinc causes metal fume fever, which causes fever, muscle aches, fatigue, chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath.
Another unconventional way in which zinc is absorbed is through the skin. Zinc is a well-known supplement that has been used to treat wounds topically, as it promotes wound healing. However, the concentrations of zinc in these supplements are not significant enough for skin absorption to be considerable.
Because zinc is a trace element, oral intake of sufficient quantities is essential for survival. The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is 11mg/day for men and 8mg/day for women. There are several naturally occurring sources of zinc :
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Can I Take To Get Pregnant
Vitamin D And Prostate Cancer: Higher Intake Improves Active Surveillance Outcomes
Prostate cancer will affect 1 in 6 men. However, the disease will be fatal in only 1 in 36, due to its potential for slow growth.1 Urologists often monitor the slower, low-risk cases to determine which will evolve into more significant and aggressive disease. Instead of treating the disease in low-risk patients, they practice active surveillance. In an interview with Oncology Nurse Advisor, Bruce W. Hollis, PhD, professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology, and director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, explained, The curemeaning surgery or radiationis probably worse than the disease, so they wait a year and then do another biopsy to see where the patient stands.
Questions And Answers About Green Tea
Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The way tea leaves are processed determines whether green tea, black tea, or oolong tea is made. Green tea leaves are steamed and dried.
The health benefits studied in green tea are thought to be from compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of plant chemicals that include catechins . Catechins make up most of the polyphenols in green tea.
Catechins in green tea can vary widely, depending on the source of the tea leaves and the way they are processed. This makes it hard to identify most of the chemical factors linked to the health benefits of green tea.
People usually drink green tea or take it as a dietary supplement.
See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using green tea.
Don’t Miss: Can Vitamin C Boost Immune System
How Your Diet Promotes A Healthy Prostate
The Mediterranean Diet has a strong association between lowering cancer risk and preventing heart disease. This is attributed to the fact that this diet is focused on whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans while also focusing on healthy unsaturated fats from plants. With this style of eating, theres also an emphasis on decreasing processed or refined foods along with lowering intake of red meat or processed red meats. It allows alcohol in moderation and its focus on whole foods supports adequate fiber intake. It also allows for a wide range of foods, which means its more of a lifestyle rather than just a fad diet.
Since this style of eating has a positive impact on cancer prevention, adopting healthy eating habits now could help prevent prostate problems down the road. Some nutrients and vitamins can have a very positive effect on the health of your prostate. Making sure youre getting the right nutrients as part of a balanced diet can play an important role in the health of your prostate.
Vitamin D For Prostate Health
Vitamin D is usually associated with bone health because it promotes the absorption of calcium and facilitates bone growth and remodeling. But vitamin D has important prostate health benefits as well, as it has an effect on an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer.
Vitamin D Basics
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, requiring fat to be properly absorbed and used by the body, and is stored in fatty tissue. It is available in a limited number of foods, added to some items and comes in a variety of supplement forms. Vitamin D also is produced by the body when ultraviolet rays from the sun strike the skin.
Vitamin D needs to undergo a transformation in the body to become active. First, the liver converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D then the next change occurs mainly in the kidneys, where the active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D is produced. Because 25D stays in the body much longer than does the other form, it is the level that should be measured when you have your vitamin D levels verified.
How much vitamin D do you need each day? The Institute of Medicine lowered the vitamin D blood level believed to be sufficient from 30 nanograms per milliliter to 20 ng/mL in November 2010. Other expert organizations, however, such as the Vitamin D Council, say a healthy level is about 50 ng/mL.
Vitamin D And Prostate Health
Read Also: How Much Vitamin C To Take When Sick