The connection between vitamin D and prostate health has been a controversial one for some time. However, new research into the possible connection has revealed little, if any, interaction between the vitamin and incidences of prostate cancer.
Not So Effective After All?
The new study, recently published in the journal Cancer Management and Research, sought to shed more light on whether prostate risk and vitamin D deficiency were associated. The results, while preliminary, reveal that there was no association overall between the two.
Methodology for the study included a meta-analysis of nearly 10,000 cases. An additional 9,300+ controls were used as well, providing for some very large sample sizes, but the researchers did state that they encourage more research using even larger sample sizes to reinforce their findings if possible.
These findings do have the potential to turn the debate on vitamin D as an effective treatment on its head, as there have been countless examples of the vitamin both working and not working to help reduce the symptoms associated with prostate cancer. Vitamin D has also been recommended at times to treat other men’s health-related issues like benign prostatic hyperplasia (otherwise known as an enlarged prostate).
So What’s Actually Going On Here?
So why has vitamin D become so associated with better prostate health, even in the face of new research demonstrating a weak — or perhaps even nonexistent — link between the two? The answer, it seems, may not be that much of a mystery; it’s likely just the relationship between vitamin D and all-around health.
It’s an established fact that vitamin D deficiency is certainly common in modern populations of both men and women. Time spent indoors away from direct sunlight, which allows us to absorb the vitamin directly through our skin, means that many of us have vitamin D levels that are lower than ideal.
In this case, low vitamin D could very well be an indicator of overall lower health in men; with prostate health often being tied to general health, it could simply be a case of correlation and not causation. Men with lower vitamin D levels may simply show a tendency to develop health problems — and that includes prostate cancer.
In the end, it’s unlikely that not taking vitamin D supplements will increase your risk for prostate cancer. That being said, you might need a bit more anyway.