Navigation Links
Vitamin D, Calcium Combo May Halve Melanoma Risk in Some Women
Date:6/28/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Certain women at risk for developing melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer, may cut the likelihood in half by taking vitamin D/calcium supplements, a new study suggests.

"It looks like there is some promising evidence for vitamin D and calcium for prevention of melanoma in a high-risk group," said lead researcher Dr. Jean Tang, an assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

The women most at risk of developing the life-threatening cancer are those who have had a previous non-melanoma form of skin cancer, such as basal cell or squamous cell cancer, the researchers said.

Vitamin D and calcium are well-known for their roles in bone growth, but they also affect other cells in the body. Some studies have shown that vitamin D and calcium are associated with lower risk of colon, breast, prostate and other cancers, the researchers said.

Tang speculated that cancer cells lurking in the skin of women who have had a previous skin cancer may be waiting to develop into melanoma. "But if they take calcium and vitamin D that reduces the risk of developing an actual tumor," she said.

As little as 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily may be protective, Tang said. The U.S. Institute of Medicine now recommends 600 IU of vitamin D daily, she added.

Calcium has also been shown to reduce tumor growth in patients with colon cancer, Tang said. "So maybe calcium has a role, too," she said. "I can't say whether it was the calcium or the vitamin D that was important."

But the combination seemed to convey a benefit, she added.

Whether these results would be seen in men or young women isn't known, Tang noted. But an earlier study led by Tang found a benefit from vitamin D in reducing the risk of melanoma among older men.

"More studies need to be done, because we want to make sure these results are true in other communities," Tang said.

The report was published in the June 27 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

For the study, Tang's team collected data on 36,282 postmenopausal women, 50 to 79 years old, who took part in the Women's Health Initiative study. As part of a test to see if calcium plus vitamin D had any effect on hip fractures or colon cancer, the women were randomly assigned to take supplements or placebo.

The supplements were 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily.

Over about seven years of follow-up, the women taking the supplements who had had previous non-melanoma skin cancer reduced their risk of developing melanoma by 57 percent, compared with similar women not taking the supplements.

The melanoma risk reduction was not seen among women who had not had an earlier non-melanoma skin cancer, the study authors noted.

Overall, only 176 cases of melanoma developed, said the researchers.

In the United States, more than 68,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in adults each year, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Hoping to uncover why vitamin D and/or calcium may be beneficial, Tang said the team next intends to test the compounds directly on cancer cells.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, said a lot of sun exposure early in life increases the risk for non-melanoma skin cancer, but may actually lower the risk of developing melanoma. Sunlight is a source of vitamin D.

"Melanoma is a different story. Being exposed to sunlight, making some vitamin D may very well be protective of melanoma," Holick said. "The thinking is, improving your vitamin D status, whether by supplements or by exposure to sunlight, you are providing your skin cells with a mechanism to prevent them from becoming malignant," he said.

What role calcium may play is unknown, Holick said. "We don't know whether vitamin D can have its effect in the absence of calcium or vice versa; there's rationale for both," he said.

Holick said he thinks the finding would be the same for men and other groups.

People can get their vitamin D from diet, sun exposure and supplements. Fatty fish and fortified dairy products are two dietary sources of vitamin D.

Holick said he recommends that children take 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day and adults, 2,000 IU.

More information

For more information on skin cancer, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Jean Tang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.; Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston; June 27, 2011, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Guidelines Put Focus on Vitamin D Deficiency
2. Experts recommend screening for vitamin D deficiency in at-risk populations
3. California scientists discover how vitamins and minerals may prevent age-related diseases
4. Weight Loss in Heavy, Obese Women Boosts Vitamin D Levels
5. Low vitamin D levels seen as multiple sclerosis risk for African-Americans, UCSF study finds
6. Losing more than 15 percent of body weight significantly boosts vitamin D levels in overweight women
7. MS in Blacks Linked to Low Vitamin D
8. Vitamins may hitch a protected ride on corn starch
9. Vitamin D May Prevent Serious Respiratory Disease in Newborns
10. Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients associated with increased mortality
11. Obese Teens Lack Vitamin D, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Vitamin D, Calcium Combo May Halve Melanoma Risk in Some Women 
(Date:5/22/2017)... San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... It starts with a body squatted, stretched, jumped, toned and shaped through fitness programs. ... And it is, of course, finished off with an irresistible, radiant smile. CDA ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ID (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2017 , ... ... financial integration systems between ABC Financial Services and financial systems. , ... link or exported files that are electronically processed through GetLinked into their club’s ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... ... For more than 20 years United Cutlery has been distinguished by unique and ... to fantasy. United Cutlery has always been “Stronger. Sharper” than the competition and it ... a range of weapons and tools built for battle, the M48 line by United ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... an upcoming episode of Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr., airing fourth quarter 2017 ... distributor of a clean, organic dietary supplement made from naturally occurring ingredients. Innovations ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... 2017 class of Beckman Young Investigators: , Victor Acosta, Ph.D. - University of ... University, Dan Fu, Ph.D. - University of Washington, Erik Grumstrup, Ph.D. - Montana ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A new tight-tolerance microextrusion ... other highly-engineered materials, is being launched by Natvar, ... been developed in recent years to service a ... surgical applications. More expensive materials such as glass ... tubing due to their ability to consistently hold ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... , May 3, 2017  Kalorama Information notes ... nine percent next year and this is projected ... hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT) or bone marrow transplants ... technologies are well-suited for this task. This according ... publisher Kalorama Information. The various PCR-based methodologies, Sanger ...
(Date:5/2/2017)... and LONDON , May ... market intelligence, MarketResearch.com is pleased to announce a business ... that allows for the marketing and distribution of ... through the MarketResearch.com website. The new relationship ... complete product descriptions and tables of contents from research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: