March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is the relationship between vitamin D and prostate cancer?
Answer: Vitamin D has been explored for its association to prostate cancer based on the observation that African-American men, who have low levels of vitamin D, and men who live in the northern latitudes, where there is less sun exposure, have higher rates of prostate cancer mortality, or dying from prostate cancer. In the laboratory, there has been some evidence that vitamin D actually is involved in killing prostate cancer cells.
However, population studies have been inconsistent in the finding of vitamin D levels and its association to prostate cancer risk. Therefore, at this point in time, there's no recommendation for vitamin D supplementation to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and national guidelines should be followed for recommended vitamin D intake.