Originally Posted by Bill Ennis
I haven't been here in a while and I know this thread is a little old.
Could anyone comment on the reported increase risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancer in patients with high(> 40ng/ml) levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D?
This was mentioned in a "Perspective" piece in the New England Journal of Medicine(April 14, 2011, pg. 1387) and referenced a study by Helzlsouer entitled, " Overview of the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers" , Am J of Epidemiology 2010; 172:4-9.
I haven't tracked the paper down yet. Just wondering if anyone was familiar with it.
I don't have time to look into this at the moment but a quick search of the 2011 IOM report Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D
found a number of references to pancreatic cancer but none for esophageal cancer. I've only had time to skim though a couple of pages so there may be more to it than this, but it appears as though an increased risk of pancreatic cancer with higher serum 25(OH)D levels was found in just two studies which, again, I don't have time to read.
Hope this helps.
Overview of the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers.
A Prospective Nested Case-Control Study of Vitamin D Status and Pancreatic Cancer Risk in Male Smokers.
Office of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet: Vitamin D.
Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Esophageal and Gastric Cancer.
Edit: I've had time to read those studies now and it appears as though there may be an increased risk of pancreatic cancer with very high levels of serum 25(OH)D so if you're concerned you may want to avoid supplements and get your vit. D the old fashioned way - sunlight. As for esophageal cancer, there appears to be an increased risk with higher 25(OH)D levels in Asians, which may in part be due to the prevalence of H. pylori infections in Asia, high salt intake, and a high intake of pickled and fermented foods. There was no increased risk seen in caucasians though so, on balance, I don't think this is something you need to worry about.
I'd be interested to hear Steven Low's thoughts on this though as he's probably more up to date with the research on vit. D than I am.