Study’s lead researcher Bruce Hollis, professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, said “Vitamin D decreases inflammation in tissues, and inflammation is a driver of cancer.”
In the study, researchers assigned 37 men who chose to have their prostate removed to receive either 4,000 international units (IU) of Vitamin D or an inactive placebo daily for 60 days before the surgery.
After the surgery researchers examined the prostate gland, and found that many who received vitamin D showed improvements in their prostate tumors, while those in the placebo group remained the same or got worse.
“In greater than 60 percent of those taking it, vitamin D actually made the cancer better,” said Hollis.
Hollis reported that in some cases the tumor shrank and in others the cancer went away. Because the study was small, the results from a larger trial need to be expected only in several years, he added.
The study results were scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver, CO.