Friday, December 07, 2007

Vitamin D and endometrial cancer

New research indicates that low serum vitamin D may be associated with an increased incidence of endometrial cancer.

The November 16, 2007 issue of the journal Preventive Medicine reported an association between ultraviolet light exposure and a reduced risk of endometrial cancer. Two previous investigations have already linked a lower rate of kidney and ovarian cancer with greater UV exposure, which increases the formation of vitamin D3 in the body.

Researchers analyzed data made available through GLOBOCAN, a database of cancer incidence and mortality in 175 countries. In general, the incidence of endometrial cancer was highest at the highest latitudes in both hemispheres. The correlation between low UV exposure and low vitamin D levels and endometrial cancer incidence remained strong even after adjusting for variables such as fat intake, weight, cloud cover, skin pigmentation and others.

Most previous studies have focused on hormone levels and dietary fat intake and their role in the development of the disease. This is the first study linking low serum vitamin D levels to an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Along with other preventive measures, vitamin D adequacy should be considered as part of a comprehensive program for prevention of endometrial cancer.

Source: Vitamin D, ecologic studies and endometrial cancer, Schwartz GG, Porta M., Prev Med 2007 Nov;45(5):323-4.