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Low Vitamin D Might Be Linked to Prostate Cancer

Adequate levels may help keep cell growth in check, but researchers say more study needed

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Among men who tested positive for cancer after their biopsies, those who also had very low levels of vitamin D -- under 12 ng/ml -- had greater odds of more advanced and aggressive cancers than those with normal levels.

The connection between vitamin D and cancer seemed to be even stronger in black men.

Black men with vitamin D levels under 12 ng/ml were far more likely than those with normal levels to test positive for prostate cancer in the first place.

In general, black men are also more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. On average, men have about a one-in-seven lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer. That risk rises to one in five for black men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers aren't sure whether lower vitamin D levels may help to explain why black men are at higher risk for prostate cancer.

They say longer and larger studies are needed to sort out the connection.

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