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The vitamin D saga … another data analysis

Posted Feb 11 2011 12:00am


Nearly a year ago now we reported data from one relatively large study that suggested there was no direct connection between intake of vitamin D (in its 25-hydroxy vitamin D formulation) and risk for prostate cancer.

A new paper by Gilbert et al. has now reported results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 25 key papers that have explored the relationships between prostate cancer, dietary intake, and circulating levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.

The 25 key papers included in the meta-analysis were selected from 24,000 papers initially identified in seven electronic databases (through October 2010).

Gilbert et al. found that:

  • In six prospective studies, the odds ratio (OR) for a finding of prostate cancer was 1.14 for each  1,000 IU increase in dietary intake of vitamin D.
  • In three prospective studies, the OR for a finding of aggressive prostate cancer was 0.93 for each  1,000 IU increase in dietary intake of vitamin D.
  • Five case-control studies examined dietary intake of vitamin D, but there was a high degree of inconsistency between the studies.
  • In a total of 14 studies, the OR for a finding of prostate cancer was 1.04 for each 10 ng/ml increase in dietary intake of 25-hydroxy vitamin D.
  • In a total of six studies, the OR for a finding of aggressive prostate cancer was 0.84 for each 10 ng/ml increase in dietary intake of 25-hydroxy vitamin D.
  • In a total of seven studies, the OR for a finding of prostate cancer was 1.00 for each 10 pg/ml increase in dietary intake of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.
  • In two studies, the OR for a finding of aggressive prostate cancer was 0.86 for each 10 pg/ml increase in dietary intake of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.

The authors conclude that, “Published literature provides little evidence to support a major role of vitamin D in preventing prostate cancer or its progression.”

While The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink concedes that there may well be an association between vitamin D levels, overall health, and overall survival, it appears to be improbable that there is a direct correlation between vitamin D levels and prostate cancer-specific risk or prostate cancer-specific survival.

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