Vitamin D & The Pancreas
Vitamin D Levels
Two Harvard studies found a correlation between vitamin D and pancreatic cancer:One study compared people taking 150 vs 600 international units (IU) (3.8 vs 15 mcg) vitamin D per day. There was a 40% lower cancer risk in people who took more vitamin D.The other study found a 35% lower risk for those with higher vitamin D blood levels.
How Vitamin D works
Vitamin D has been shown to block the growth of cancer tumors. Vitamin D is processed by the liver. The body then produces calcitriol, an active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol provides numerous benefits against cancer. This form of vitamin D encourages cells to either adapt to their organ or commit apoptosis (cell suicide). Calcitriol also limits blood supply to the tumor and reduces the spread of cancer.
High levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer based on both observational studies of individuals and geographic studies of populations.Based on studies of breast, colon, and rectal cancer, vitamin D levels above 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) reduce the risk of cancer. Thus, maintaining vitamin D blood levels above 40 ng/mL may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.Taking 1000–4000 international units (IU) (25–100 mcg)/day of vitamin D may be associated with reduced pancreatic cancer risk.
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