Researchers recently conducted a study that reveals a possible mechanism by which vitamin D affects the progression of prostate cancer.
There is increasing evidence that suggests inflammation of the prostate is a contributing factor in the formation of prostate tumors. Indeed, inflammatory cells are often found in prostate tumors.
Past research looking at genes involved in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer discovered that expression of the gene, GDF-15, is necessary for prostate cancer cell migration, suggesting that it may play an anti-tumorigenic role in the prostate. It was also revealed that GDF-15 decreases TNF-α release, a pro-inflammatory molecule, from immune cells.
In a previous study, Dr. James Lambert and his team found that vitamin D upregulates the expression of GDF-15.