Low Vitamin D Linked To Aggressive Prostate Cancer, Study Says

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Low blood levels of vitamin D may increase the chance of developing aggressive forms of prostate cancer, according to research conducted at Northwestern University.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, looked at vitamin D levels in over 650 men (aged 40-79) who had prostate biopsies because they'd recently had an abnormal prostate specific antigen (PSA) test or because a doctor had recommended one.

Vitamin D deficiency (under 20 nanograms per milliliter) was common among the men with positive biopsies. Those men who tested positive for cancer after the biopsy also typically had below normal vitamin D levels. A normal level of vitamin D is between 30-80 nanograms per milliliter.

"Vitamin D deficiency seems to be important for general wellness and may be involved in the formation or progression of several human cancers. It would be wise to be screened for vitamin D deficiency and treated," said lead author Adam B. Murphy.

African Americans with severe vitamin D deficiency were more than twice as likely as those with normal levels of the vitamin to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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