The deficiency setting African American men up for prostate cancer

According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, African American men are more likely to get prostate cancer. That’s bad enough, but the odds of survival are also against them.

The reasons why have been viewed as complex. But now, a study has made an important connection that could help improve those odds.

And it has to do with an important vitamin that more and more research has shown is imperative for good health…

A vitamin deficiency that takes lives

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Cancer Treatment Center in Los Angeles took a deeper dive into the reasons that African American men are so much more vulnerable to prostate cancer.

“African American men are more likely than European American men to develop prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from the disease,” said Dr. Moray Campbell, a research scientist at Cedars-Sinai Cancer and senior author of the study.

“Large-scale studies have shown that differences in access to healthcare do not fully account for this health disparity, and our study identifies biological factors that might explain it.”

Dr. Campbell and her team discovered that vitamin D is the missing piece to the puzzle. That’s because vitamin D affects prostate cancer risk in two ways…

First, it guards against cell damage. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, so it makes sense to protect against such cell damage.

This may be the reason that men who have higher levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of deadly prostate cancer.

The second way vitamin D helps is that it stimulates the maturation of cells. Cancer cells do not behave like normal cells. Instead of maturing and dying, they continue to divide, creating more and more abnormal cells.

“Without sufficient levels of vitamin D to cause them to mature, the cells in a tumor continue to multiply out of control,” says Dr. Campbell.

What makes African American men more prone to a D deficiency

Campbell and his research team found that the vitamin D receptor, a protein that helps the body use vitamin D, appears to have adapted differently in people of African ancestry.

“The forebears of African American and European American men adapted to the climates where they originated,” Campbell said. “African men retain higher melanin levels in the skin to protect against the strong sun — which also helps the body produce vitamin D. Because of this, their descendants in the U.S., which receives fewer hours per year of bright sunshine than African countries do, are often vitamin D deficient.”

For African American men, this spells an even higher risk of prostate cancer and means they need to work harder at maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.

This isn’t the first time that the melanin-vitamin D factor has come into play for African American health. This difference in how darker skin produces vitamin D also raises the risk of heart disease. In general, it’s also been tied to shortening lifespan.

Getting more vitamin D

This means African American men need to work harder at getting vitamin D. Experts believe at least 40 percent of Americans in general have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D.

If you want to know where your levels are, see your doctor to have your vitamin D blood levels checked. If you are deficient, your doctor may recommend a high-dose supplement to raise your levels.

Make sure you choose vitamin D3. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of vitamin D2 and D3 supplements on blood levels found that D3 supplements tended to raise blood concentrations of the vitamin more and sustained those levels longer than D2. That’s likely because D3 is the form naturally produced in the body and found in foods, like eggs.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!


Study: vitamin D may play a role in prostate cancer disparities — Eureka Alert

African American Prostate Cancer Displays Quantitatively Distinct Vitamin D Receptor Cistrome-transcriptome Relationships Regulated by BAZ1A — Cancer Research Communications

6 things you should know about vitamin D — Harvard Health

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.