In Lab Tests Vitamin D Shrinks Breast Cancer Cells

I’ve posted a number of blogs about the fact that vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency (low levels of serum vitamin D) is associated with a number of types of cancer, as well as diabetes and asthma, but now new research also shows that vitamin D can kill human cancer cells. The results of this new research fall far short of an immediate cancer cure, but they are encouraging, medical professionals say in a report from ABC News.

JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, has studied the effects of vitamin D for 25 years. Part of her research involves taking human breast cancer cells and treating them with a potent form of vitamin D.

She reports that within a few days, half the cancer cells shriveled up and died. Welsh said the vitamin has the same effect as a drug used for breast cancer treatment.

“What happens is that vitamin D enters the cells and triggers the cell death process,” she told “Good Morning America.” “It’s similar to what we see when we treat cells with Tamoxifen,” a drug used to treat breast cancer.

The vitamin’s effects were even more dramatic on breast cancer cells injected into mice.

After several weeks of treatment, the cancer tumors in the mice shrank by an average of more than 50 percent. Some tumors disappeared.

Similar results have been achieved on colon and prostate cancer tumors in mice.

My sense is that, at least for now, you should NOT read too much into these laboratory studies as positive effects in a petri dish or in rats may not necessarily mean similar results in humans.

In addition, it’s also easier to treat cancer in mice than in people.

Nevertheless, it’s another reason either to consider either (1) having an inexpensive vitamin D level drawn during your next medical check up — so as to see if you levels are adequate or not, or (2) taking an inexpensive vitamin D supplement on a daily basis.

Here are some of my other blogs on vitamin D:

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