And the vitamin D-cancer link continues. This powerful nutrient’s about to be tested against another powerful foe: esophageal cancer.
In a first-of-its-kind study, physicians are exploring the role of vitamin D in preventing cancer of the esophagus. This one is centering on a condition called “Barrett’s esophagus,” and it seeks to measure the effects of vitamin D on protein levels that may influence the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Over the last 30 years, there has been a dramatic rise in incidence of Barrett’s esophagus. This condition is marked by a change in the lining of the esophagus that can pave the road to cancer.
In this study, researchers are examining whether vitamin D intake is linked to an increase in a specific protein that may help prevent Barrett’s from turning into cancer. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus will take vitamin D weekly (50,000 international units) for up for four months, and protein levels will be measured.
It’s another important study in the evolution of this nutritional cancer-fighter.
Vitamin D is being studied for its role in helping reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including such common tumors as those in the colon, breast and prostate. The “sunshine vitamin” as it’s become known has increasingly shown itself to be the ultimate disease-fighting nutrient. The list of illnesses it has been tied to helping prevent or treat is staggeringly long. Take a quick look at this: Crohn’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; cancer; osteoporosis; arthritis; bone fractures; heart disease; autoimmune diseases of any kind (notably: multiple sclerosis); type 1 diabetes; the flu; the common cold; tuberculosis; and premature death.
The new study is the first of its kind to peek at vitamin D’s potential role in helping to prevent esophageal cancer. What’s amazing about this one is that it carries the potential to make a highly important contribution to the medical management of Barrett’s esophagus. And that condition alone is becoming an increasing challenge as time goes on.
Doctors Health Press will keep an eye on this study, and the myriad of others that are putting vitamin D up against the heavyweights of the disease world.