Vitamin D as a promising anticancer agent

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URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081446/
Journal: Indian Journal of Pharmacology
Publication Date: 04/2011
Summary: Presence of vitamin D receptors in noncalcemic tissues and subsequent identification of its involvement in growth factor(s)-mediated cellular function suggested its probable beneficial role in genesis, progression and survival of cancerous growths. Data collected from both in vitro and in vivo studies are highly optimistic regarding its potential in prevention and regression of colorectal, prostate and breast cancers. The vitamin has been found to interfere with the transduction pathways of various growth factor(s)-activated receptors (receptor tyrosine kinases) thereby modulating transcription and alteration of genomic functions resulting in inhibition of cell proliferation and angiogenesis and facilitation of cell differentiation and apoptosis. It also increases the level of an endogenous protein – cystatin D, which possesses antitumor and antimetastatic property, by facilitation of the expression of the gene coding for it. Though not as a primary anticancer agent, this vitamin may be used for the prevention of cancer and included as an adjuvant in combination chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

Key Takeaways

Vitamin D performs several anticancer functions. It can reduce cancer's ability to grow by inhibiting cell division/growth and preventing cancer's ability to increase its blood supply. It can even help to increase production of a protein called cystatin D which has anticancer properties as well.

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