According to a new study, spending more time in the sun can be very helpful for men with prostate cancer. Researchers have found that vitamin D can help block a protein, which is responsible for causing prostate cancer to grow.
The study, published in the journal by the University of Colorado Cancer, presents new evidence that vitamin D may help in reducing cancer- causing inflammation. Scientists claim to have found a gene GDF- 15, up-regulated by vitamin D, which can help in blocking down a protein that stimulates growth of tumour.
According to the research team, when vitamin D is put on the prostate cancer cells, it slows down growth of cancer cells. However, it has not been proven as an anti-cancer agent. The researchers are keen on knowing which genes vitamin D is turning on or off in prostate cancer to offer new targets.
The researchers analyzed samples of prostate cells and inflammation and compared them to the prevalence of GDF- 15 and inflammatory cells with the help of a sophisticated computer algorithm. The team was able to demonstrate that gene expression for GDF- 15 can be up-regulated by vitamin D which further led them to investigate to see if GDF-15 can be a pathway in slowing down the tumour growth. The results were quite compelling.
According to the study, the gene GDF-15 blocked NFkB, a protein which drives inflammation and encourages growth of tumours. Reasearchers are now looking for a way to use GDF- 15 to target NFkB, which may have implications in other forms of cancer far beyond prostate. This new study suggests that vitamin D may stimulate GDF- 15 which in return would control prostate cancer in future patients.
Now that you know, make sure you spend some extra time in the sun as it is the best way to get vitamin D in your body.
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