Chemotherapy prevents vitamin D levels rising in the body

Chemotherapy prevents vitamin D levels rising in the body

Small scale Vitamin D supplementation, if the patient is having chemotherapy, offers little benefit.

A new study (1) showed, yet again, that there were links between lowered vitamin D levels and a higher risk of cancer – here, colorectal cancer. Over a 4-year period in the San Francisco Bay area, a diverse population of people was monitored and 65% of those newly diagnosed with CRC were shown to have levels of vitamin D below 30 ng/ml. Half of those were below 20 ng/ml. 

The UK NHS recommends levels of at least 35-40 ng/ml. 

Only 35% of the 94 patients in this study had levels over 30 ng/ml, in itself a poor figure.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, “This, in itself was not really a revelation. As more studies appear, we usually see that about 8 out of 10 people on diagnosis with cancer have poor levels of serum vitamin D, for example 82% of women diagnosed with breast cancer; 76% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, and so on.

But one of the side comments was fascinating. Patients were allowed to supplement but the amount was not regulated or specified. Those who did not have chemo saw their serum levels rise a little, but those who had chemo, saw their levels fall.

This is not the first time chemo has been seen to have a negative effect on vitamin D. We have covered 3 very specific research studies in Cancer Watch.

Since supplementation levels were not measured, and in some cases people took only a multivitamin, I would guess, given the low increases in the non-chemo group, the supplementation levels were poor anyway. In our experience at CANCERactive, all people with cancer should take 5,000 IUs a day – as experts, Boston Medical School, have suggested. But we think after diagnosis, a double dose should be taken for about 3 weeks while patients are having chemotherapy.

Like Boston Medical School, we suggest target levels in cancer patients of 100 ng/ml.

Go to: Vitamin D – are you getting enough?

Ref

1. http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2017.35.4_suppl.793

      ** Cancer Watch - Serious Science Explained **

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