Yet another home run for vitamin D

By now, you know how great vitamin D is for you. But today, I want to focus on one important benefit specifically: vitamin D’s ability to help guard against prostate cancer.

Previous research has shown that vitamin D can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. But now, thanks to a new study published last month, researchers think they know how it works.

Researchers found that vitamin D triggers the release of something called growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), which helps repair inflammation.

And as the study’s author put it, “Inflammation is thought to drive many cancers including prostate, gastric and colon. Therefore, GDF-15 may be a good thing in keeping prostate tissue healthy—it suppresses inflammation, which… potentially driv[es] prostate cancer.”

The fact that D works so well to combat inflammation isn’t just good news when it comes to prostate cancer. As the study author noted, inflammation also increases the risk of other cancers too. It also leads to all sorts of other chronic health problems, from arthritis, to heart disease, to Alzheimer’s.

So when it comes to staying healthy and preventing disease, keeping inflammation in check is a top priority. Which is one of the main reasons why I recommend at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day—to everyone.


“Reduced expression of GDF-15 is associated with atrophic inflammatory lesions of the prostate,” The Prostate 2014, epub ahead of print 10/18/14

“Finally: Missing link between vitamin D, prostate cancer.” ScienceDaily 10/22/ 14. (