Low vitamin D levels 'linked to higher risk of bladder cancer'

8 November 2016

People who do not consume enough vitamin D may be increasing their own risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study.

The University of Warwick research reviewed seven studies on the topic, which ranged from having 112 to 1,125 participants each. It was shown that five out of the seven studies linked low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

In a separate study, researchers looked at a sample of transitional epithelial cells lining the bladder, finding that these cells are able to activate and respond to vitamin D, which in turn can stimulate an immune response.

This is a potentially important finding, as it is understood that the immune system could play a key role in cancer prevention by identifying abnormal cells before they develop into tumours.

Study leader Dr Rosemary Bland said: "As vitamin D is cheap and safe, its potential use in cancer prevention is exciting and could potentially impact on the lives of many people."

In the UK, one in five adults are vitamin D deficient and three in five have low levels. This is a particular problem during the winter, as sunshine is a key source of the vitamin, and affects darker-skinned people to a greater degree.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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