Vitamin D protects against cancer

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Vitamin D protects against cancer

Vitamin D protects against cancer, not only rickets and osteoporosis, as many recent research works show. Could the new findings about the so far completely underestimated the importance of Vitamin D scientists Dr. Jörg Reichrath (skin clinic), and Dr. Michael Friedrich (women’s clinic) of the University clinics of the Saarland in Homburg contribute significantly.

Vitamin D: impact and importance for health prevention

Vitamin D, commonly known as the “sunshine Vitamin”, is not a Vitamin in the strict sense, but a hormone. The term Vitamin was assigned to him mistakenly, having noted very early on that this in the cod liver oil contained a substance can prevent rickets in children, or cure.

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and in its frequency, but also in its consequences for the health, so far underestimated. A severe Vitamin D deficiency is common in the Winter. Main cause of this is the in our Latitudes, a relatively low UV radiation, so that between October and March, often too little Vitamin D in the skin is formed. In the spring and summer, the direct contact with the sun because of the risk of skin cancer is often avoided – a real Dilemma, because up to 90 % of the required Vitamin D is formed in the skin with the help of the sun. Also in sun studios used UV-A light leads to the formation of Vitamin D in the skin. The possibility of Vitamin D through food is very limited: in addition to cod-liver oil contain Vitamin-D in only a few other foods, such as, for example, in the meat of some fish species (e.g. salmon and mackerel). It is only the pharmacological Substitution therefore remains in many cases.

Risk groups for Vitamin D deficiency

Affected by the lack of Vitamin D can be generally all groups of the population. A special health risk but are exposed, especially the elderly and people with increased skin pigmentation. In both groups, the ability for Vitamin D production in the skin is relatively low. Also, infants and young children are exposed to a significant risk. This problem seems to be getting worse, especially in population groups with darker skin color. Suffering nursing mothers severe Vitamin D deficiency adequate levels of Vitamin D are present in breast milk. Obese people often suffer also under the influence of Vitamin D deficiency, and in consequence of secondary hyperparathyroidism (Overactivity of the parathyroid gland) and osteomalacia (mineralization defect in the bone). The reason for this lies in the high content of body fat, the Vitamin D, a fat-soluble hormone that very efficiently binds to and thereby removed from the blood.

Vitamin D protects against cancer

Recent results show that the biologically active Form of Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D, not only in the kidney is formed, but also in a number of different tissues. In these tissues, 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D is regulated via the binding to specific cell nuclear receptors locally via autocrine/paracrine mechanisms of cell growth. On the one hand, is so inhibited cell proliferation, on the other hand, the cell maturation induzi ert. Recent study results suggest that these mechanisms in many tissues of a cancer prevention. A number of studies confirm the connection between Vitamin D deficiency and colorectal, prostate and breast cancer: These cancers occur significantly more often in higher latitudes, where due to less solar radiation is also created less Vitamin D in the skin. In addition, studies show that with a sufficient Vitamin D supply (i.e., the main metabolite 25-Hydroxyvitamin-D has a blood concentration of > 20 ng/mL) the risk for different types of cancer (including colon cancer) is considerably reduced.

The fact that most of the body tissues only 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D through their own receptors to recognize, but also have the enzymatic capacity to bil (from 25-Hydroxyvitamin-D), leads to the conclusion that Vitamin D is a key hormone with a protective effect also in other diseases. Such studies indicate a role of Vitamin D deficiency associated with type I Diabetes, Multiple sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Will be discussed here, a Central role of 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D for the immune system.

The protective role of Vitamin D plays in addition, in many tissues, a key role for the prevention against aging processes in the skin against UV-induced damage. Thus, Vitamin D analogs views substances is for use in “Anti-Aging therapy”.

Vitamin D deficiency and its far-reaching consequences

New findings in the field of Vitamin D research to show the importance of a sufficient Vitamin D supply for the health. Chronic Vitamin D deficiency leads to bone a mineralization defect: rickets in children, osteomalacia – rickets of the adult, called and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass) in women and men are the consequences. The incidence of osteoporosis has increased dramatically in recent decades. Studies show that 50 % of all women, but also 12 % of all men suffer in the course of your life an osteoporotic fracture. In the prophylaxis and treatment of osteoporosis shows that the correlations between osteoporosis and Vitamin D deficiency are sufficiently known. Often, attention is paid in this context not only to an improved supply of Calcium. It is forgotten that an optimal Calcium absorption may take place in the intestine only when there is sufficient Vitamin D supply. In connection with Vitamin D deficiency, a weakening of the muscles as well as muscle are often diagnosed pain. In studies with Vitamin D Substitution in the case of older people, it could be shown that an adequate Vitamin D supply, an increase in the muscle tension was achieved. Recently it was also demonstrated that Vitamin D analogs increased can lower blood pressure values.

Vitamin D: how Much Vitamin D does a person need?

Vitamin D deficiency can be detected through the measurement of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the blood. The standard ranges are indicated in the literature, with approximately 10-60 ng/mL. Values under 10 ng/mL to be classified as severe Vitamin D deficiency. Recent studies show, however, that already at values between 10 and 20 ng/mL of Vitamin D deficiency have to be discussed, because in these cases, often a Hyperactivity of the power in addition to thyroid noticeable. For 25-Hydroxyvitamin D should be considered in terms of bone health, 20 ng/mL as a minimum value. For the prevention of cancer is now recommended by various experts and even a minimum of 25-30 ng/mL. Also the use of Vitamin D as food supplements and supplements, and complementary means (e.g., milk) appears to be quite reasonable. The legal conditions are missing in Germany at the time. Drug Vitamin-D – Substitution should generally be in a target range of 25-45 ng/mL is sought. Here, a two-time control is the recommended measurement per year.

Outlook – perspectives for a pharmacological use of Vitamin D

Vitamin-D-analogues are used because of their growth inhibitory effect in the field of dermatology for many years with good success to external treatment of many diseases, such as psoriasis. So far, internal treatment (e.g., Tablets) of these drugs, however, was due to the occurrence of side effects (and in particular the Calcium metabolism) only to a very limited extent possible. The results of recent research have now led to the development of new Vitamin D analogues with significantly more favorable effect/side effect profile. First clinical results of the study show promising perspectives for the therapeutic use of these drugs in many types of cancer.